Fulcrum Racing 7 - $274.95

If you're like us, your skin typically crawls at the thought of those two dreaded words -- 'entry' and 'level.' However, wheels like the Fulcrum Racing 7 have turned those connotations on their heads. Employing a host of proprietary technologies, the Racing 7 brings speed and durability to the masses, at the small cost of superficial weight gain. Starting at the rim, Fulcrum constructed the Racing 7 from aluminum -- no surprise there. And while this alloy composition is both strong and lightweight, the wheel's high strength-to-weight ratio required a multi-step design approach. Let's start at the rim and work our way to the hub. In any discipline of cycling, wheel tension is paramount. Accordingly, we find what Fulcrum calls its Dynamic Balance technology. The principle at work is relatively simple -- a balanced wheel is both a faster and stronger wheel. So, at the rear wheel, the Racing 7 compensates for the freehub body with two oversized spokes on the non-driveside. The weight gain is less than negligible, but the rotational dynamics are drastically improved. Further along these lines, the rear wheel has received Fulcrum's 2:1 technology. This system is the reason you'll notice the hub's having no flange on the non-drive and a flange on the driveside. Fulcrum found that the rotational force of pedaling resulted in the flex of driveside spokes. This slackens rim tension and creates a net loss in energy. So, the solution takes form in a doubling of driveside spokes. Essentially, there's now two spokes performing the duties of one, and accordingly, energy dissipation has been nearly eliminated. Going even further into the hub, Fulcrum made the Racing 7 hubs with a svelte design. This feature plays directly into the requirements of road racing. Not only is the hub now more stable, but the oversized rear drive-side flange and body translates to heightened levels of rigidity and reactivity -- vital characteristics for jump-off-the-front racing and climbing. - $274.95