We’re always getting lovely kit through the door but every so often something really special arrives. Carbon wheelsets are becoming ever more common with cheap wheelsets now breaking the £500 barrier. We’ve no interest in kit at that level. We regularly carry top quality wheelsets from companies like Enve, Black inc and Edco. But when you really want the best of the best, you need to look at Lightweight. Lightweight is a composite specialist from that started out making car parts and wheels for horse drawn racing carts in a Munich garage. They made their bike disc wheel in 1990 and by 1996 had a Tour de France win on their wheels. You won’t see their brand appearing prominently in the Peloton though - the legend is even pro riders have to buy their own wheels so they appear brandless to avoid upsetting team wheel sponsors. True to their name, these are a very light product - just over 1200g - but they’re also some of the stiffest wheels you can buy and that’s not at the expense of a weight limit only a pro can meet. Even in it’s 16 spoke front variant the Meliensteins are good for a 100kg combined rider and bike weight (120kg in the 20 spoke variant).
The full carbon construction (rim, hub and spokes) has a unique ‘homemade’ look to it that reflects the labour intensive manual carbon layup process. These rims don’t come out of a mass production mould. The spoke holes in the rim are created during the moulding process rather than being drilled later and damaging any of the fibres. Each spoke passes through the rim and the individual fibres are then bonded into it. That allows a higher spoke tension without needed to reinforce the spoke holes. The front hub is their own design whilst the rear uses a Lightweight modified (to save weight of course) version of the class leading DT Swiss 240.
The finest materials, a labour intensive build process - none of this comes cheap and the Meiensteins are some of the most expensive wheelsets on the market at over £4300. Road Cycle Exchange, of course, offers you the chance to own a set at a much more affordable price.