It is a Wednesday night, and you are out riding with the chain gang. Your buddy was floating effortlessly through the bunch, never seeming to pedal when they were drafting, riding out front they looked to cut through the air. At the end of the night, you ask them how they were doing that; they state it is their new wheels; Fulcrum Speed 40C wheels, they tell you “They are like free speed”.
You go home and Google these wonder wheels, you then start to wonder what your friend thinks free means. Thankfully though ICAN have your back with their FL40 series wheels. They have a set of wheels that are very similar but happily do not have the same price tag.
40mm rims are the new black
Both ICAN and Fulcrum have had to balance weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics. To do this, they have both gone with a carbon fibre rim, as you would expect from a high end set of wheels. ICAN has constructed their rim out of out of high modulus Toray T700 carbon fibre, and Fulcrum only tells us that their rim is carbon fibre. Both companies have gone with a 40mm deep rim, now a little story as to why. So you have bought your shiny new road bike, and it has come with some box section aluminium rims, and everyone is telling you to need to upgrade your wheels. You will be getting told the good old line that all off the shelf bikes need a wheel upgrade, you should probably look at the range of ICAN road bikes if you want to see why that may not be true.
So you have decided you need to upgrade your wheels. What you want is a set that will make you faster and work in all weather conditions, because sometimes it can be windy. That is why we have used a 40mm deep rim. This rim depth will work in all weather conditions. You will not pass a break in a hedge and fly across to the other side of the road as you would with a much deeper section rim on a windy day.
Both the ICAN and the Fulcrum 40mm rims on your bike compared to your box section rims will be like you have just turbocharged your bike. You will have found the speed you never realised you had. The bike will roll faster, you will find it easier to draft your buddies, and more importantly, if you are not a super-fast pro, then your new wheels will save you a load of effort. Road cycling is all about conserving your energy until you need to use it.
To go with the 40mm rim depth, both companies have also specced a wider carbon fibre rim. They have both gone with 25mm wide rims. You can then ditch 23mm wide tyres and go for 25mm or 28mm tyres. Going wider on tyres might seem counter-intuitive if you are trying to go faster, but all the new scientific research shows that 25mm or 28mm wide tyres are faster than 23mm tyres.
Wider tyres, more speed
Even more importantly with 25mm or 28mm wide tyres, you can run lower pressures and not have to run 110psi in your tyres. With our 25mm wide carbon fibre rims, you will find that the shape of the tyre means that your contact patch with a wider tyre is smaller than on a 23mm wide tyre at eye water pressures. The less rolling resistance you have, the faster you will go for less effort.
Not only is rolling resistance lower but a wider tyre will fit into the rim in a much more aerodynamic manner. This is because the wider tyre and rim combo will hold the air to the wheel, rather than turning it straight into the turbulent air. Again this will help to save you a few watts as you are out trying to set a new PB on Strava.
Now as we mention you can run lower air pressures in your tyres with wider tyres. This where the ICAN wheels outshine the Fulcrum wheels, ICAN are tubeless ready. The ICAN wheelset then lets you take full advantage of the wide rim. You can now spend the whole day not worrying about punctures when you fit the ICAN’s with tubeless tyres, and you better take your puncture kit with you for the Fulcrums or run them at high pressure, taking away from your comfort.
2:1 spokes are the future
Both the Fulcrum and the ICANs feature a 2:1 spoking pattern but what is that? A 2:1 wheel spoking pattern means that there are two spokes on the drive side of the wheel and one on the non-drive side. This allows Fulcrum and ICAN to build a super strong wheel, a wheel that will not flex under load but also this design has not added any weight where you do not need to add weight. It also makes both brand’s wheels will be more balanced, spoke tension is more evenly distributed. By distributing weight more evenly, you will find that your rim and hub flanges are less exposed to fatigue, meaning your brand new carbon fibre wheels should last a lot longer.
ICAN has also used the high-quality Sapim CX-Ray spokes for this lacing pattern. We picked these spokes specifically because of their butting profile. This pattern means that their spokes are as light as titanium spokes but do not have the flex problems that you get with titanium spokes. Fulcrum have used a generic spoke.
To go with the 2:1 spoking pattern both companies have gone with hubs that work specifically with this spoke pattern. The rear hubs feature a huge oversized flange on the drive side. The oversized flange means that the spokes on the drive side are shorter than with a normal hub. By doing this, they have reduced the change of any flex on the drive side, less flex less fatigue on your parts.
The Fulcrum wheels feature cup and ceramic cone bearings and the ICAN wheels feature sealed bearing hubs. This means you will have a lot less fettling or trips to your local bike shop with the ICAN wheels, the ICANs here are better if you want to fit and forget.
Being a quarter of the price the ICANs will undoubtedly save you a lot of money over the Fulcrums. If you are worried that this may affect quality, the ICAN wheelset is UCI certified and on their approved list. So you can buy the pro-quality wheels but not need to take a new mortgage out.