Fulcrum Racing 7 Wheel Review (Road)

Posted: August 6, 2011 in 2011, Product Reviews
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Fulcrum Racing 7

I bought these for my CX bike towards the beginning of last autumn. While they have not seen any CX races, they carried me through most of the winter, the spring until now, early August in 2011. I am not going to bother with technical details such as weight, spoke pattern, pawls etc (you can easily find that on shop sites if you want to buy some) rather, I am simply going to tell you what sort of riding I have done, how they have performed and what state they are in now. In short, all the things I’d like to know rather than elitist guff which leaves you none the wiser albeit with a lot of anal knowledge that is of no use to man nor beast.

I fall into what our American cousins call the ‘Clydesdale’ category i.e. I am over 14 stone. I’m not really a porker, but ‘big boned’ 😉 or 6 foot 4 with what was always described as a swimmer’s basic physique. I’m a bit over the hill now at 50 but still give kit a hammering. I ride in Suffolk and these wheels have mainly been used either on road or off road on trails I would be more comfortable on with fat tyres. Nothing rocky but certainly enough to knock a poor pair of wheels out of shape. I have done a few mtb races (local, grass roots stuff where you can ride what you like) on a combination of fire road and fast singletrack. The bike (and therefore the wheels) has been thrown about quite aggressively on many surfaces and has also been taken down bombholes, rooty drops etc.

These are not the CX variant of the wheel so there is no additional sealing to keep the mud and grit out. Apart from that, they are pretty much the same, with a semi deep rim which reduces spoke length and therefore should build up into a fairly strong set of wheels. Having said that, I am not sure that they were designed for the sort of use I give them!

Almost a year in then, they are pretty spotless. No marks on the rims, no flaking decals, no peeling spokes, no dings – superficially then, no damage at all. They have remained true from the moment they came out of the box, despite my weight, despite my use/abuse. I have checked the rims, and although I have bottomed out many times on flinty trails there are no notches or nicks.

I have just washed the bike after a ride this morning and I turned the hose up, played it on the top of the tyre, got the wheels up to speed and let them both run. The rear hub remains clicky but just ran on and on, as did the front wheel. Closer inspection revealed no play in the hubs, no subterranean grumbling, no sensation of bearings running dry. All good so far then.

I said I wouldn’t get anal about weight but you need to be aware that these are bargain basement wheels. I got the pair for £114 delivered (I think) so don’t go expecting anything like Hed, Zipp or other high end stuff. These are basic but they are stiff, they seem to be very robust, and the hubs are delivering more than I was prepared to give them credit for.

As a pair of wheels for my CX bike they are pretty damn good. As a budget wheel I must say they are bloomin’ marvellous. I will probably thrash these until they die, then I’ll get some more.

I am going to give these wheels my ultimate accolade – the pint of bitter!
Pint of Bitter

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