Fulcrum unveiled several all-new or updated wheelsets at this year’s Interbike show, including two 27.5in/650b options.
The new Red Metal XRP 650b includes a similar feature set as the 29er version, such as carbon-bodied hubs with adjustable cartridge bearings, elaborately machined tubeless-ready aluminum alloy rims, and butted straight-pull spokes. Claimed weight dips a bit, however, to 1,525g (3.36lb) for what should be a lightweight but durable offering.
Coming in a lower price point will be the Red Power XL. This switches to a less aggressively machined rim without the tubeless compatibility, and heavier hubs for a claimed weight of 1,815g (4lb).
Fulcrum didn’t offer precise release dates or projected prices for either wheelsets, but North American general manager Ty Daugherty told BikeRadar to expect to hear more come mid-2013.
One sure thing on the off-road front, however, is the new Red Metal 29 XRP, which raises the level of performance significantly compared to last year’s Red Power 29 XL.
The fulcrum red metal 29 xrp wheels are built with a convertible hub up front (9mm quick-release or 15mm through-axle) but the rear is 135x10mm quick-release only – at least for now: James Huang/Future Publishing
The convertible front hub on the Red Metal 29 XRP
Fulcrum builds this wheelset with a heavily machined and tubeless-compatible aluminum rim, butted straight-pull stainless steel spokes (in Fulcrum’s typical 2:1 lacing pattern), and trick carbon-bodied hubs with machined aluminum spoke flanges and adjustable bearing preload.
Claimed weight is 1,635g (3.6lb) – 280g lighter than the old Red Power XL.
Road wheel options
Over on the road side is an all-new Racing Quattro clincher, built with a 35mm-deep aluminum for good aerodynamics and predictable braking performance.
Fulcrum utilizes its MoMag construction method for the rim – meaning there are no holes on the outer wall – so, at least in theory, it’s airtight. However, Fulcrum hasn’t shaped the profile for use with tubeless tires.
Other features include aluminum-bodied hubs with adjustable bearing preload, aluminum nipples, Fulcrum’s usual 2:1 lacing pattern, and straight-pull butted stainless steel bladed spokes. Claimed weight is 1,725g (3.8lb) for the pair.
Other changes to the road range are more subtle. For example, the top-end Racing Zero aluminum clinchers get a more subdued all-black finish to replace the more ostentatious red-anodized look.
Fulcrum has cleaned up the aesthetics of its racing zero alloy road clinchers with a more austere all-black look: James Huang/Future Publishing
A cleaner look for the 2013 Racing Zero alloy road clincher
The 105mm-deep Red Wind XLR sports lower-key graphics and sleeker skewers, and all Shimano/SRAM-compatible Fulcrum road wheels will now be compatible with 11-speed drivetrains.