FRF Sports has sent us some of the new 2015 Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite wheels for test. These wheels are designed for big performance, are loaded with technology and look fantastic. Do they deliver on their claims?
La Velocita's Mike Boudrie investigates.
Photography - Andrew Clifforth
The 2015 Fulcrum Racing Nite clincher wheel set comes packed with new features that are designed to make an already solid and reliable wheel even better.
The technology that’s gone into these wheels is up there and includes:
A new braking surface. It’s applied using a ‘plasma electrolytic Oxidation treatment’ and a mix of various compounds on the braking surface. This basically means that the rim is designed to be super durable and hard wearing. It also means that the wheels stop well in a range of conditions. The wheels are designed to provide reliability and consistent performance, this results in improved safety and confidence for the rider.
There’s a new ‘dark’ colour scheme that looks awesome. Stealth is the inspiration here.
The wheels come with a slimmed down front hub and a rear hub with oversized flange to increase stiffness.
The front rim hight comes in at 26mm and the rear at 30mm, the aim being to improve steering precision and keep the wheels strong. Add in Fulcrums ‘USB’ bearing technology, triple milled rims and bladed aluminium spokes and you’ve got a wheel set that means business. All at a 1,420 grams.
The wheels come boxed with lightened steel quick release spindles and a set of wheel bags.
Quality in your wheel set is critical. If they fail you are in trouble, you’ll either be on the road or stranded.
Most of us don’t have the time to be changing wheels from ride to ride so we’re all after a set of wheels that have ‘do it all’ capability. This generally means that you’ll be riding your wheels in a range of conditions, so quality is key.
The 2015 Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite’s marketing focuses on reliability, build quality and durability. Out of the box the wheels ran true and spoke tension was constant, and the overall finish was excellent.
We’ve had the wheels for 6 weeks, a short period in the life of a wheel but in the time we’ve thrown a lot at them…
We’ve taken on rough country roads, city tram tracks, hills, rain, dry dusty conditions and dirt (courtesy of a wrong turn in Gippsland that resulted in 50km of tracks and fire roads in the wet and dry). We’ve clocked up a total of over 2,000km in these conditions and after a quick clean down they still look like they’ve just come out of the box.
Our concerns that the black braking surface would wear out have so far been proven to be wrong. Fulcrum, cover the wheels in warnings about keeping the brake pads and rims clean to avoid damage to the black braking surface. However, we think you should take these steps regardless of what colour your braking surface is.
Fulcrum have made big claims about these wheels. In our six weeks of testing they’ve lived up to every claim. They are stiff, light and fast. The climb well, roll up to and hold speed well, the braking performance is strong in all conditions and they fill you with confidence when powering down fast roads and in to sweeping fast corners.
Some of the things we really liked about these wheels were:
Stiffness - the wheels run dead true out of the box, build quality is great, translating into excellent stiffness. We particularly liked the rear wheel, during out of the saddle super steep climbs, leaning the bike from side to side there was little to no flex. We've broken spokes and had the chain hitting spokes in this situation with other wheel sets but the Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite’s just took it.
Bearings - smooth smooth smooth. Jumping off our normal wheel set (with Chris King hubs) these wheels rolled just as well. The rear hub is also very very quiet. We actually quite liked this. The wheels spin up to speed with minimal effort and hold the speed.
Weight - The claimed weight is 1,420grams and when we weighed them out of the bag that’s exactly what they came in at. This is a very respectable weight and for the level of durability and stifness you get it’s pretty impressive.
Graphics - Do good looking wheels make your bike go faster? Well no. Despite that, these wheels look awesome. We’ve had lots of comments on the ‘look’ none of them bad.
RRP for the 2015 Fulcrim Racing Zero nites is $1,744.99
Want wheels that can take on just about anything, hills, descents, flat lands… want stiffness and strength and hubs that roll well? Get down and take a closer look at this very nice looking wheel set.
- RIM - Clincher, aluminium triple milled - 28/15c- height/width (mm) with 23/25 Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation Treatment (P.E.O.)
- SPOKES - 16 straight pull - AERO - Aluminium
- HUB - Carbon fibre, aluminium flange
- NIPPLES - Aluminium
- WEIGHT - 607g
- RIM - Clincher, aluminium triple milled - 28/15c- height/width (mm) with 27/30 Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation Treatment (P.E.O.)
- SPOKES - Two-to-One Ø2/1,5/2, Stright Pull AERO: 7 left, 14 right
- HUB - Carbon fibre, aluminium flange, Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation treatment on freewheel
- NIPPLES - Aluminium
- WEIGHT - 813g
WHEELSET WEIGHT - 1420g
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