The spoked wheels are available in 28” (700C) or 26” (650C) versions. Three versions of the front wheel exist, 12 spokes, 16 spokes, and 20 spokes. The rear wheel always comes with 20 spokes. Rear hubs are either Shimano 9/10-speed, new Shimano 10-speed, or Campy 9/10-speed.
Lightweight wheels are very light, hence the term Lightweight. There are probably no better set of climbing wheels available. They are quite sturdy for such a light weight wheel, which I attribute to excellent engineering. They are stunningly beautiful wheels that are guaranteed to make your ride look better. I have used various types of brake pads and currently have a set of yellow Swisstops that work fairly well. I had used the Bontrager cork pads that tend to overheat of I'm doing a long steep descent and need to brake very hard for a long period, like when descending the Madonna del Ghisallo above the town of Bellagio, Italy and other roads in the Dolomites. All brake pads will "howl" on descending on Lightweight Wheels, if I do not pump my brakes allowing for the brake surfaces to cool suficiently. This is an important skill to learn when riding these wheels and something that a Lightweight Wheel user must learn to do.
At 185 pounds, I'm happy with my Shimano D/A C24 tubeless wheels. They are fast, fairly light, great stopping power and I loved the tubeless tires! Why should I change to anything else?
My friend GAVE me a set of Lightweight standard 3. What a nice guy! Brand new. "Just take them and use them."
I actually left the Lightweights sitting int he house for about a month because I wasn't too sure this is the way to go. BTW, I ride a Colnago C59, Di2 and C24.
Finally gave in and slapped some Vittoria's and went for a ride.
Wow! WOW! WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!
The C59 with the C24 was a bit of a cruiser bike but witht he Standard 3, the whole thing changed. The C59 rode like the super bike it should have been from the start! Everything became focused, sharp and immediate. It was like an epiphany that can be bought.
I know they are pricey and not everyone can be so lucky as me but now, I have to get 2 more pairs for my other bikes!
Strengths: Unbeatable performance from any brand, these are the best. They make Zipps look and feel average(which they are not)simply because these are so good
Weaknesses: None really, once you get over the Tubular cringe.Although they are very stiff.
I have always loved the Lightweights, but Tubulars freaked me out too much, si i did not go for them. then on a ride I saw a set and they took my breath away. No gaudy decals or huge letters, they just looked like they meant business and I wanted a set.So I got the 12 spoke front and standard rear. Aaaaah from the first ride I was amazed at how great they were. I used to race and had light wheels for racing about 300 gms heavier, but these are like riding air, it's like "the wheels have left the building".
Awesome, i ride them everywhere now, with stans no tubes sealant, I commute train, and feel special wherever I go.
Similar Products Used: Zipp, Bontrager, Shimano, Reynolds.
Bike Setup: Serotta and a Merlin are my two road buddies.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2010
I was initially reluctant to purchase a $4,500 set of wheels. When I finally gave in, I expected these to be a tweek improvement.
The Lightweight Standard III's are incredible. I have a 2010 Pinarello Dogma 60.1 which had Fulcrum Racing Zero's. I upgraded to the Lightweight Standard III's. The difference is staggering. I am not an incredible rider, but nobody passes me any more and I pass everybody. It's like putting a motor on your bicycle. They are fast, steady around turns and ride smoothly. My uphill riding his improved dramatically and I've added 3 miles per hour to my down hill riding.
I intended to use the Fulcrum's as my training wheel, but I am so in love with the Lightweight Standard III's, that I will not take them off of my bicycle.
These wheels will lighten your wallet. However, even at $4,500, these wheels are worth every penny.
Strengths: tubulars! smooth, stiff and maintenance free; engineering quality; rolling resistance
Weaknesses: tubulars (depends on how you feel about them)! pricy;
I have been building bikes and riding them for 20 years now, and these are the best wheels I have ever had. I am a heavier rider at 195 lbs, and was a little hesitant to go to a full carbon wheelset but these wheels are awesome. The DT 240 rear hub is solid but smooth, and the bearings like butter. No ceramics needed to be installed with these. They are stiff but super at absorbing road vibrations - even better than my Topolino C19's. This is even running with tubular tires (Conti Sprinters) inflated to 130 psi. Lightweight has no weight restriction on the Standard model, given their foam filled core. I purchased their Gen1 version. Supposedly their Gen2's are a little lighter and stiffer still, but I don't think I would notice any difference. I received an offer on the Gen1's I couldn't refuse....
They are a little tricky to control in strong crosswinds at slower speeds, but I would expect no more than any other high profile (50+mm) rim. You also have to be prepared to go to tubulars and the additional trouble of installation. I personally believe the road feel and rolling resistance is superior on tubulars. I think it boils down to personal preference here.
The craftsmanship is excellent and having the wheel magnet integrated in the rim is a great touch. They are true, true, true and, being effectively a one-piece wheelset, are reported to stay that way. I will follow up this report to validate this claim by the manufacturer at a later time.
Cost-wise, they are not for the faint of heart. Similar to buying a Rolex watch, it is hard to judge value, as unless you are in the market for one. To anyone not, the price seems unbelievable. However, if you are in the market for this type of wheel, they are comparable to Lews, Corima, Bora, and Zipps in this aspect. Given the engineering, lack of maintenance, ride quality, astetics, and uniqueness of the product, I believe they offer good value for the money.
One other tidbit. Not that I compare myself to the pros or amateurs, for that matter, but Lightweights have been used by many of the top pros (Ulrich, Armstrong, Zabel, and Cippolini to name 4). Given Lightweight does not sponsor any team (meaning the pros have to purchase like anyone else) nor invest in any real marketing (when you compare with the others listed), in my opinion, that says the product quality is speaking for itself.
I would highly recommend these wheels to anyone looking for a high profile carbon tubular wheel.
Similar Products Used: None really - there is no other similar product. Other wheels I have used: Ambrosio tubulars, Velocity Sparticus clinchers; Topolino C19 clinchers; DT Swiss 240/Mavic CX22 clinchers
Bike Setup: Kuota Kharma frameset; Dura-ace 9 speed; FSA SLK mega-exo ceramic crankset; Kuota monocaulk stem and Pro Carbon bars; Sampson stratic brakes; Time RXS titan pedals