We managed to get our hands on Lightweight’s Autobahn front wheel and paired it with their Fernweg rear, rather than their Autobahn disc, to make for a more versatile combination. There’s no getting away from the fact that these wheels are totally pimp looking and couldn’t wait to get them on the road. Both wheels feature 81 mm deep section rims – in this case tubulars (clinchers will be available in 201 3) – that feature flat sides and are 1 9.5mm wide at the braking surface, but this rises to 22.6mm at their widest point. These blunt nosed rims are laced – bonded to be precise – using sleek looking carbon spokes to the carbon shelled hubs. There are just eight spokes up front and 20 in the rear. The large flange hub shells and bonded spokes make the wheels look fragile and we felt we had to ride them with a little caution at first. Within a few miles it was obvious these wheels didn’t require such delicate treatment as they delivered a solid ride and you could race and train on them.
From the off they felt stiff and fast delivering power superbly, which you’d expect from a pair of lightweight carbon hoops. In this case the Fernweg rear weighs 71 5g and the Autobahn front comes in at 830g. That’s right, the front wheel is heavier. Lightweight told us they add weight to the rim because anything too light loses speed on hills due to a lack of inertia.
Being all carbon might lead to you to think these wheels could ride overly stiff or dead feeling, but in reality they offer a forgiving and comfy ride, even on rougher roads. Considering the front wheel only rolls on eight spokes it’s surprisingly stiff laterally and handles well whether you’re on the flat, climbing or hammering down descents. As for braking this was good for a carbon rim, especially when using Lightweight’s own special compound pads. When it comes to crosswinds this pair dealt with them better than we expected. All of this combined along with solid aerodynamics makes them a good all round performer. There’s no getting away from the fact that these wheels are expensive, but they are a top-end all-carbon wheel set that are a little different to the rest making them a little bit special.