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Fulcrum Racing 3, Campy Zonda, Other?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Fulcrum Racing 3, Campy Zonda, Other?

Old 02-03-19, 09:37 AM
  #1  
puma1552
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Fulcrum Racing 3, Campy Zonda, Other?

Looking at upgrading the bargain-basement Shimano RS010 C15 clinchers on my Shimano-equipped Colnago with another set of traditional alloy clinchers. Budget for wheel set is probably sub-$500. Anything has to be better than the $100 RS010 wheels, no?

I've looked at some other Shimano wheel sets, but they don't really do it for me looks-wise, I guess, and I can't seem to really find any good deals on them anyway. I've since honed in on C17 Fulcrum Racing 3 or Campy Zonda, which I realize are the same wheel other than looks and maybe freehub sound.

I'm 170 lbs, but trying to reduce that. Wheel set is just for general riding, pretty flat. Not concerned about aero or climbing, just need a solid, reliable wheel set that stays true and is light enough over my current set to be worth spending the money.

-I'd like the Campys just because they would be fitting on an Italian bike, even though the bike has Shimano running gear. That said, I don't really care for the Zonda rear wheel lacing pattern.

-The Fulcrums rear lacing pattern looks nicer to me, and seems like a safer bet for my dad-bod.

-In all honesty, I kind of wish both wheel sets were a bit "louder" - they are pretty understated, which is fine for an Italian bike, but I have to admit I kind of like louder looking wheelsets.

-I don't know which wheel set has a quieter Shimano freehub, I don't like freehubs that make people turn and look because they are so loud. I've seen so many things saying on both that the hubs are silent but 1000 miles in they are loud AF.

-The Fulcrums can be had for just $40 more than the Campys.

-I don't know that either wheel has a slight advantage over the other in terms of lacing pattern.

So, questions:

1) Which would you pick and why?

2) Any advantage to one over the other?

3) Any others I should be considering?

Current Zonda:



Current Fulcrum 3:



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Old 02-03-19, 10:49 AM
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I just went thru the same thing. What value priced wheelset to get? I don't believe in dropping big money on wheels. When guys with $2K wheels can drop me because of the wheels, then I may reconsider but most can't and most of the guys I ride with have deep section carbon wheels.

I just built a new bike. 2018 Cervelo R3. Its been a work in progress and started life with Di2 and now its mostly Campy with some Shimano parts I like. I went with the Zonda's.

Btw, the bike came with Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels which I found to be excellent as well.
https://road.cc/content/review/16668...elite-wheelset

I switched them to another bike and decided that the Zonda's with their more understated aesthetic suited the Cervelo better. I can't tell you which wheelset I prefer...the Mavics or the Zonda's. Almost the same weight and stiffness....Zonda's maybe a hint stiffer...about the same 15xx grams in weight...both with now more popular 17mm internal rim width which melds nicely with 25c tires aerodynamically.

I will say this Cervelo with these wheels is a very fast bike. It just wants to run and my times over my route are lower and average speed is generally higher for same weather conditions compared to other bikes I own. Not a lot but noticeable.. Bike probably matters more than the wheels...mostly aerodynamics but suffice to say the Zonda wheels are fast enough. I prefer the G3 spoke lacing in back FWIW. Go read some reviews and I believe you will be ok with it. For the $$ to me and many others, the Zonda's are Campy's best value wheelset and I have Fulcrums on other bikes. I believe Campy and Fulcrum are perhaps the best production value wheels on the market or certainly top 5. Have had great luck with them.

As to price and solid supplier, likely any of the on line bike shops out of the UK. I bought these a couple of months back from Chain Reaction...an excellent UK supplier and paid a modest $351.00 shipped to the US. A footnote is, these Zondas have the quietest rear hub I have heard among Campy wheels...with Shimano freehub btw because I run Ultegra 11s cassettes with Campy groupsets.

Dark pic of my bike. The bike is deep blue with red accents and the frameset is as good as all the reviews says it it...all Cervelo knows about bike development when into it and that's a lot.

Btw, you are not heavy for a bike rider. I am the same size as Kittel at 180 lbs even though he can put out twice the watts that I can...or almost. One of my best friends now in his late 40's raced for Trek at 190 lbs. Of course he was a sprinter then and massively strong.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28363129

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Old 02-03-19, 11:30 AM
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Easton Ea90 SA are a great bargain. Weigh 1490 grams, 27mm high 19.5 internal width and 24.5 external width.
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Old 02-03-19, 12:45 PM
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I have a set of the race 3s with 20k on them and never had a problem with them. I did change them over to 11 spd and rode them a few thousand miles that way. I seen a set of Shimano C35 RS 81 on sale new and I did buy them just to try them and I think they rode a little better. I have a little over 3k on them now and I think they are a nice wheel as well.
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Old 02-03-19, 01:18 PM
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@Puma1552 may I offer two suggestions.

If you can afford it, move up to Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels. They are strong, the hubs are bombproof and roll smmothly, the tires are easy to mount and remove.I have those in the C59 and C60 and they are great wheels/hubs.

The other suggestion are the Ambrose Excellence wheels mated to Campy Record hubs. Again, this set up is bombproof, repairs are easy and tires come off and back on easily. They are not expensive at all. I have Ambrose on the Master and the Bottecchia and I also love them.

Good luck.
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Old 02-03-19, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
@Puma1552 may I offer two suggestions.

If you can afford it, move up to Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels. They are strong, the hubs are bombproof and roll smmothly, the tires are easy to mount and remove.I have those in the C59 and C60 and they are great wheels/hubs.

The other suggestion are the Ambrose Excellence wheels mated to Campy Record hubs. Again, this set up is bombproof, repairs are easy and tires come off and back on easily. They are not expensive at all. I have Ambrose on the Master and the Bottecchia and I also love them.

Good luck.
What do you believe the benefit of the Zero's are over the 3's or the Zonda?...other than twice the price and a harsher ride?
Not disputing they aren't great wheels but Zero's are knocking on the door of carbon wheels which an aero advantage at the same weight.
Just don't see it or I would be on them. My opinion of course.
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Old 02-03-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
What do you believe the benefit of the Zero's are over the 3's or the Zonda?...other than twice the price and a harsher ride?
Not disputing they aren't great wheels but Zero's are knocking on the door of carbon wheels which an aero advantage at the same weight.
Just don't see it or I would be on them. My opinion of course.
I have not noticed a harsher ride and I have ridden other Campy and Fulcrum wheels.

Tires are easy to mount and the hubs are sweet.

I like the Zeros enough to own two sets of them. The Zeros that I use with the C60 are the Nite versions. Beautiful wheels with great braking performance (they do require Campy blue compound brake pads).

I don’t know what else to tell you. I like ‘em, I buy ‘em, I recommend ‘em.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:27 PM
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Well, I own several sets of Zonda/Racing 3s as well as some Shamal, Eurus and Racing 0. For the one's the OP is asking about I'll just say that both seem to work fine for me, have been trouble free and are still quiet. I'm more in the 190-200 lb range nowdays and tend to ride fast or rough chipseal roads. I usually do 5000-8000 miles a year although this is shared among my 20 some bikes. I have never had to touch a spoke on any of the Zonda/Racing 3. And to be honest, all the other wheels have shown me is that they are more expensive while not making me any faster.




Zonda




Racing 3





Racing 3


I should mention that when I need a new wheelset it's hard to consider anything but the Zonda's or Racing 3s. I just pick whichever I can find the cheapest from one of the UK sites.
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Old 02-09-19, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Well, I own several sets of Zonda/Racing 3s as well as some Shamal, Eurus and Racing 0.

I should mention that when I need a new wheelset it's hard to consider anything but the Zonda's or Racing 3s. I just pick whichever I can find the cheapest from one of the UK sites.
Then there's now also seemingly FR 400/500/600s, eg below, but I can't tell exactly what these are about or really even find the specs (weight, depth),
https://www.merlincycles.com/fulcrum...es-124714.html

Also.. is Campy or Fulcum back yet to offering 2-way fit in the 3s/Zonda series?
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Old 02-09-19, 10:04 AM
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This pair of Scirocco wheels meets your loud requirement, but the price really isn't great. I have a pair and they work fine, but the Zonda is a better wheel, with cup and cone bearings, rather than cartridge bearings. https://www.amazon.com/Campagnolo-Sc.../dp/B07BT528VK

I also have the Zonda wheelset on another bike. The rim does not require a rim strip, like the Scirocco does.

probikekit.com has a lot better prices for Campy wheels.

https://www.probikekit.com/bicycle-w.../11479772.html

https://www.probikekit.com/elysium.s...earch=wheelset

As for two-way fit, you have to get the Racing 3 Fulcrum or Campy Eurus or higher level wheelset.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 02-09-19 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-09-19, 02:30 PM
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Lots of great info and suggestions in here, still thinking about stuff.

Any thoughts on Campy Neutron Ultras? Starting to get into angry wife rolling her eyes territory pricewise, but...

https://www.probikekit.com/bicycle-w.../10864796.html

Dealing with rim tape on these would kind of suck though.

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Old 02-09-19, 03:44 PM
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Sounds like you are moving on possibly, but back to the Zonda vs Race 3. I went through this thought process a few years ago and ended up going with the Zonda's because I found a great deal at Merlin Cycle. Great set of wheels. I rode them 3000'ish miles before I went to disc and they were flawless. Hit a few really destructive potholes with them and they never came out of true. Great quality wheel.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:17 AM
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The neutron would be fine if you really do a lot of climbing and you're in top shape (low weight for climbing), but if you're just a recreational rider like most of us, the Zonda is a sweet deal - quite a bit cheaper and only 80 grams heavier. They do require the magnet to fish a nipple into the rim, if a spoke ever needs changing. Some would suggest buying a Campy spoke replacement kit that has a mix of front and rear spokes, in case any are ever needed.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:58 PM
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Seems like the Neutrons don't really do anything great compared to Zondas/3s but climb. Otherwise they are heavy, not even mildly aero at all, need rim tape, and consistent reports of being far heavier than Campy claims.

Still keep coming back to the Zondas/3s for general purpose riding.

Purely out of vanity, which of those two do you guys think looks better? I still keep thinking the 3 has a nicer looking lacing pattern for the rear and really nice milling on the rim.

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Old 02-16-19, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post

The most important question of all! Are either of you bothered by the seemingly bizarre placement of the valve stem hole on the rear, both with respect to the spokes as well as the decal on the rim, especially once considering centering the tire logos with the valve stem?

Seems like Campy could've put the valve stem hole in the center between two sets of spokes, and matched the decal to that as well - they did a nice job centering everything on the front wheel so not sure what's going on with the rear, unless this has something to do with the rim dynamic balance on the rear. Not a dealbreaker, but just seems like a bizarre design choice that I didn't notice earlier.

I'm switching between 3s and Zondas on a daily basis at this point, can't make up my mind but these seem like the logical choice at the sub-$500 price point for recreational riding.
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Old 02-16-19, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
The most important question of all! Are either of you bothered by the seemingly bizarre placement of the valve stem hole on the rear, both with respect to the spokes as well as the decal on the rim, especially once considering centering the tire logos with the valve stem?

Seems like Campy could've put the valve stem hole in the center between two sets of spokes, and matched the decal to that as well - they did a nice job centering everything on the front wheel so not sure what's going on with the rear, unless this has something to do with the rim dynamic balance on the rear. Not a dealbreaker, but just seems like a bizarre design choice that I didn't notice earlier.

I'm switching between 3s and Zondas on a daily basis at this point, can't make up my mind but these seem like the logical choice at the sub-$500 price point for recreational riding.
Well....it matters to me so much that I didn't notice until you pointed it out. And you know what, it still matters just that much to me, LOL!
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Old 02-16-19, 07:50 PM
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Lol.

Welp, **** it, I ordered the Zondas! $360 to my door from wiggle with a $10 new customer discount. Loud-ass freehub it is I guess, seems like all options that I'd actually buy at this price point are this way - guess it's a motivator to work harder on myself between now and May when the season starts here so when heads are turning at the obnoxious hub sound, they aren't seeing a dad bod and instead are seeing a sexy svelte cyclist...

Can't wait!

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Old 02-17-19, 06:27 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Lol.

Welp, **** it, I ordered the Zondas! $360 to my door from wiggle with a $10 new customer discount. Loud-ass freehub it is I guess, seems like all options that I'd actually buy at this price point are this way - guess it's a motivator to work harder on myself between now and May when the season starts here so when heads are turning at the obnoxious hub sound, they aren't seeing a dad bod and instead are seeing a sexy svelte cyclist...

Can't wait!
Pretty sure your hubs or your body are not going to be turning heads but enjoy your new wheels
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Old 02-17-19, 06:43 AM
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Good choice. Mind you, I might be biased, as I have those on my fast bike. Yes, they are noisy, but you'd be amazed how quickly you get used to that.
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Old 02-17-19, 07:13 AM
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I don't get the concern about hub noise. Except on descents I'm pretty much on the gas all the time while riding and as such don't hear anything from my wheels. Coasting is not riding, LOL!
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Old 02-17-19, 07:56 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I don't get the concern about hub noise. Except on descents I'm pretty much on the gas all the time while riding and as such don't hear anything from my wheels. Coasting is not riding, LOL!
I suppose this is true...you really do spend 90% of the time spinning the pedals no matter how nice the bike or how nice the hubs.

Wheels will be here Thursday, will need to pick up a couple tubes and a set of GP 5000s as well as a lock ring tool and a chain whip to swap my cassette over and I should be good.
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Old 02-17-19, 08:48 AM
  #22  
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^ Sounds good, let us know what you think about them.
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Old 02-17-19, 08:52 AM
  #23  
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I did have a couple questions, having never bought a set of wheels before -

1) I know these come with a checklist from the person that assembled them, so I'm assuming they SHOULD be true right out of the box and shouldn't need any servicing before mounting tires/cassette and putting on the bike, right?

2) Does anyone know if the QR skewers that come with these are quality/reliable internal cam skewers? When it comes to skewers, I care a lot more about reliability than I do about weight and I won't use any that aren't internal cam style.

3) I'll be transferring my existing, nearly new cassette over to the new wheel. I shouldn't need to make any adjustments whatsoever to derailleur limit screws or anything at all, right? When the cassette is transferred to the new wheel and that new wheel is on the bike, that cassette should be sitting in exactly the same place as it did before with respect to the rest of the drivetrain, right?

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Old 02-17-19, 09:15 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
I did have a couple questions, having never bought a set of wheels before -

1) I know these come with a checklist from the person that assembled them, so I'm assuming they SHOULD be true right out of the box and shouldn't need any servicing before mounting tires/cassette and putting on the bike, right?

2) Does anyone know if the QR skewers that come with these are quality/reliable internal cam skewers? When it comes to skewers, I care a lot more about reliability than I do about weight and I won't use any that aren't internal cam style.

3) I'll be transferring my existing, nearly new cassette over to the new wheel. I shouldn't need to make any adjustments whatsoever to derailleur limit screws or anything at all, right? When the cassette is transferred to the new wheel and that new wheel is on the bike, that cassette should be sitting in exactly the same place as it did before with respect to the rest of the drivetrain, right?
1) Right
2) Should be Type20 skewers which am fairly certain are internal cam
3) Maybe ok, but IMO likely small tweak to indexing or limits may be required.
FWIW, you may want to bring your new wheelset into the LBS for the cassette swap and RD adjustments if necessary.. Have them put on the Conti 5000s and tube in while you're there as well. Whatever you pay will be less probably than getting a chainwhip and lockring tool; though of course you will probably eventually want these anyway.
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Old 02-18-19, 01:29 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Lol.

Welp, **** it, I ordered the Zondas! $360 to my door from wiggle with a $10 new customer discount. Loud-ass freehub it is I guess, seems like all options that I'd actually buy at this price point are this way - guess it's a motivator to work harder on myself between now and May when the season starts here so when heads are turning at the obnoxious hub sound, they aren't seeing a dad bod and instead are seeing a sexy svelte cyclist...

Can't wait!
Didn't see this thread until just now, or I would have suggested Novatec Jetflys, about the same price, very quiet freehub (I love it, don't ever want a loud freehub again), weighed 1465g out of the box with rim tape and valves installed.

But I've also heard nothing but good things about the Zondas, enjoy!

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