Fulcrum plans to introduce its 1,450g carbon-fibre cross-country, all-mountain wheelset called RedCarbon in late 2008.
The RedCarbon wheels will be used by world champion Julien Absalon during the 2008 season, officially debuting at the first World Cup event at Houffalize in Belgium.
According to Fulcrum's Francesco Zenere, RedCarbon is the result of three years of studies and tests. Fulcrum's goal was to design a pair of wheels lighter than RedMetal Zero, the model used by Absalon when he won the rainbow jersey at the 2007 World Championships, but with even greater performance.
Fulcrum addressed three variables:
• Peripheral weight reduction: the use of carbon fibre for the rim has led to a considerable reduction of the wheel’s peripheral weight. This translates into greater reactivity: the RedCarbons are 15 percent more reactive than the RedMetal Zeros.
• Reduction of the number of spokes: the pair now has eight fewer spokes than the RedMetal Zero wheel, four fewer in the front and four fewer in the rear. This means an overall reduction of the weight and, above all, a rotation of the rotating mass, and has increased the reactivity of both wheels.
• Asymmetrical rims: in order to reduce the number of spokes and maintain the same torque transmission as the RedMetal Zero pair, Fulcrum has made asymmetrical rims with carbon fibre to improve the dish, the rigidity and the solidity of the wheel. The rear rim is asymmetrical on the freewheel side to improve torque transmission, while the front wheel is asymmetrical on the disc side to improve wheel rigidity during the braking stage, thereby increasing the bike’s steerability.
Fulcrum RedCarbon – Technical Data
Rim material: carbon fibre
Height: 24.5 mm
Inside width: 19 mm
Profile: asymmetrical: freewheel side on the rear wheel and on the disc brake side at the front. Rim without braking surfaces.
Finish: carbon fibre
Nipples: oversize in stainless steel
Spoking: 20 front and 20 rear. Three-Cross rear wheel on the freewheel side and in the front wheel on the disc brake side; in twos on the other sides
Finish: anodized satinized black
Body: Oversize aluminium
Axles: aluminium with 20 mm diameter front and rear
Bearings: Adjustable high-precision bearings for the AFS version (Shimano Center Lock compatible), with cone/cap adjustable bearings for the 6-screw disc brake version
Freewheel: monolithic freewheel body with two sealed bearings
Compatibility: UST Tubeless
Disc: International Standard and Axial Fixing System
Available: October 2008