- Light for climbing
- Hold their speed very well on the flat
Price as reviewed:
Here at Cycling Weekly we’ve long been fans of Fulcrum’s Racing line of wheels. Previously, we’ve awarded the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheels a coveted spot on our Editor’s Choice list but this year it’s the turn of their disc brake siblings, the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon DBs.
This time, I’ve tested the disc braking version of the wheel and have found it be every bit as good.
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For the most part, the two look very similar. However, the disc brake versions on test here come with 21 spokes front and rear rather than the 16/21 that the rim braking version has. Of course, it also has the added benefit of not having a carbon braking tract – drastically increasing your stopping power.
The tech list that accompanies the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon DB wheels reads something like a recipe for quality hoops. They’re tubeless ready, boasting the brand’s 2-way fit technology that means either clincher or tubeless tyres can be mounted on the rim. At 19mm they’re wide internally, although not as wide as tubeless ready rims from Enve or even as wide as the Roval CLX 32 Disc wheels, but wide enough to seat the Turbo Cotton tyres that I tested them with comfortably, with no mushrooming over the rim.
Fulcrum’s carbon layup is also impressive, and seriously stiff, making them very reactive. The oversized flange serves as a visual reminder of the stiffness on tap and ceramic speed bearings offer some marginal gains in the hub.
The full carbon rim is paired to 21 aluminium aero spokes front and rear, which may add weight, as compared to carbon ones, but makes them easier to repair – as do the external spoke nipples. Not that repairs have been necessary, these Fulcrum wheels have remained true over six months of testing.
I noticed them to be fast off the line, and when I tested them with a Basso Diamante frameset I was impressed by their rocket like pace. They also injected my Focus Izalco Max test bike with pace; a bike that I had thought lacklustre but was transformed with the use of these wheels. The wheels were stable on descents, even when applying full stopping power through the disc brakes, and the front wheel never pulled when applying the brake.
A 30mm deep rim makes these wheels great to climb on, and having done some elevation on them they’re going to be go to wheels for riding holidays abroad. The wheel’s shallow depth didn’t hinder them on the flat either and performed better than cheaper deep section carbon wheels I’ve tested, and should be considered a testament to the quality of the carbon rim.
At £1799, they’re £50 cheaper than the comparable Roval CLX 32 wheelset, which marks them clearly as an upgrade hoops but they’ll make a big difference to whichever bike you put them on.
Fast, stiff and responsive, these wheels are a testament to Fulcrum’s carbon technology. They’re a great depth for climbing and descending and make a marked difference to any bike you put them in.