above: Meilenstein 24E in action at the Tour, photo
credit: Tim de Waele via Lightweight
Bespoke and Lightweight go back a long
way. About as far as it's possible to go, in fact... We were the
original UK distributors for their ultralight carbon wheelsets 14+
Fortunately the days have gone where if we wanted the best we
had to import it ourselves, and we're now free to concentrate on
our core passion of bike fitting. But Lightweight have always
remained a central part of our offering, and have a special place
in our hearts.
With that in mind, it was wonderful to see Lightweight wheels
featuring heavily in this year's Tour de France, notably with the
riders of Team Ineos (nee Sky). It's not Lightweight's first
appearance there by any means - Pros have long appreciated their
performance and managed to sneak the odd set in past their
'official' wheel sponsors. We've seen unbranded (but easily
identifiable) Lightweight wheels in the peloton being ridden by the
likes of Armstrong and Ulrich in their epic mountain clashes - the
riders were buying the wheels themselves.
But this year saw Team Ineos officially making extensive use of
the Meilenstein wheels for climbing stages - yes they may have
other sponsor obligations, but this is a team that's obsessed with
finding every last technical advantage.
The fact that Ineos, with their famously deep pockets giving
them unlimited choice, chose to purchase Lightweight wheels speaks
volumes for their quality and performance. And yes, that's
purchase - they weren't gifted these as a publicity stunt,
they bought them from Lightweight.
As the pioneers of "marginal gains" Team Ineos leave nothing to
chance, and aren't swayed by hype or superficial trends. Everything
they use is tested, then tested again, tested some more and then
chosen for a very specific reason.
We checked with Lightweight, and found that Team Ineos have been
using the Meilenstein in both clincher and tubular form. Clincher
for training, and tubs for the race itself - specifically the wider
Meilenstein 24 in 20/20 spoke form. With its 24mm internal rim
width this latest version of their climbing/all-rounder wheelset
adds extra volume for superior ride quality and low rolling
below: stealthy Lightweights are no strangers to the Pro
peloton - here the Tinkoff team sneak some into their Tour