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One wheel two-ways.
We hear 'versatility' tossed around a lot in wheel talk, but Fulcrum’s Racing 3 2-Way Fit Wheelset makes us take a second look. The stiff rim construction and smooth-rolling hubs make them great for training and racing. But what sets them apart is the choice you have to run them with clincher or tubeless tires.
2-Way Fit is Fulcrum's way of describing the rim construction that is suitable for both tubeless and clincher tires. Tubeless tires have been used in the mountain bike world for years for the superior ride they provide. Running your wheels tubeless provides superior traction since you can run the tires at a lower pressure without worrying about rolling the bead off the rim. Additionally, running a tubeless set up on your road bike eliminates the pinch and snake bite flats you’d get with regular clinchers. These benefits are akin to what you get from tubular tires, but with an easier instillation process.
If you look on the inside of the semi-aero profiled 2-Way rim, you'll see that it has no spoke holes. This eliminates the need for rim strips and paves the way for tubeless tire installation. In order to get the spoke nipples in position to fix the bladed stainless steel spokes, Fulcrum uses a magnet to draw them into their respective seats using the valve stem hole as an insertion point. The burnished stainless steel spokes are anchored to an oversized aluminum hub shell that spins on Fulcrum's smooth-running stainless bearings around an aluminum axle, and cup-and-cone system. The Racing 3 uses an anti-rotation attachment system to keep the oval aero spokes slicing cleanly through the wind as intended.
When you look at the rims together, you’ll notice they differ slightly in depth. The front sits 26 mm high and the rear, 30mm. These small depth differences make cross winds less noticeable, and on the rear wheel, give you better power transfer. Both rims have been machined between the spoke holes to reduce any extra weight and feature Fulcrum's Dynamic Balance System. On the Racing 3's, this means that it lacks the machining near the valve stem hole. The tiny mass of remaining aluminum, acts to balance the weight of the opposing rim joint. The front wheel has 16 radially laced spokes, and the rear has 21 spokes using Fulcrum's Two-to-One pattern -- the non-drive side has 7 radial spokes and the drive side uses 14 tangentially laced spokes anchored to the oversized right side flange on the rear hub. The Two-to-One pattern ensures a greater transfer of your power input and a better balance of tension in the wheel for greater trueness and durability.
Going tubeless always calls into question what to do if you get a flat. The good news is, if you puncture the tire mid-ride you can unthread the 2-Way Fit valve and install a standard inner tube. Or, alternatively, you can run your Racing 3's like standard non-tubeless clinchers with whatever tire/tube combo you'd like.
The Fulcrum Racing 3 2-Way Fit wheels comes with stainless-steel bodied quick releases with aluminum dies. They are available with either Campy or Shimano/SRAM compatible freehub bodies. Note: The Shimano/SRAM freehub is compatible with an 11-speed cassette.