For almost two decades Germany’s Lightweight have been producing some of the finest and most desirable carbon wheelsets that money can buy. Lightweight’s striking tubular wheels have for many years been offering low weight, strength and desirability that many other manufacturers have only been able to aspire to match.
This week Lightweight have released a new carbon clincher wheelset, called the Meilenstein C that effectively updates the already deeply impressive Standard Cs. The new wheels tip the scales at 1180 grammes a pair, which is just 100 grammes heavier than the tubular version and the same weight as the “old” version. To put that in perspective, the Meilenstein C’s are a 47.5mm deep full carbon clincher. A pair of Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubulars (raced by many pro teams) are the same weight and they are only 38mm deep. If you take a look around at some of the other leading brands you’ll be looking at around 250-300 grammes more than the Lightweights for a similar depth carbon clincher. These wheels are very, very ….. Lightweight.
There have been some other press reports on these wheels that state that the weight of the Meilenstein C’s are 100 grammes heavier than the “old” clinchers, but Lightweight have confirmed that this is not the case. The new Meilenstein C wheelset weighs the same as the “old” Lightweight Standard C wheelset.
Carbon Clincher wheelsets have typically had some technical challenges to them. Firstly the clincher section of the rims were challenging to make as strong as tubular rims and secondly the heat from braking especially on big alpine style descents could put enough heat through the rims that some rims would pop inner tubes and occasionally delaminate the carbon.
Carbonsports who own the Lightweight brand manufacture carbon fibre products across a range of industries in addition to cycling and through this wide ranging carbon manufacturing they state that have access to types of carbons and resins not generally available within cycling.
Through access to these new to materials Lightweight have been able to reengineer their clincher rim to be even stronger and much more resistant to heat transfer than ever before using an entirely different manufacturing process. The temperatures that the rims can operate to are now far higher than normal road braking could possibly manage and the new process has also much reduced brake rim wear. These developments combined with the fact that the new construction process has made the wheels fundamentally stronger make the Meilenstein C a super light full carbon clincher that’s strong enough to use as a daily use wheel, although I’m not convinced many owners would use them like this.
So what’s the catch? Well it’s the price. For these very special carbon clincher wheels you’re looking at a lofty £3,349 a pair in the UK. It’s a significant amount of money to say the least, but if you can justify the cash, you’ll be buying truly state of the art carbon clincher wheels.
I’ve been lucky enough to ride a friends set of Lightweight Standard C’s and they are simply fantastic wheels. If the Meilenstein C’s are as much of an improvement as they sound, then they’ll be spectacular indeed.
You can find a little more information here: http://www.lightweight.info/meilenstein-c/
Thanks for reading