When I heard that a pair of Lightweight Meilenstein wheels were available to test ride I immediately was very excited about discovering this legendary brand first hand.
As soon as the wheels were out of the wheel bag the craftmanship and build quality were obvious along with the significant lack of weight compared to other wheelsets!
In order that the test ride was as fair and comparable as possible I used my own bike (Cervelo S5) and simply removed my usual carbon wheels. The tyres and pressures were identical. I then rode a regular route that I know very well with plenty of different features and a 20% hill.
The wheels were installed and then the exquisite quick release skewers were tightened. The fact that the skewers are works of art in themselves set the tone. First pedal stroke and there was a fierce acceleration which continued every time extra pressure was put to the pedals. Once I was over the initial shock I concentrated on riding hard for a while to see what the sensations were. A very smooth and stable ride even though the roads were poor gave great confidence to corner harder which in turn showed the fantastic lateral stiffness and the snappy speed out of each corner was wonderful.
An eerie feeling came over me later into the ride which took a while to figure out. It was the silence. Ultra quiet freehub and gear engagement was like a butler ushering the next gear into place for you with the merest whisper – “13 tooth sir ready to go”.
Now for the real test – 20% hill with some poor surfaces. I went full gas and the wheels responded with stunning response and agility. Each pedal stroke kicked the bike forward yet the stability held true. I arrived at the top and just kept on hammering the bike as it just wanted to go faster and faster.
But climbing comes with the flipside of descending and I was keen to test the braking at speed. Dry conditions gave great modulation and feel with a lot of stopping power. More that my regular wheels. The next ride was in the wet (luckily!) and the braking was again very good, better than most carbon rims.
One minor drawback was the handling effect of crosswinds was more noticeable on these sharply profiled rims when compared to the latest wider more rounded profile rims. Not majorly different but nonetheless noticeable.
My lasting impressions of the wheels are the agility combined with nimble handling which made my bike sing and the ease of acceleration at all times begged for more speed rewarding my efforts. A stunning pair of wheels that drew many compliments!