A Look at Lightweight Wheels

News & Results

11/24/2004| 0 comments
by Tommy Murphy
Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

A Look at Lightweight Wheels

When it comes down to having the best, even professionals dish out the dough.

new partners developing and improving upon Lightweight Wheels and CarbonSports? products.


The Wheels

Lightweight offers 3 spoked-wheels, the Standard, the Obermayer, and their Alpe d?Huez as well as a disc wheel (see Interbike Coverage Part 4). The rims are completely made out of carbon fiber and have a lightweight foam core. They measure 52.8mm deep and 19.5 mm wide and are built around Lightweight's carbon fiber-shelled hubs.



All front hubs use Lightweight?s durable super-light cartridge bearings, while the Standard rear hub is available in several versions with the option of the Shimano Dura Ace 9/10-speed hub (7700), the new Shimano Dura Ace 10-speed hub (7800), the Campagnolo Record 10-speed hub, or the DT-Swiss H?gi 240 hub. The Obermayer boasts a lighter rim over the Standard and revolves around a rear Tune Mag 160 hub.



And if the Obermayer isn?t light enough, Lightweight offers their ?L?Alpe d?Huez?. The Alpe d?Huez lacks the heat dissipating foam and resin found in the braking areas of their Standard and Obermayer wheels reducing rim weight by 40 grams meaning these things are meant for one thing: Climbing. Sorry boys, no descending these babies.



All rear hubs are modified to fit in Lightweight?s carbon fiber shell. The lens-shaped spokes are a mixture of carbon and Kevlar threads which can hold up to 1200 kg each and are joined to the rim seamlessly, so there is no unwanted turbulence created by the spoke nipple. Lightweight's rear wheels and L?Alpe d?Huez front wheel are all 20 spoke, while the Standard and Obermayer front wheels come in 12, 16 or 20 spoke options. The weight difference between spoke options is about 10g per four spokes. All wheels come standard with a memory chip laminated into the rim. It weighs only 0.2 g and contains a unique tracking number with information about the production process, temperature cycles, trueness and much more. This chip also gives buyers the option of registering their wheel with the bikefinder.de database, allowing identification in case of theft. Lightweight also offers the option of having a 0.8 g wheel magnet laminated into the rim eliminating the need for a spoke magnet.


The rim?s deep 52.8mm sides are slanted in the same angle as the spokes, aiming the spokes for the opposing brake surface.




This is the secret behind Lightweight?s unsurpassed stiffness as the spokes are at a shallower angle than in conventional wheels. The rim?s outer surface and the spokes form a straight line, transferring pulling forces without any loss. In this design, torsional loads encountered during sprints, climbing or turning are handled easily by the spokes making for a stiffer and stronger wheel.


On Test

Look for our full review of Lightweight?s Standard wheelset to come.




Model: Lightweight Standards

Rims: Full carbon with foam core (Tubular Only)

Front Hub: Carbon fiber body with Lightweight cartridge bearings

Rear Hub: Carbon fiber body with Campy Record 10-spd hub

Spokes: Carbon fiber / Kevlar

Spoke Count:  20 Front / 20 Rear
Listed Weight: 660g

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