Ever since I started road biking again last year, I’ve wanted a pair of Fulcrum Racing 0s. I don’t know what it exactly was. It was probably because I had never seen red Fulcrums before, and in my mind, they would look stunning with a matte black frame. For 2010, the rims changed colors. The initial appeal for these hoops is the look. Hoops that are completely red are rare. This is the start of a long term review on these wheels.
One of the main reasons that Campagnolo released Fulcrum wheels was to tap the market of bike enthusiasts using SRAM and Shimano components, who weren’t keen on buying Campagnolo branded wheels. Usually, bikes mounted in Shimano or SRAM won’t have Campy wheels. This is why Fulcrum wheels exist. You can always find an analogue to a Fulcrum wheel. For the Fulcrum Racing 0s, it’s the Shamal Ultra 2-Way Fit.
I have had these wheels for a while, but hadn’t really done anything with them. Since I started riding again, and since most of the time, I ride at night, I’ve gotten a bit weary of my deep dish Velocite MONC50 wheels. Like all carbon fiber wheels, braking isn’t really good. I finally had these wheels mounted with a Recon Ti cassette last week.
Tubes are Michelin and the tires are Schwalbe Ultremo R1. I got them tires in matching red. I got the 2-Way Fit version, so they do accept tubeless tires, but I don’t really want to deal with that right now. The performance from tubeless tires is similar to the one you get from tubular wheels. Once again, when the wheels were mounted, it took me a while to like the look. Why? Well by switching tires from Rubino Pros to Ultremo R1s, there are quite a few more logos on these tires. Also, the logos on the Fulcrums are quite loud. I find this a bit much and would have preferred a more muted look. From my initial examination, it looks like the decals can’t be removed.
My initial impressions of the wheels are good. The braking is a lot more responsive compared to carbon fiber wheels. There is no comparison. Deep dish carbon fiber wheels have a specific use. I’d rather ride aluminum wheels. The Fulcrum Racing 0s are definitely one of the best aluminum wheels on the market right now. You can check out my full technical write up here. The Fulcrums will spend time on a few different bikes, from my Velocite Millennium training steed, to a new Velocite Geos prototype, to a few other bikes that are coming up in the next few weeks.
Unless you’ve got a lot of experience with different sorts of wheels, you won’t notice a big difference between different wheels of the same sort. The ride on Fulcrum Racing 1s is comparable, as is the one you get from Racing 3s, 5s, and 7s. If I were to choose a training wheel, I’d probably go for the Fulcrum Racing 3s or 5s. The 3s cost about a half of the 0s, and the 5s cost a half of the 3s, so in total, the 5s are a quarter of the price of the 0s. The 3s are a good value wheel, easy to find and not that expensive. So if you are concerned about using the 0s too much, then you can in all honesty check out the 3s.
One upgrade that I might look at is putting in CULT ceramic bearings, which are used on the Bora Ultra Twos and Hyperon Ultra Twos. But once again, in all honesty, I probably won’t since I’m pretty sure that I won’t notice the difference.
These wheels can be suited for climbs and descents, since they only have a 26mm profile. I’d probably want some climbing specific wheels. There are many available, but I like the AX Lightness SRT 24, EDGE 1.25, and Campy Hyperon Ultra Twos. The AX and EDGE wheels are expensive. The Campy can be had for not so much, but they are still expensive for a set of wheels. Since I run only Shimano and SRAM, it won’t be a problem to get these because I don’t have any Campy bikes.
On top of that, riding carbon fiber hoops while climbing has got one serious problem. When you descend, if you brake too much, you can cause a blowup of the tire. The brakes will heat up the carbon fiber rim and make the tube explode. These explosive blowouts aren’t uncommon and can be very dangerous. A lot of money has been poured into making these wheels safe, especially the Hyperon Ultra Twos clincher wheels which is why they are so expensive.