Merida Team bikes with Prototype Fulcrum 29er carbon fiber mountain bike wheels

Just got this from one of favorite European sources: The Merida Multivan mountain bike team’s testing prototype Fulcrum carbon fiber 29er wheels.

Word is they weigh in at just 1100 grams with a full carbon rim. They’re part of the Fulcrum Lab for pro teams only, but if they prove successful they might just end up in the standard range. Those are all the details we have for now, but at that weight we’d have to guess they’re tubulars, except:

The unmarked tires look an awful lot like Maxxis Aspen (front) and the new Beaver (rear) tread patterns, and Maxxis is a team sponsor. However, Maxxis’ marketing man Aaron Chamberlain said they’re not currently testing any tubular mountain bike tires. Nor do they have their new tubeless casings worked up for testing on the Aspen yet, either. But, he did say that some teams have taken their treads and glued them to tubular casings in the past. Hmmm. More as we get it.


  1. Almost certainly tubular, with a very similar, albeit larger casing to the FMB Service Course and Paris Roubaix sidewall protection which popped up in black this season.

  2. With the tape visible around the edge of the rim it’s pretty clear they are tubs. Dugast (for one) will take a tread from an existing tyre and glue it to one of their casings. My guess is that’s what we’ve got here.

    1100g isn’t too difficult, I built some Edge tubulars, CXRays and DT hubs a couple of years back which came in around that mark.

  3. Looks like tubulars to me. There seems to be some base tape between the rim and tire and the tread does look glued to a casing (look at around 3 o’clock on the front wheel).

    Many teams have been getting custom tubulars made out of their sponsors treads for years, I think Dugast offer that service.

  4. Definitely looks like a casing with tread glued to it… Well, at least from this picture that’s what it looks like. It’d be cool to see some close-up shots! Still really light wheels, though.

  5. hey guys, do any of you see some tape that perhaps could indicate its a tubular wheelset? Also I’m wondering if Dugast could possibly glue on thread from another tire to their casing?
    Thanks for the info.

  6. Clint, it’s not unusual to have Dugast casings with any brand threads.
    When Friskies first appeared with 650c wheels, in 2004, he was running Dugast with Ritchey threads.
    Also, Paulissen and others were seen with Schwalbe threads on camouflaged Dugast.
    In fact, you can order those tubs with your favourite thread.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.