Lightweight Standard 111 Clincher Wheels

20 Oct
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Clinchers I hear you cry! Yes, clinchers! At the beginning of this year, I decided that I wanted to buy a good set of Carbon clincher wheels. Why clinchers, well I’m not racing anymore but wanted a pair of clinchers for convenience sake. However, I didn’t want to sacrifice on quality, weight and performance!. Like many other cyclists, I spent weeks pondering and researching various makes and models of carbon wheels sets etc. Although I’m no longer competing, like many others out there, I would consider myself as a dedicated cyclist and always looking to improve my performance and fitness, balancing work, wife and kids etc. So, after weeks of pain staking research, I decided upon a set of Carbon Sports Lightweight Standard 111 (C) wheels. So, why Lightweights?  Well, I guess one of the first reasons is that the Germans are always associated with fine design and engineering. After all, why do people pay a premium for BMW, Audi & VW. Also, I required a set of wheels which could perform, offer strength, reliability and have the capability of dealing with all the imperfections that UK roads have to offer. The other key factor for me was, do these wheels actually work with my frame? How many times have you trawled through pictures on the Internet and you can plainly see the wheels just don’t work with the frame, but people have bought them just for the name. Personally, I think Lightweights really work with the geometry of Colnago frames and the whole aesthetic package is complete.

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 Now, in the UK, Wiggle  http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ are the importer and distributor for Carbon Sports (Lightweight) products. I must admit, when buying such a wheel set via mail order, it would of sent a few shivers down my spine, especially when you could buy a very good used car at that price tag. Also and ideally, when spending that kind of money, I would of liked to touch, feel, smell and assess these wheels in the flesh. However, Wiggle is a company which I and many others around the world have 100 % confidence in. Their customer service and fast delivery is well known and I have always found them extremely helpful. So, I was buying with confidence which most certainly gave me piece of mind!

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When the wheels arrived, they reminded me of intricate pieces of finally sculptured carbon furniture. It was immediately evident why these hand made wheels from Friedrichshafen where held in such high regard. However, the proof is in the riding. The rim depth is 47.5 mm and the aerodynamic carbon spokes are laminated into the actual carbon V-shaped rim. The front wheel also includes a small magnet moulded right into the rim for use with a cycle computer as well as a small embedded memory chip that stores each individual wheel’s serial number. The rear wheels comes with a DT Swiss 190 S hub which is rapped within a carbon body. The rear wheel comes with a free hub, so you can either use Campagnolo or Shimano. The front wheel comes with Carbon Sports own hub also wrapped in carbon. My wheels came with 20 spokes at the rear and 16 spokes up front. I understand that you can have 20 spokes up front if you so wish.  One thing you do notice is just how lightweight these wheels are, quite amazing!  At approximately 1,080g for the pair, they’re roughly 30 percent lighter than the competition and weigh almost exactly the same as the tubular version. I also quite like the subtle decals on the side of the rims. They look like the application has been by hand which is a nice touch.      

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So, how do they perform on the open road? Well yes they are indeed stiff as one would expect, but they are also very comfortable. As soon as you ride on these wheels, you just notice the ride factor. The whole bike felt more nimble and responsive with the frame urging forwards. I also noticed the weight element which was immediately obvious within the quality of the ride. They are indeed immensely quick and just laying down the power through the crank will reward with instant acceleration. Hell they are fast! Again, they just inspire confidence within your actual ride. Whether you are on the flat or climbing, these wheels have a distinct quality and feel about them. Climbing with these wheels is a complete joy as I found myself searching out more hills. They are also robust and can withstand the ruts and bumps etc that we have to live with in the UK. The DT Swiss hub sounds like a finely made Swiss time piece as it ticks confidently away at the rear. Altogether, these wheels are very appealing and offer something for everyone. If you are looking to race then these will amply accommodate offering the rider a tubeless like feeling, or if you are a keen enthusiast who doesn’t race, then they are equally at home. Carbon Sports have manged to achieve a unique set of wheels which will appeal to both the Tubeless and Clincher camps!

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Here is Jorg Ludewig offering a little more information on the Lightweight Standard 111 wheels

 

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2 Responses to “Lightweight Standard 111 Clincher Wheels”

  1. girodilento October 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    These are fantastic wheels – very pricey though, so you need to be fully committed before parting with such a large amount of money. I never thought I’d even consider wheels at this price – but after just a brief ride on the Lightweight Clinchers, I really would…. and seriously too (if I could afford to).

  2. CicloByron June 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Truly amazing wheels, the all time perfect carbon drug fix. When you see these wheels close up you feel like you are looking at something delivered from the future, they make everything else look like it’s from the Stoneage. Add these to a Colnago and it’s no wonder we can’t keep up with you!

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