Fulcrum Racing 5 CX Review
comprehensive seal than the road version.
Fulcrum uses cartridge bearings in the Racing 5 CX , but the extra seal is critical for ensuring protection from the elements in the slop of a British, winter cyclo-cross course.
When I first took the wheels out of the box, the hubs felt slightly stiff when spun, raising some concern about the tradeoff between the durability of the extra seal and the free spinning nature of a less-protected bearing set. However, after a month of riding, the bearings are smooth and fast; the Campagnolo heritage of beautiful, free-running bearings lives on in these wheels.
During the testing period I used these wheels for cyclo-cross training rides, road training rides, and in a couple of cyclo-cross races. How did they perform?
The first test was an unscientific and unintentional one at a local cyclo-cross race. My current clincher race/training wheel of choice is a Shimano RS-20 wheelset equipped with Michelin Mud 2 tyres. A tried and true, usually durable combination, these wheels seemed the best choice for a grassy, sloppy disaster of a course on which I flatted the front immediately and the rear shortly thereafter.
After sloshing through the slop of the worst cyclo-cross course in Britain for 5 minutes, I reached the pits and swapped for the Racing 5 CXs front and rear, a wheelset I had never ridden before.
You can see the exposed bearing without the secondary seal and dustcap in this shot. Notice as well the two light coloured spokes. These two heavier spokes offset the weight of the seam opposite them and the valve hole between them. This ensures the wheel is evenly balanced around its circumference. Fulcrum calls this “Dynamic Balance”.
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