Fulcrum Racing-Torq R cranks review£259.95

Compact carbon goodness

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Fulcrum started as just a wheel offshoot from the Campagnolo mothership, but now their lineup has gained cranks too. This compact set is a neat option for anyone wanting something different from a straight groupset match.

At 748g (including bottom bracket) it’s 30g lighter than Shimano Ultegra SL (£219.99) and SRAM Force (£289.99), and 10g heavier than its closest competition, Campag’s own Centaur compact (£249.99).

It shares the same solid carbon arm construction as the Centaur. This means it’s 50g heavier than the hollow armed R-Torq RS, but then it’s also £140 cheaper.

The Racing-Torq R feels good underfoot too. Not outstandingly stiff, but certainly not soft or creaky when you grunt it rather than use the compact ratio advantage. The chain flicks between rings nice and easily too, which isn’t always the case with compacts.

At the risk of saying something controversial, we reckon most riders would benefit from running the compact option rather than the ‘full-size’ 39-53 version.

It’s not just a case of being able to spool the really steep stuff either. If you’ve got an efficient spin cadence sorted, you’ll still have plenty of gear to push against at 30mph, and you’ll use all your gears most rides rather than rarely getting out of the middle ring on longer runs.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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