The beauty of cyclocross is that you can do it on pretty much any equipment. The run-what-you-brung approach is beginner friendly, and greatly lowers the overhead to getting into an at-times expensive sport.
But what about those who have a huge Christmas bonus coming their way? Or for those without the means necessary—or just want to dream or live vicariously through a lucky CXM tester. We've got just the wheelset for you.
We won't mince words about it—at $7300 the Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheelset is unobtainable for most cyclocross racers. Costing more than a nice used car, or seven State Thunderbird cyclocross bikes, the Meilenstein wheels are a luxury item for those who want the upper echelon of performance, light weight and rarity.
At first encounter with the Meilenstein wheelset, we were blown away by the light weight. While the wheels came in slightly heavier than claimed—our measured weights were: 420g front, 540g rear, as opposed to Lightweights' claimed 395g front, 540g rear—these 47.5 mm deep, 20mm wide wheels are a weight weenie's dream. A sub-14 pound cyclocross bike can become reality if the rider has the means necessary.
Taking a closer look at the finish, we see how this light weight is possible. Every aspect of the handmade wheels has been optimized for light weight—the freehub features extensive machining to save every gram possible, and more importantly, the wheels feature an all-carbon construction. No truing here, as the carbon fiber spokes are molded directly to the rim. The rims are deep, but stray away from the teardrop/bullet shape of other rim brands such as Zipp's Firecrest offerings, or ENVE's SES. Contrary to the road, the low speeds of cyclocross make an aero advantage less important, but we'll be sure to see if we notice a difference in our extensive on-bike testing.
While the light weight of the Meilenstein was initially impressive, and will be advantageous on a hilly, or run-up heavy course, we had our initial reservations about the strength of such a light wheelset. Lightweight assured us that the Meilensteins were more than strong enough for cross, especially with the built in shock absorption of a low pressure 33mm tubular tire. On our journalist salaries, we're the first to admit that we're a bit timid in terms of bunny hopping, riding gnarly trails or jumping the Meilensteins, but we'll overcome that and give the Meilensteins a fair shake in the name of journalistic integrity (and fun)!
With the shock and awe aside about the light weight and high price tag, as we're excited to put some more time on the wheelset and see how a top-tier product handles the at-times rough real world conditions thrown at a cyclocross bike.
Keep an eye out for a full review, as we plan to put them through the Meilenstein Obermayer wheels through the wringer like all other products we review.
Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer Tubular Wheel Specifications
- Spoke Count: 16h front, 20h rear, carbon spokes
- Rim: 47.5mm deep, 20mm wide carbon fiber tubular
- Hub: Lightweight carbon fiber shell
- Wheel Weight: 420g front, 540g rear (actual weight)
- Max System Weight: 198lbs (90kg)—system weight includes rider weight, bike, waterbottles and accessories
- Included: Wheel bag, skewers, brake pads, tire levers and valve extenders
- Price: $7300
- More Info: lightweight.info or Magura USA for U.S. distribution
Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer Tubular Photo Gallery