New Fulcrum Sharq all-road wheel review: Wonderful wavy wheels for big, fast miles

Exceptional in crosswinds, sure-footed downhill, and beautifully silent too

New fulcrum sharq wheels
(Image: © Will Jones)

Cyclingnews Verdict

Exceptional wheels that are really at their best on long, fast sections of undulating terrain. Brilliant in windy conditions too.

Pros

  • +

    Incredibly stable in crosswinds

  • +

    Brilliant descenders

  • +

    Effectively silent and wonderfully smooth

Cons

  • -

    Differential to other wheels is less at lower speeds

  • -

    Cup and cone bearings may be a negative to some

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Wavy wheels aren’t anything new, even in the gravel scene, but they are still unusual and not something many of us see on a group ride let alone get to ride. Zipp has its 353 NSW and 454 NSW, and while the 454 is touted as an all-out road wheelset, the 353 has all-terrain ambitions. I wouldn’t say it’s a gravel wheelset, but it’s certainly all-road-esque. Likewise, Princeton’s Grit 4540 wheelset is wavy and billed as an all-road contender.

The new Sharq wheelset from Fulcrum is a first for the Italian brand in two senses. It is most obviously the brand’s first foray into wavy rim profiles, but it’s also the first wheelset the company has put out that’s advertised as an all-road product. Previously wheelsets fell into either road (Racing, Wind, or Speed wheelsets), or gravel (Rapid Red wheelsets). I am writing this before the wheels have been released to the public, but my suspicion is that, despite the marketing, these will sit within the ‘gravel’ section of the website and would be a contender for our guide to the best gravel wheels

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Testing scorecard and notes
Design and aestheticsGood looking, with neat aesthetics and a novel rim profile. Cup and cone may be a drawback to some though.9/10
PerformanceOn the right terrain - flowing all-road and fast gravel - they are exceptional, smooth, and silent 10/10
WeightA little heavier than the 454NSW, but not by much, and this is with a wider rim profile9/10
Tubeless CompatibilityNo tape needed, and while my seating was a bit of a struggle, once seated they were perfectly airtight8/10
ValueExpensive, but you get what you pay for. Not a bargain, but certainly not a ripoff either. 8/10
OverallRow 5 - Cell 1 88%

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Will Jones
Tech Writer

Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. There are very few types of cycling he's not dabbled in, and he has a particular affection for older bikes and long lasting components. Road riding was his first love, before graduating to racing CX in Yorkshire. He's been touring on a vintage tandem all the way through to fixed gear gravel riding and MTB too. When he's not out riding one of his many bikes he can usually be found in the garage tinkering with another of them, or getting obsessive about tyres. Also, as he doesn't use Zwift, he's our go-to guy for bad weather testing... bless him.

Rides: Custom Zetland Audax, Bowman Palace:R, Peugeot Grand Tourisme Tandem, Falcon Explorer Tracklocross, Fairlight Secan & Strael