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Fulcrum Racing Zero tubular road wheelset

Stiff non-carbon tubs

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Fulcrum's Racing Zero tubulars are an outstanding choice for an everyday tubular wheel for all conditions

Fulcrum's Racing Zero tubulars are an outstanding choice for an everyday tubular wheel for all conditions
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The deep tire bed meshes well with typical road tire sizes but should work well for 'cross-appropriate sizes, too

The deep tire bed meshes well with typical road tire sizes but should work well for 'cross-appropriate sizes, too
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The beefy skewers operate smoothly and generate more than adequate clamping force, unlike many external-cam skewers

The beefy skewers operate smoothly and generate more than adequate clamping force, unlike many external-cam skewers
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Racing Zero features differential rim depths with the front measuring 26mm and the rear a slightly deeper 30mm.

The Racing Zero features differential rim depths with the front measuring 26mm and the rear a slightly deeper 30mm.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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2:1 rear lacing helps distribute spoke tension more evenly between the two sides.

2:1 rear lacing helps distribute spoke tension more evenly between the two sides.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fulcrum includes a proprietary magnet for use on the deeply bladed aluminum spokes

Fulcrum includes a proprietary magnet for use on the deeply bladed aluminum spokes
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Three-sided machining on the inner rim walls shave weight while leaving plenty of material around the spoke nipples for strength

Three-sided machining on the inner rim walls shave weight while leaving plenty of material around the spoke nipples for strength
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A carbon center section is bonded into the front hub

A carbon center section is bonded into the front hub
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The steel Shimano/SRAM-compatible freehub body isn't as light as an equivalent alloy unit but it's not subject to scoring from cogs, either

The steel Shimano/SRAM-compatible freehub body isn't as light as an equivalent alloy unit but it's not subject to scoring from cogs, either
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bearings are easily adjustable for preload and the locking collar ensures the setting doesn't migrate over time

Bearings are easily adjustable for preload and the locking collar ensures the setting doesn't migrate over time
(Image credit: James Huang)

Given their premium pricing, one might argue that your money would be better spent on a mid-range carbon wheelset. But what Fulcrum's Racing Zero tubulars lack in composite flash, they more than make up for with their fantastically solid and confident feel plus a top-notch build quality that should last for years, even with daily use.

Total weight for our test set is 1,494g, plus 120g for the included skewers – a respectable but far from super-light figure, especially in comparison with some similarly priced carbon offerings. Likewise, even aggressive inner wall machining on the differential-profile (26mm front, 30mm rear) rims yields modest 400g and 435g claimed front and rear weights – far from heavy but not as impressive as one would hope from relatively shallow tubular hoops.

Head out for a ride with them, though, and instead of dwelling on the mass you're instead reveling in their superb radial and torsional stiffness as you step on the gas, pound across bad road surfaces or dive down a fast and technical alpine descent. Other high-end pre-builts may be lighter, but few if any can match the Racing Zero's seemingly indestructible and bomber personality, and the outstanding rigidity makes them feel faster than you'd think.

Helping to produce that distinct feel are the rims' solid outer and beefy inner walls, and the fat, tapered and bladed alloy spokes used throughout that lend more of a steamroller-like quality than thinner-gauge steel spokes' typically springier feel. Widely spaced spoke flanges and 2:1 rear lacing only adds to the overall theme.

Likewise, the hubs aren't just bare-bones items that place a premium on light weight above all else. Locking threaded preload collars allow for perfect adjustment on the impeccably silky-smooth standard hybrid ceramic bearings, the large-diameter alloy axle assemblies easily come apart with standard tools if and when service is needed, and serrated steel axle end inserts provide a sure, slip-free grip on dropouts and fork tips.