Fulcrum are a sub-brand of component manufacturer Campagnolo and are based in Arcugnano, Italy. Fulcrum produce wheels compatible with Shimano and Sram groupsets, as well as Campagnolo. The brand supplies both bicycle makers as an OEM producer, as well as supplying wheelsets for all types bikes and levels of riding.
Launched in 2004, Fulcrum were initially competing against French brand, Mavic, at that time Mavic had a large share of the wheel market with the Ksyrium and Aksium, as well as a still being popular in rims for custom wheels, which were still popular at the time. While wheels are still wheels, since 2004 the market has got a lot more diverse and varied, with a very broad spread of rim depths, widths and tyre fitment options, together with alternative hub types, all across a fragmented market of bike styles. During this time Fulcrum have been quick to diversify into emerging trends and developments, whilst still retaining their key mission – producing strong, reliable and great performing wheelsets.
Fulcrum Wheelsets come under two broad categories; The Racing series are shallow depth aluminium rimmed wheelsets, varying from entry level to lightweight general purpose wheelssets. The Racing series has Zero at the high end, through to 900 at entry level. The deep carbon rim Speed wheelsets are aimed more towards racing. Wind wheelsets feature similar deep carbon rims to the Wind range, at a lower price point. DB signifies the wheelset is for use with Disc Brakes systems. 2-Way-Fit is what Fulcrum call Tubeless ready, wheels can be used either tubed or tubeless. Off road / gravel wheelsets are called Rapid Red and are available in 700c or 650b sizes. MTB wheels come under the Red Zone and Red Fire series in alternative sizes and hub fitments.
Performance ‘Versus’ Price
As with most other bike related components, wheelsets tend to be a compromise between price and performance. The sweet-spot mid-range wheelsets from Fulcrum such as the Racing 500 (previously named Racing 5) offer decent performance in terms of low weight (around 1600grams / pair) and strength, for a relatively low price-point. These wheels have proven to be a reliable option and are a popular best seller with Merlin customers. They also offer a noticeable improvement in performance over most stock standard issue wheels found on new low to mid-range road bikes.
See the Full Fulcrum range here