How much more black could Fulcrum’s new wheels be? The answer is none more

by Ronan Mc Laughlin


Fulcrum has today announced two new CMPTZN performance-oriented road wheels that sit a rung above the standard Speed 40 and 55 DB models.

Joining the shallow-section Racing Zero Carbon CMPTZN DB that debuted in April, the new aero-minded Speed 40 and Speed 55 CMPTZN DB wheels, named after their rim depth, have a similarly classic all-black appearance and have been designed to be marginally lighter with lower rolling resistance than their older siblings. Working with team Cofidis, Fulcrum says it wanted to create a range of off-the-shelf wheels that would meet the demands of Elia Viviani and company in UCI WorldTour races.

The biggest upgrade relative to the standard Speed models is the inclusion of Fulcrum’s highest-end CULT adjustable bearings, built with ceramic balls and cryogenically treated steel races to reduce rolling resistance. In fact, the CULT bearings are supposedly so precisely machined and so corrosion-resistant that no grease is needed for lubrication. A drop of oil is all that’s needed, which Fulcrum says further reduces the hub’s rolling friction.

Tested at 500 rpm, wheels with the CULT bearings are claimed to take 45 minutes to stop spinning. On another positive note, the CULT bearings weigh 10 g less per set than the USB bearings in the Speed 40 and 55 DB wheels.

The front hub gets the matte black and carbon treatment.

Fulcrum has gone with a black-on-black color scheme intended to bring a decidedly racy and timeless look to the wheels. The minimalist design was only one factor in Fulcrum’s decision to go for this darker look, though. The black graphics are also said to be lighter than the brighter appearance of other Fulcrum wheels, although exactly how much lighter Fulcrum has not specified. To complement the darker appearance of the rims, Fulcrum has also given the new hubs the matte black treatment.

The matte black graphics on the CMPTZN wheels look great, but are they really actually lighter, too?

The new wheels get the same full-carbon, tubeless-compatible rim with a 26.5 mm external width, 19 mm internal width, and a woven finish that is said to “optimize elastic responsiveness of the rim”. The CMPTZN wheels also get 21 spokes per wheel with a 2-to-1 lacing pattern just like the Speed 40 and 55 DB.

With these upgrades applied, the new wheels weigh in at 1,460 g for the 40 CMPTZN and 1,570 g for the 55 CMPTZN – exactly 10 g lighter than the standard Speed versions. Given that the bearings are said to provide a saving of 10 g, though, the claimed weight-saving properties of the darker graphics seems dubious at best.

The Speed 40 and 55 CMPTZN DB wheels are available now in a limited quantity with an increase in production to follow in February 2021. Retail price is US$2,810-2,821 / £2,600 / €2,250-2,259 (Australian pricing is to be confirmed).

More information can be found at www.fulcrumwheels.com.

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