Why arnt my LBS recommending Fulcrums?

Haynes
Haynes Posts: 670
edited November 2010 in Road buying advice
With Planet X's sale Fulcrums seem a good price, i was considering either 1s or 3s.

Ive been around 4 of the decent LBS, they do all stock Fulcrums, but they have all steared me towards Mavics (K elites or even r-sys) or Shimano RS80s.

When ive asked about fulcrums they all seemed non committal and moved back to Mavics.

So whats lacking with the Fulcrums? Are they falling behind technically, are they unreliable, less serviceable?

Ive not read any bad reviews, but havent seen real rave reviews either.
<hr><font>The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.</font>

Comments

  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,459
    they probably make more on mavics. i'm not the most experienced cyclist bu my fuclrum racing 1s have been spot on and were bought after reommendations on here
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • wicked
    wicked Posts: 844
    Fulcrums are supposed to be quite reliable but the spokes are a tad difficult to replace. One mechanic told me they are a sick joke!
    It’s the most beautiful sport in the world but it’s governed by ***ts who have turned it into a crock of ****.
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    wicked wrote:
    Fulcrums are supposed to be quite reliable but the spokes are a tad difficult to replace. One mechanic told me they are a sick joke!



    yep need a magnet and a steel insert to get the nipples into place.

    Nothing wrong with the wheels though.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • satanas
    satanas Posts: 1,303
    Fulcrum wheels are made by Campag; the brand basically exists to pacify Shimano and Sram owners.

    All Campag wheels and/or rims I have ever had the misfortune to remove or fit *any* tyres from have been extremely tight fitting indeed, irrespective of what brand/size/model/age of tyre was involved. They are all utter, utter ba$tards to deal with in this regard. I personally would thus never buy any, and would immediately sell any I was given - life is too short to struggle so hard. My experience with these rims/wheels stretches over quite a few years in bike shops, so it's not like I tried one and threw in the towel. Virtually every other rim manufacturer manages to make it possible to fit and remove tyres with much less drama than Campag/Fulcrum, for instance Mavic, Shimano, Velocity, Bontrager, etc, etc.

    Maybe your bike shop doesn't like broken thumbs, and is trying to save both you and themselves some pain...

    NB: Those who put their religion down as "Campagnolo" on census forms should not bother replying; we already know what your opinion is.
  • In the instructions that come with Campag wheels you are advised to use tyre levers to fit the tyres. Obviously you need to do this carefuly to avoid nipping the inner tube. I can understand your frustration if you have perservered trying to fit tyres by hand on these rims. Bashed thumbs are not pleasant.
  • My lbs owner is an ex pro bike racer, not tha tmuch into bike tech (i.e. he doesn't read these forums). He generally goes by his experience of what comes into the shop for repair. I was interested in fulcrum 1's, but he steered me away from fulcrum on the basis that a part in the rear hub had broken on some fulcrum wheels that were sold as original equipment on ridley bikes, one incident happened when the rider was sprinting and suddenly there was no resistance anymore and his crotch made contact with the top tube..ouch! lbs man reckons that mavic have the best support service, e.g. if you need to source a hub body a few years down the line you can get one easily enough. he is also a fan of handbuilt wheels using dura ace hubs. I went for the ksyrium sl. So far they seem fine, butso far the finish on the spokes is not durable imo.
  • satanas wrote:
    Fulcrum wheels are made by Campag; the brand basically exists to pacify Shimano and Sram owners.

    All Campag wheels and/or rims I have ever had the misfortune to remove or fit *any* tyres from have been extremely tight fitting indeed, irrespective of what brand/size/model/age of tyre was involved. They are all utter, utter ba$tards to deal with in this regard. I personally would thus never buy any, and would immediately sell any I was given - life is too short to struggle so hard. My experience with these rims/wheels stretches over quite a few years in bike shops, so it's not like I tried one and threw in the towel. Virtually every other rim manufacturer manages to make it possible to fit and remove tyres with much less drama than Campag/Fulcrum, for instance Mavic, Shimano, Velocity, Bontrager, etc, etc.

    Maybe your bike shop doesn't like broken thumbs, and is trying to save both you and themselves some pain...

    NB: Those who put their religion down as "Campagnolo" on census forms should not bother replying; we already know what your opinion is.

    It can be infuriating though good technique helps enormously. Two sensible responses:

    - Tight tyres are actually much safer.
    - Not all campagnolo models are the same in this regard. Shamal Ultras are easy to remove and install tyres on. During 4 years ownership I've installed and removed PR2s, PR3s, GP4000s, GP4000Ss, Vittoria CGs and CXs, Open Paves etc. etc. Look around forums and you'll see this is common experience.

    But yes, SOME of their rims are tight, not denying that.
  • +1 on tight fitting rims... much more difficult to remove/fit my conti GP4s on to the fulcrum Racing 1 rim than my Shim RS20

    to be honest for the normal price of the fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset you your in Dura ace territory. and thats what I'd get
    Crafted in Italy apparantly
  • i have the fulcrum 1's and 5's along with Campag Scirrocco's. Very good wheel. A lbs told me that Fulcrum wheels rarely go out of true and they lock tight the nipples making them a bugger to service!!!!!

    with regards to tyre fit ive not had a prob. 4000s, gatorskins, wiliers cst's, michellins krylions, rubino pros and also rubino evo corsa cx's. Only ones that have been a slight prob have been wire beaded tyres which needed a single lever to get started.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    My Eurus (same as Fulcrum 1s) haven't needed truing (never mind spoke replacement) in three years of heavy use. All I've done to them is strip and re-lube the hubs once or twice. Great all-round wheels. Personally I don't have a problem with the tyres either (Pro3s) - never needed levers to get any tyre ON a rim. It really is just down to technique.

    Your LBS probably just have stock they want to shift which is why they are steering you towards Mavic and Shimano. That said, the Dura Ace wheels are very good by all accounts.
  • Velonutter
    Velonutter Posts: 2,437
    satanas wrote:
    Fulcrum wheels are made by Campag; the brand basically exists to pacify Shimano and Sram owners.

    All Campag wheels and/or rims I have ever had the misfortune to remove or fit *any* tyres from have been extremely tight fitting indeed, irrespective of what brand/size/model/age of tyre was involved. They are all utter, utter ba$tards to deal with in this regard. I personally would thus never buy any, and would immediately sell any I was given - life is too short to struggle so hard. My experience with these rims/wheels stretches over quite a few years in bike shops, so it's not like I tried one and threw in the towel. Virtually every other rim manufacturer manages to make it possible to fit and remove tyres with much less drama than Campag/Fulcrum, for instance Mavic, Shimano, Velocity, Bontrager, etc, etc.

    Maybe your bike shop doesn't like broken thumbs, and is trying to save both you and themselves some pain...

    NB: Those who put their religion down as "Campagnolo" on census forms should not bother replying; we already know what your opinion is.

    I have Fulcrums 5's on my training bike, 7's on my Turbo Bike with a Turbo Tyre, Shamals on my race bike and my Son-in-law has Euros on his bike and Ventos on his trainer and without any exception the tyres go on beautifully.

    When new they are perfect as well, we use Pro 3's, Lithion 1's & 2's, Schwalbe Blizzards, Rubinos and a whole host of other tyres and without exception there is never a problem, I always make sure though that the tyre sits on the rim tape before pushing the final part on, on used tyres I can fit by hand.

    If you are local then would gladly help.

    NB Never had a Campag wheel need truing and did 6000 miles last year and aim to do more this year.
  • Haynes
    Haynes Posts: 670
    neeb wrote:
    My Eurus (same as Fulcrum 1s) haven't needed truing (never mind spoke replacement) in three years of heavy use. All I've done to them is strip and re-lube the hubs once or twice. Great all-round wheels. Personally I don't have a problem with the tyres either (Pro3s) - never needed levers to get any tyre ON a rim. It really is just down to technique.

    Your LBS probably just have stock they want to shift which is why they are steering you towards Mavic and Shimano. That said, the Dura Ace wheels are very good by all accounts.

    I was considering Fulcrums 1s as there good prices at the mo, or Mavic SLs which i prefer the look of, however i'm starting to go off those wide bladed spokes. Having read the reviews and comments on here I am starting to think Dura Ace. I'm less than 65kg and tend to get excited on the climbs, so starting to think i would enjoy a lighter climbing wheel more. I always fancied some mon chasserels but they seem to have a reputation as being a bit delicate.
    <hr><font>The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.</font>
  • i have Fulcrum 1 - they are brilliant - the hubs are so smooth - much better than the old mavics i used to have
    Rims may be tight, but thats more down to the age of the tyres I have found. But i have hit potholes hard and I am not a light cyclist and they are still round !!
  • on-yer-bike
    on-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Putting Gatorskins on Neutrons was extremely tough. I had to buy a special tyre lever. Fellow cyclists with the same combo had the same trouble.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • Got fulcrum racing 3's. Nice wheels , tight fitting tyres but had real trouble getting a spoke when one popped. The uk importer where less than helpful.

    But the wheels are excellent and have stayed true despite lots of rough road

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  • fearby
    fearby Posts: 245
    The mark up for the dealer is higher for Shimano stuff.

    End of.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    I got the same advice from two LBS about 2/3yrs ago when i couldn't make my mind up on Mavic SLs of fulcrum 1s... The Fulcrums are a pain in the ass to work on and that i'll have fun with tyres! I've still got that set of bomb proof SLs but i do prefer Shimano 7850cl and the RS80s.
  • Firstly I have got to say yes Campag/Fulcrum wheel are tight (the first time you fit the tyre) but after that they are not so bad. I didn't find Shimano Ultegras any easier.

    I've had both Fulcrum and Campagnolo road wheels. They've been great. The spoke story is utter nonsense. With Mavic, Shimano, Fulcrum or pretty much any "fancy" factory wheel you are in trouble if you break a spoke since spokes are often funky aero, oversized, crazy length/material etc.

    Mavic wheels a couple of years ago were a laughing stock (although I think they've fixed most of their problems now).

    Frankly the LBS is the last place I'd go for advice. The answer will be, whatever they make most money on/can get.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    The LBS may have good reason for trying to sell you one brand over another. If the shop has had problems with a certain brand then of course they will try to steer you toward one in which they have fewer issues. These "issues" could range from customers not being satisfied with one brand over another or maybe the manufacturer of a certain brand is harder to deal with or not really all that helpful with warranty issues. As for pricing, well, I'm sure they will try to sell you the wheel that they make the most on and have the least problems with. Only makes sense for them.
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    Hmmm. The Fulcrum 1s may seem good value with ~£200, but the DA wheels SL or CL have a lot of good things said about them.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    I think somebody needs a new LBS! We all read reviews on the net and get recommendations from mates but sometimes it's worth a trip to the LBS for a word, they work on them day in day out and they get feedback from riders. A good LBS isn't gong to recommend crap because they'll lose your custom, their bread and butter.
    As for mavic... there was nothing up with mavic a couple of years ago, my Ksyrium Sls are still running true and smooth after that length of time, and i had a set of Elites for near on 4 years that were bullet proof through summer and winter.
    If you're looking in the £500 range, no question.. Dura ace 7850CL.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    I don't believe that there are many "really crap" mid to high range wheelsets. Every once in a while a manufacturer makes a model that has some fatal flaw (for lack of better words) in it, but thay's not the norm. There are lots of wheels out there that the LBS can work on and there are more than a few that require the shop to send back to the factory.
    If I owned a shop I would sure steer customers toward wheels that I could work on.
    It saves time, money, and having the customer wonder when he will ever see his wheel
    again.