Fulcrum announced the launch of it’s new Racing Zero "Nite" wheelset this week, which they claim is stronger, lighter and provides better braking than previous Racing Zero models.
While details are still forthcoming, Fulcrum says that the "Nites" feature a completely new treatment process, they call – Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation.
According to Fulcrum, said treatment process both hardens the metal, increasing its resistance to wear, which in turn creates a surface that improves braking performance in both wet and dry conditions.
In addition, the front hub has also been modified and lightened slightly with a slimmer and smaller profile. As before, the front rim is 26mm deep while the rear one is 30mm.
According to Fulcrum, the Racing Zero Nite will be available soon, and will be offered with both Shimano and Campagnolo free hub bodies.
As of yet, Fulcrum has not announced exact pricing or a launch date, but we suspect that it will become available prior to this year’s InterBike show.
The Fulcrum Zero wheel has come to be the standard for performance in aluminum racing wheelsets for road racing and as such there was little room for improvement. However, the engineers at the Fulcrum research and development department are never content to leave good enough alone and their consistent drive to improve each and every product by examining even the smallest detail would not allow them to accept the universally respected and trusted Racing Zero in its current form. The task of improving such a well-functioning wheel was to be difﬁcult and at no point in the development process did they want to change what was already extremely high performing and durable. The only way to maintain the advanced performance characteristics of this wheel while still maintaining its extremely reliable and sturdy construction was to further improve the capability of the Racing Zero under braking. Countless trials, tests and hours of research were put forth and in the end, RACING ZERO NITE was born as the newest solution in the Racing Zero lineage of performance aluminum wheels.
As noted earlier, it was a clear design imperative that the performance characteristics, solid construction and overall reliability of this wheelset remain constant as efforts to lighten, stiffen or alter the construction in any way could alter what has proven to be one of the most trusted wheels ever produced. With this being said, upon ﬁrst inspection it is quite obvious that the structure and design of the wheel remains mostly unaltered from its previous version apart from a noticeable change in color. This new darker complexion for the Racing Zero would be the basis of the Nite moniker which represents a completely new treatment process applied to the rim. This new process, Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation, serves not only to give the wheel a beautiful new aesthetic but also to improve braking performance. The Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation process both hardens the metal, increasing its resistance to wear, in addition to creating a surface that improves braking performance in both wet and dry conditions. Speciﬁcally developed for use with internally developed Fulcrum Carbon Speciﬁc red brake pads this new wheel provides an added element of versatility for those wishing to race their carbon wheels and train with aluminum. For those wishing to train and race atop the ultra-performance aluminum wheels the surefooted braking will allow them to brake later and brake more efﬁciently in all conditions.
Perhaps less noticeable is the newly modiﬁed front hub which will take on a slimmer and smaller proﬁle. This new design translates into a slight weight reduction without any hindrance of performance.
The rear hub remains relatively unchanged from the original version as both front and rear hubs enjoy oversized ﬂanges that contribute to torsional stiffness and greater power transfer as well as carbon construction to aid in weight savings. Efﬁciency is also guaranteed thanks to the fantastic USB ceramic bearings that roll smoothly without sapping precious energy in your quest to move forward.
Combine these performance characteristics to the tested and proven differentiated rim proﬁles, 26mm front and 30mm rear, in a lightweight but sturdy triple milled construction, and you have one of the most race ready wheels available. Available in both Shimano Inc and Campagnolo freehub bodies the Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite will be available in the ﬁnest cycling shops worldwide soon.
For those who have come to love the classic Fulcrum Racing Zero there is reason for celebration as the original wheel will carry over and continue to be available. The same Fulcrum Racing Zero product whose performance has made it a superstar in the aluminum racing wheel category will be included in the 2015 model year at an even more accessible price point.
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