› Bud­get-priced disc wheel up­grade

Cycling Plus - - NEW KIT -

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, Ful­crum’s build qual­ity along with the qual­ity of their hubs mean they last and stay trou­ble free 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 nondisc 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. Our 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 com­pared to the likes of Mavic’s Ksyrium.

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 1780g a pair. The R5s are a great wheel, but our ideal choice at this price would be the 5’s qual­ity build with the 7’s wider rim.

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