Lightweight's Autobahn and Fernweg wheels - Eurobike 2012

Super-light and expensive wheels for 2013 from German company

For 2013, Lightweight continues to live up to its name with a couple of new offerings in the aero tall-rim category. And with a couple of wheelsets ringing in at the cash register for more than 4,750 Euros ($5,990/£3,800), the company may well take the award for highest Euro-to-gram ratio for a production bike part. As for how they ride, look out for a review on BikeRadar soon.

At Eurobike, Lightweight displayed the new Autobahn 8-spoke front wheel and the new carbon clincher version of the Fernweg wheelset. With 81mm rims, these wheels are the tallest – and to hear Lightweight tell it – the most aero wheels the company has ever made. Whatever the drag figures may be, the wheels are  impressively light compared to others in the aero category.

Lightweight already has an Autobahn disc, and the 81mm tall Autobahn front wheel is meant to complete the set. (Lightweight previously offered the shorter VR8, which also had only eight spokes.) With a 19.5mm-wide carbon rim laced with carbon spokes, the 850g Autobahn wheel comes with a 90kg (198lb) rider weight limit. Lightweight is selling it with the the Autobahn disc for 4,750 Euros ($5,990/£3,800). (For comparison, a Zipp 808 front wheel and rear disc costs about half.)

As with Lightweight's other wheels, the front Autobahn uses carbon fiber spokes with a carbon rim and a carbon hub. The German company will not reveal exactly how those three components are assembled.

Also new for 2013 is a carbon clincher version of the Fernweg wheelset. This 81mm-tall, 19.5mm-wide rim builds up to a 640g, 16-spoke front wheel and a 715g, 20-spoke rear. (For comparison, a Zipp 808 front wheel weighs 821g and the rear 938g.) The wheelset comes with a 100kg (220lb) rider weight limit and a 4,950 price tag ($6,200/£3,900). The 2012 tubular version that came out in March, goes for 4,300 Euros ($5,400/£3,400).

The fernweg 20-spoke front wheel: the fernweg 20-spoke front wheel
The fernweg 20-spoke front wheel: the fernweg 20-spoke front wheel

The 715g Fernweg rear wheel will be available as a clincher for 2013

Lightweight came out with the Meilenstein carbon clincher this spring.

If none of those options are light enough for you, then there is always the Gipfelsturm, which barely tips the scales with 450g front and 575g rear wheels.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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