Words & Photos by Dave McKenzie (IG: @david_mckenzie Twitter: @davemacka)
OK so I know there are loads of brands and types of wheels out there, from your basic alloy clincher rims, to deep dish carbon rims with upgraded ceramic bearings etc etc….the list goes on and on.
So I’m going to simplify things for you, that is, if you’re like me and aren’t too fussed about getting carbon wheels. Because at the end of the day, most of us casual cyclists really just need a reliable set of wheels that will run well (as in FAST), will stand up to all sorts of terrain and most importantly, won’t break the bank balance.
Introducing the Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite Clincher.
Retail Price $1299 in your choice of Shimano or Campy freehub (at time of writing).
The back story
If you’re late to the party, to let you know, Fulcrum are wholly owned by the Campagnolo family. Word on the street is they created the subsidiary brand back in 2004, in order to create and market wheelsets that would be compatible and competitive with their rivals, Shimano and SRAM.
How I ended up with Fulcrum’s underneath me.
When my Colnago C60 was getting built at Bikebug Prahran in Melbourne, they asked me which groupset I wanted and of course, which wheels. The owner presumed I’d like a nice set of deep dish carbons.
“No thanks!” I replied.
“I’m not really training for any sort of competition, so I just want a strong wheelset that have a bit of speed in them, that aren’t too heavy, nor too light”.
He pondered my request. “ I know, I’ll put a set of Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite’s on, they’re solid”
Now for the facts – what I’ve put my wheels through.
When I picked up my shiny brand new bike, the very next day I had to put it in a bike bag and fly to Canberra for a charity ride back to Melbourne. That’s 1000kms in one week, over all sorts of terrain. The Snowy’s, the high country, descending, climbing and quite a few dead roads as well. All this, in my first week of riding. I had to give the wheels a 10/10 on their first outing.
A week later, I’m off to Belgium, for my Eurocyclingtrips.com “Spring Classics Trip” that included the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Both Classics have their own Challenge ride, going over the same roads that the pro’s will race over the following day.
These include the famous Flanders steep pave climbs like the Muur & Koppenberg and for Roubaix, say no more….the Arenberg forest. These roads are absolutely brutal and can really knock your bike around, there is just nothing else like it.
Well, the Fulcrums stood up incredibly well.
In fact, not a single movement or kink in the rim. Didn’t even have to get them re-trued.
I couldn’t believe it.
Post-Spring Classics, I had the grand idea of riding the length of France with pannier bags attached to my race-ready Colnago C60. Considering the extra weight of gear on the bike (an additional 10-13kg), I thought this should really test the wheels out. Yet again, they stood up a treat, without a single problem. They are simply bulletproof.