Wheel Review: LIGHTWEIGHT MEILENSTEIN C DISC

96

The wheels that transform your bike into the accessory

Lightweight wheels have always been the unicorn of the road wheels. With their parent company building aerospace satellites, precision medical equipment and even high-precision farming equipment, building bicycle wheels gives Lightweight the chance to publicly showcase what they’re capable of since most of their other projects are on the down-low. The combination of materials only accessible to the aerospace community and the vast knowledge that comes along with these other industries is a large part of what sets Lightweight apart from any other wheel company.

THE TECH

The Meilenstein C Disc shares many of the same proven qualities of its rim-brake counterpart but uses a new hub designed specifically for the greater brake forces. Like most other wheels, the Meilensteins are comprised of a hub, spokes and rim, with the big difference being that they are all carbon and hand-bonded together. The profile is a 47.5mm, deep V-shaped rim with an external width of 20mm and internal of 17mm. They feature 20 hand-made carbon spokes front and rear that are internally bonded to the rim. The spokes are also bonded to the hub under tension and have a single cross. Each wheel takes around 20 hours to build.

The new hub has a pentagram shape to handle the braking forces that disc brakes put on the hub. Since their hubs are carbon, Lightweight wanted to go beyond just traditional carbon bonding, and with the pentagon shape it adds a “mechanical” bond. This means that if the heat of the disc brake were to build up enough to transfer to the hub and compromise the bond of the carbon, there is still the mechanical bond to keep things together.

_M5H0018

The internals of the hubs come from DT Swiss, with a hybrid hub body using the steel bearings from a 240 hub and the driver of a 180. They also offer two special-edition versions: The Schwarz that has black logos and CeramicSpeed bearing upgrade throughout. Then there is the Weiss edition that adds a white high-gloss Duraflon enamel to the spokes and hub for a durable, smooth, scratch-resistant finish. They also get the CeramicSpeed bearing upgrade throughout. Both special editions are at an upgrade price of $700.

THE RIDE

Lightweight wheels have a ride characteristic that is like no other wheel. The combination of the bladed carbon spokes that are under tension and the hand-built quality of the entire wheel delivers unparalleled stiffness. The carbon is so responsive that these wheels will redefine any bike’s handling characteristics. When put into a turn, the wheels don’t hold the turn; they nearly rail the corner, creating an unbelievably confident feeling. Their stiffness is also immediately evident when you apply the brakes. The new hub shape combined with the bonded carbon spokes mean less deflection and more precise and consistent braking. The 17mm rim profile is narrow and means they are best partnered with a 23- or 25mm tire.

THE VERDICT

With a stunning weight of 1358 grams for the entire system (front: 635 grams; rear: 723 grams), there are no other wheels on the market that deliver such an appreciable stiffness-to-weight ratio. The acceleration and braking of a wheel this light and stiff can truly only be appreciated once you’ve used them to embarrass your friends. Yes, they are narrow, and yes, they will set you back more than most pay for an entire bicycle. But, if you’re chasing something that epitomizes a Formula One level of performance with pure speed and racing as the top priority, start saving your money.

PUNCH LINES

  • Weight-to-stiffness ratio is unmatched
  • Narrow internal width limits tire choice
  • One of a handful of true status symbols

STATS

Price: $6500

Weight: 1358 grams

www.lightweight.info

Comments are closed.

Hurry While Supplies Last!
Get the 2019 Road Bike Action Bike Buyer's Guide

ONLY $7.99!!