I purchased my Fulcrum Racing 5 wheelset from Bike24.net in March 2010 for a landed price of AU$263.57. This review reflects my usage of the bib shorts over a four month period, aka the BackpackGearTest.org approach.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS Manufacturer’s Description
Racing 5 are designed for everyday use and training. An optimum proposal from Fulcrum which guarantees excellent quality. The hubs are completely new: oversized and provided with flanges for blade hammer-head spokes. Smoothness is ensured by sealed high-quality bearings and they have a new single-piece body which incorporates the freewheel body and pawl carrier in a single component with a considerable reduction of weight. The spokes have blade hammer-heads of the Aero type and differentiated thickness, 24 in the front wheel and 27 in the rear wheel.There is radial spoking for the front wheel and the patented Fulcrum 2:1 Two-to-One Spoke Ratio for the rear wheel. Also unchanged is the presence of Dynamic Balance which, thanks to two oversized spokes, balances the concentration of the rim joint material during wheel rotation. The rim is a medium-sectioned one with a height of 24 mm with reinforcing eyelets for the spokes and turned braking surfaces. The new Racing 5 wheels have a deeper upper bridge of the rim to facilitate clincher tire fitting. Racing 5 wheels are compatible with Campagnolo ®, Shimano and Sram drivetrains.
I have the Shimano HG 8/9/10 speed configuration of the wheels and have them fitted to my Look 555. When I received them, I took the opportunity to weigh them on my digital scales to just see how they come in compared to the nominal weights reported by Fulcrum.
The weights are:
Front wheel: Fulcrum’a reported weight is 775 grams compared to Aushiker’s weight is 840 grams
Rear wheel: Fulcrum’s reported weight is 985 grams compared to Aushiker’s weight of 1072 grams
My weights for the wheels are as supplied, i.g., before the cluster was fitted and sans quick release.
LONG TESTING (Four months on the bike) Update: October 24, 2010 – At approximately 3,000 km on the wheels I broke a rear drive side spoke – rode another 90 + km without further trouble despite the broken spoke.
I have been riding with these wheels now since March 2010 and at the time of this post (August 2010) I have ridden approximately 2,000 km on them. Not as much as I would have desired before wrapping up this post but that is they way things have transpired this year.
The 2,000 km has been made of local group rides, city commuting and an Audax ride or two up in the hills of Perth. Over this time I have had no issues with the wheels. They roll fine for me and they haven’t gone out of true despite my 96 kg weight. I find them to be a good solid training or commuting wheel. I am sure I would benefit from lighter wheels in the hills but really I could loose 26 kg of myself and benefit more.
So for me these are good solid wheels, at a reasonable price point and often that touch of bling that I like.
Update from the Australian Cycling Forums. There appears to have been an issue with the weld of the rims which may introduce a brake shudder. I experienced this shudder and put it down to a headset issue which turned into a rather expensive exercise. It seems that I may have the weld issue, albeit in a minor manner.
In closing the topic of the sound of Fulcrum wheels comes up often. Personally I like the sound of how they roll. Anyway I have shot a short video of the rear freewheeling (not on the road but) so you can form your own opinion.