While sister brand Campagnolo unleashed new top level carbon clinchers for the road, Fulcrum added them for the mountain. Along with carbon tubulars and new alloy clinchers, too. These come just one month after they introduced their latest top level alloy racing wheelset, the Red Power HP, and about two months after we spotted prototypes being tested by Merida Multivan. For road, they added a blacked out Nite version of their Racing Zero alloy wheels that promises better braking performance.
The Red Carbon tubeless ready clinchers will be available in both 27.5″ and 29″ sizes with these subtle gray-on-black graphics. The rim is full carbon, and the hubs get carbon shells with alloy flanges built around a cup-and-cone bearing system. It’s all tied together with bladed, double butted stainless steel straight pull spokes. Weights are impressively light at just 1,356g for the 29er and 1,288g for 27.5″, thanks in part to a titanium freehub body.
Roll on down for detail pics and more…
Presumably, production versions will have a bit better finish inside the rim’s well. Notice there are no spoke holes? They insert the nipples through the valve stem hole then use magnets to guide them to each spoke hole on the inside edge. This leaves a clean interior that doesn’t need any rim tape to go tubeless. They say it also makes the rim stronger, which is further enhanced by the “Double Drop” ridged shape and asymmetric spoke drillings.
The front wheel gets QR or 15mm thru axle options, the rear is QR or 12×142.
The same hubs are used on both the clinchers and tubulars, with an XD Driver Body available for SRAM 1×11 groups.
The Red Carbon Tubular mountain bike wheels also come in 29er and 27.5″ diameters, with weights of just 1,169g and 1,135g respectively. They also use 28 bladed straight pull spokes per wheels.
Perhaps more impressive than the carbon wheels are the weights they’re able to achieve on the new Red Passion alloy mountain bike wheels. Both the 27.5 and 29er versions come in at just about 60-ish grams heavier, but likely at much better price points. They’re using the same hubs and spokes, but with a non-titanium freehub body. So, not all of the weight gain is at the rims.
Fortunately, those rims are wide and very low profile, with a similar double-drop ridge shaping but with standard spoke holes so you’ll need to add tape to run tubeless. We’ve inquired about rim widths and will update as we can.
The Racing Zero Nite is more than just a blacked out version of the standard model. It gets its inky appearance from a plasma electrolytic oxidation treatment that changes the surface structure of the aluminum to make it harder and more durable.
They also gave the braking surface a new machined texture, which requires the use of carbon brake pads to maximize performance. The rims have varying heights for front (26mm) and rear (30mm). The lighter front rim improves handling while the stronger rear better lays down the power.
Additional milling on the rims brings rotational weight down, putting the wheelset at just 1,428g. That’s with deep bladed spokes and an oversized drive side rear flange to improve power transfer. Front and rear hubs use their USB ceramic bearings.