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Fulcrum Sharq Takes Bite Out of All Racing on Wild Sharktooth Carbon Aero Wheels

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon road bike and gravel race wheels, riding off tarmac(Photo by Imaze/Fulcrum)
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Fresh off some Kansas gravel racing, Fulcrum officially unveil their all-new Sharq aero carbon wheels. But Fulcrum says they’re not just for gravel, instead designing the Sharqs in their Red Room R&D Lab to make all road riding faster – from tarmac to dirt. Not the first to turn to biomimicry inspiration to optimize wheel aerodynamics, the Fulcrum Sharq takes a bite out of the wind with a unique 3-dimensional wavy sharktooth design.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon road & gravel race wheels

Wavy wheels already stand out from the crowd, but these new Fulcrum Sharq take it to the next level with what they call their “2-Wave” design. Instead of just varying the depth of the centerline of the rim like we’ve seen from other wheelbuilders, these wheels feature a much more complex shape to cut through the wind.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, Mattia De Marchi racing Unbound
(Photo by Chiara Redaschi/Fulcrum)

Fresh off Unbound where Mattia De Marchi rode the wheels to a 5th place, it’s apparently Fulcrum’s 20th anniversary. And they’re saying these new wheels are officially the first they’ve designed “specifically for endurance and all road use“. That’s definitely not to say they aren’t race wheels, just that the don’t really pigeonhole themselves as either road or gravel. These are aero fast in-betweeners, developed to make pretty much every dropbar bike ride faster.

OK, so what the real deal with the shark teeth waves?

What’s new with the Sharq 2 Wave?

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, Basso for UNBOUND
(Photo by Chiara Redaschi/Fulcrum)

The 2-Wave rim is what’s really new. The Sharq’s patent-pending wave shape undulates slightly from a direct side-on perspective. It is 47mm deep at the spokes, but 5mm shallower in between.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, rim detail
(Photo by Megamo/Fulcrum)

But the truly unique element is how the second wave is shifted and offset in 3D, as it moves away from the centerline of the rim. The result is that the rim section varies from a more flat-sided blunt-nose profile at the spoke, to a slightly more V-shaped aero profile about 1/4 of the way in front of the spoke at the bottom of the wheel.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, wind tunnel aerodynamic performance

Fulcrum explains that this special 3D asymmetrical design better manages airflow over the carbon rim and wide tires, both reducing aerodynamic drag directly into the wind and in crosswinds. They claim a “21% improvement in winds from 0° to 10° and up to 30% between 10° and 20°” vs. a traditional aero rim profile of the same depth.

New A3RO spokes, too

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, hub detail

Keeping the new wheels serviceable, Fulcrum builds them with external nipples and new straight-pull stainless steel spokes. Which does mean they are now proprietary. Those spokes feature a new butted and bladed profile that is 3mm wide x 0.8mm thick in the center. And they get a semi-cross-shaped shoulder on the round spoke head to sit firmly in the matching hole in the hub without rotating.

Tech details

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, rim detail

Fulcrum makes the new Sharq rims with a new proprietary FF100 mix of carbon and resin for lightweight. And they’re able to lay them up precisely so there’s no finishing require when they come out of the mold – just laser-etched graphics and water-transfer logos.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon all road endurance gravel bike race wheels, rim detail

They give the Sharq a 25mm internal width, with a mini-hook that ensures safe compatibility with all tires 30mm and up. And it fits with their secure 2-Way-Fit tubeless or tube-type concept. No drilled holes for the alloy nipples. They are guided into place with a magnet for wheelbuilding. That means a permanent tubeless-ready setup without relying on tape.

Outer rim width is 29.8mm, and the rims vary from 42-47mm deep. The alloy centerlock disc hubs feature classic cup & cone USB ceramic bearings for “extremely precise preload and maximum smoothness“.

Complete wheelset weight is claimed at 1440g.

Fulcrum Sharq aero wheels – Pricing, options & availability

2025 Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon road bike and gravel race wheelset

Fulcrum’s all-new carbon Sharq aero wheels sell for $2807 / 2460€, and are available now. Tubeless ready out of the box without rim tape, the wheels come with tubeless valves and wheel bags.

Fulcrum Sharq aero carbon road bike and gravel race wheels, group ride
(Photo by Chiara Redaschi/Fulcrum)

Pick from Shimano HG, MicroSpline, SRAM XDR & Campagnolo N3W free hub bodies, then fit them to your road or gravel bike to go faster!

FulcrumWheels.com

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18 Comments
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Larry Falk
Larry Falk
17 days ago

Why not just use J-bend spokes?

Jamie
Jamie
17 days ago
Reply to  Larry Falk

Straight pull looks neat, but is cheaper to manufacture for hubs, spokes, and Fulcrum traditionally haven’t stuck to standard j-bend for a while. Be thankful it’s a regular straight pull and not something out of left field.

Paul
Paul
17 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

Straight pull hubs are actually more expensive to manufacture… With J-bend you just need a hole with a chamfer on a flange, with straight pull you need 4 or 5 axis CNC machining of both flange and hole. The advantage of straight pull is that you don’t have a bending point in the spoke which is generally where you have the failures (there or at the nipple connection. It looks much better too.

K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul

A properly built wheel with J-bend spokes never have problems at the bend. 30+ years building wheels and most spoke fail happnes at the other end by the nipple. And in that 30 years wire quality has become so good that spoke failuers are few and far between. Straight pull was originally desinged to speed up wheel build production. There are some ancillary benefits like weight savings and aesthetic, but the crux of SP hubs was build speed.

Jay Ess
Jay Ess
15 days ago

I’ve been building wheels for 31 years (eyeroll) and 90% of the spoke failures I’ve had have been at the j-Bend (raise your hand if you got screwed by DT Swiss changing the diameter of the J-Bend to allow for easier machine building that few years) It’s funny I’m old but I just don’t have that “everything was better before” thing that most geezers have. I like building with straight pull hubs and new bikes are friggin awesome.

Bumscag
Bumscag
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Nah. You don’t need a multi axis mill for these. It can be done on a NC lathe with one or two cross drills

Paul
Paul
12 days ago
Reply to  Bumscag

yes… but making those cross drills implies you have a 4th axis or a second machining phase, look closer at the rear hub: the holes are on two different axis and not perpendicular to the hub axis… anyhow … i’ve been building wheels for 31 years and 1 month (double eyeroll) i only agree on the fact that well-built and well-designed wheels should not break spokes under normal use, so far even the fulcrum low-end alloy wheels that came with my bike never gave me an issue…

Robin
Robin
16 days ago
Reply to  Larry Falk

I guess the answer is why not? In practice, both types are durable and not difficult to source.

Ced
Ced
17 days ago

I don’t know about bio-mimicry, the Zipp-mimicry is definitely there though 😀

Jonbon
Jonbon
17 days ago
Reply to  Ced

waaaah. ZIPP just ripped off nature. First to market, or first to evolution? The whales want their patent granted for evolving their design internally over the last umpteen thousand years.

CA bmx
CA bmx
17 days ago

This brand is still around and people actually purchase their products in 2024?

428494
428494
16 days ago

Exterior nipples make for easier maintenance, but it’s stoll a bit odd that they go to so much aero-trouble, and then leave such low hanging fruit.

Possibly related to the closed rim-bed they tend to use, but still a somewhat (watt) weird choice.

Handz Bicycles
Handz Bicycles
16 days ago

Replacing nipples in the future sounds like a terrible chore. Guide the nipple in to place with a magnet? No thanks.
Also, proprietary straight pull spoke?! That makes these wheels less serviceable in a pinch. Most local shops will not have a spoke for this.
I will say the rim looks cool. So do the Princeton rims….

Paul
Paul
11 days ago
Reply to  Handz Bicycles

I think replacing nipples with a magnet guidance is less of a chore than replacing the bloody tape, timewise is probably faster.

SteveT
SteveT
10 days ago
Reply to  Handz Bicycles

Any competent wheel builder has no issue guiding a nipple in with a magnet. Mavic has several wheels that have the same “hole less” rim bed and the process to put a new nipple in is exactly the same, it’s done with a magnet and can be done in a flash. If a bike shop can’t deal with guiding a nipple through a rim with a magnet they should not be in business. 🙂

Andreas
Andreas
15 days ago

for that price ballpark you can do something custom with the rim of your choice, proper brand name aero spokes, and well known brand light hubs w/ ceramic bearings, saving several hundred grams in the process and getting something designed by you.

Paul
Paul
12 days ago
Reply to  Andreas

It always puzzles me that some people still think building a sturdy and reliable wheel is as easy as buying bread, ham and cheddar and make a sandwich. Just remember you will likely go over 45 mph on those wheels, wearing a helmet and a t-shirt…

SteveT
SteveT
10 days ago
Reply to  Andreas

Hundreds of grams? Tell me exactly what custom wheelset this is that can save you “several hundreds of grams” over this with, have comparable aero properties, and still come in at $2,800 with ceramic bearing hubs and say CXRay aero spokes? What custom wheelset is this – rims, spokes and hubs?

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