Alongside Mavic, Fulcrum has been the most popular choice when it comes to original equipment on the biggest brands’ bikes. It’s for good reason too, as Fulcrum’s build-quality along with the quality of its hubs mean they last and stay free of trouble for many, many miles. The 5s feature oversized hubs built for straight-pull spokes mated, via bladed spokes, to 26mm-deep asymmetric alloy rims.
Fulcrum’s clever design keeps spoking to a minimum with the front wheel getting 24, eight on the non-disc side and 16, with far less offset, on the other. The rear wheel also gets 24 spokes, this time with 16 on the driveside and eight on the disc side. Fulcrum claims this balances out forces, keeping the wheels remarkably rigid in use.
The rims are tubeless ready and come taped for the purpose. The test set weighed 780g for the front including lockring and rim tape, 890g rear including lockring and rim tape, so that’s 1670g in total, which is a very competitive weight.
The downside is the rim itself, at 21.7mm wide externally and just 16.9mm internally (officially 17mm), it’s best suited to 23mm tyres or 25s at a push. So, if you want to experiment with wider tyres that most modern disc bikes allow, if you go beyond 25mm the 5s won’t best shape the tyre.
It seems a strange choice as Fulcrum’s base model, the Racing 7 Disc, has been updated with a tubeless-ready rim with a wider 19mm internal width and an all-up weight of 1,780g a pair.
The R5s are a great wheel, but my ideal choice at this price would be the 5’s quality build with the 7’s wider rim.