Fulcrum Red Zone XC mountain bike wheels are back lighter, wider in carbon & alloy

After years since launching their last all-new mountain bike wheels, Fulcrum Red Zone wheels are back, now better than ever built for everything from XC to down-country riding. Two all-new lighter & wider premium cross-country wheelsets offer versatile off-road performance, in the uniquely wavy asymmetric Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon and precision-machined alloy Red Zone 3 MTB wheels.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon mountain bike wheels

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon & alloy XC MTB mountain bike wheels,

c. Fulcrum

Red Zone has been Fulcrum’s all-rounder cross-country & marathon mountain bike wheels, but they never really evolved beyond a mid-spec tech, performance, or price level.  But now, a new wider, lighter Red Zone Carbon rim takes them to the next level.

Tech details

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, asymmetric rim

The key to the new 1445g carbon XC wheelset’s performance and versatility is a unique new asymmetric rim Fulcrum calls NipForce. Rather than simply offset all spokes into a single line the spokes sit in two separate planes, one offset 3.5mm from center & the other 6mm from center.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, offset rim

Then, the nose of the 26mm deep carbon rim snakes back and forth to transfer the spoke tension more directly from hub flange to the rim’s bead – especially more effective as rims grow wider.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, rim profile

The resulting asymmetric carbon rim is 28mm inside, 33mm outside with a hookless tubeless bead a smooth, uninterrupted bed that doesn’t require tubeless tape. The external alloy nipples are guided into place when building the wheel with magnets, just like other Campagnolo tech wheels. The matte carbon surface is also straight out of the mold with no extra finish added like premium Fulcrum & Campy road wheels.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheelset

The Red Zone wheels are 29er only and built up with straight-pull double-butted stainless steel spokes, 24 in the front & 28 in the rear, on alloy centerlock hubs. The hubs feature variable height flanges for the same spoke lengths left:right, and spin on premium steel cup & cone bearings.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, hubs

Hubs are Boost spaced with thru-axles, and come standard with either a Shimano HG or SRAM XD freehub, or add an extra $19 / 14€ to swap in a Shimano MicroSpline body.

Fulcrum Red Zone 3 alloy XC wheels

Fulcrum Red Zone 3 alloy XC MTB mountain bike wheels, rim detail

The new second-tier 1610g alloy Red Zone 3 wheels share all of the same hub & spoke details, with its own low-profile 19mm deep, more conventionally asymmetric aluminum rim, featuring offset CNC-machining between the spokes to save weight. Fulcrum says that with a price less than half that of the carbon wheels, it’s likely to see a wider range of mountain bike riders.

Fulcrum Red Zone 3 alloy XC MTB mountain bike wheelset

But while it boasts better affordability, the slightly narrower 25mm internal width may deter some mountain bikers looking to push into more technical down-country or all-around trail riding. Still, at 1610g for the tubeless alloy 29er centerlock disc brake wheelset, the Red Zone 3 looks like a solid option for less aggressive mountain biking.

Fulcrum Red Zone MTB wheels – Pricing & availability

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, front wheel

Both new MTB wheelsets are available to order starting today from Fulcrum dealer shops, and include black decals for those who don’t want the traditional red Fulcrum logo.

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels, riding

Fulcrum Red Zone Carbon XC MTB mountain bike wheels

The alloy Red Zone 3 will arrive in a matter of days with a retail price of $760 / 635€. The more premium $1717 / 1378€ Red Zone Carbon wheels will be available a bit later, early this spring arriving from March 2022.  Fulcrum says the new Red Zone wheels are made entirely in Europe.


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10 months ago

hard pass on the wavy

10 months ago
Reply to  blahblahblah

I like wavy!