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Fulcrum Racing 3 review

Fulcrum Racing 3 review
3 Sep 2015
Verdict:

Super smooth hubs and tubeless rims means the Fulcrum Racing 3 add up to a great lightweight wheel set.

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Fantastic all round wheel
Against 
Proprietary spokes

Although they might not be the first to admit it, Fulcrum are a sub-division of Campagnolo, so when you buy a pair of Fulcrum wheels you get all of Campagnolo’s years of research, and Campagnolo don’t have to admit that they make parts compatible with Shimano. The Fulcrum Racing 3s are still in the middle of the Fulcrum alloy wheel line up. The two things you’re missing out on, compared to the Racing Zero, are fatter (and stiffer) aluminium spokes and ceramic bearings in the hubs.

Fulcrum Racing 3 rim

Although it's becoming a fairly common feature now, it's still worth mentioning that these wheels are tubeless compatible out of the box. In this case, the rim has no holes drilled into it, so you can run dedicated road tubeless tyres (although we didn’t) without all the faff of rim strips. Despite this, the rim remains lightweight due to the milling process used to remove excess material, which also gives it a high-quality finish.

While riding them, we were surprised by their stiffness and quick acceleration, which is not only due to the rim but the 2:1 spoke pattern on the rear wheel: two drive-side spokes for each non-drive. This spoking pattern gives even tension across the wheel and minimises flex, which makes climbing a real pleasure. It should also mean that the wheel remains true for a long time because the tension is well balanced. They also held their speed really well, so despite aerodynamics not being a focus, they obviously don’t suffer by design.

Fulcrum Racing 3 rear hub

If we did have to make a criticism about them, it would be that the spokes are non-standard. So if you did bust one you might find it slightly more difficult to get a replacement although the UK distributors are pretty good at holding spares in stock. At £450, they’re towards the top end of the group test budget they were featured in so we’d be saving them for the summer months, if only to keep them white for a bit longer.

Fulcrum Racing 3
Weight 1,580g
Spoke Count 16/21
Contact www.i-ride.co.uk
Price: 
£450

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