You could buy an entire bike, and a very good one at that, for the price of the Meilenstein Obermayers, but for a money-no-object, ultimate climbing wheelset nothing less than a perfect score will do.
Extreme strength for their low weight
Very, very expensive
You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
The Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels are incredibly light, incredibly stiff and incredibly expensive.
The clue is in the name: at just 935g per set (tubular) these are the ultimate in light weight. In fact, the legendary German brand – whose wheels were the secret weapons of both Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong and many pros since – says this is the lightest and most rigid wheel on the planet.
Lightweight’s wheels are not built in founder Heinz Obermayer’s tractor garage in Munich any more, but they are still handmade in Germany, and the ones that bear Obermayer’s name are the most exclusive models in the range.
The Obermayers weigh a full 170g less than the ‘normal’ tubular Meilensteins, which are still ridiculously light at 1,105g.
The Meilensteins have been in Lightweight’s product line-up for a while but the front hub was recently redesigned, losing 25g and doubling its rigidity value according to Lightweight.
Surprisingly, for such light wheels the Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels are also very strong with a maximum system weight – rider and bike that is – of 90kg.
What makes the Meilensteins so stiff is that the flat spokes are bonded directly into the rim and hub to line up directly with the angle of the V-shaped rim wall, so that when you’re producing a lot of torque you don’t feel any flex at all.
Our tester used these Meilensteins to build an ultimate hill-climb bike at the end of last year and reported that in terms of lightness and stiffness nothing comes close to them. They do an incredible job retaining a devastating level of stiffness at such a low weight.
As a wheelset for hill-climbs the Lightweights would have to get full marks. Yes, the price is astronomical but they’re the best there is. Judged against other wheels for all-round use they wouldn’t score so highly: the rim is 47.5mm deep but its V-shaped profile is not as aerodynamically advanced as that of other wheels that are designed to reduce wind drag at a range of yaw angles.
However, as a pure climbing wheel they can't be beat.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
Sepp Kuss soars to 808 Strava KOMs in 2023 — more than any other pro
With more than 800 Strava KOMs, Sepp Kuss has claimed more crowns than any other professional athlete thus far in 2023.
By Anne-Marije Rook Published
‘I saw the front wheel flying through the air’ - Customer files class-action lawsuit against Rad Power Bikes for faulty design
Following a 2022 wrongful death lawsuit and a personal injury and property damage lawsuit, America’s largest e-bike manufacturer, Rad Power Bikes, is again being sued.
By Kristin Jenny Published
How much did Sepp Kuss and Jumbo-Visma win at the Vuelta a España 2023?
Turns out locking out the podium for much of the race gets you quite a few Euros
By Adam Becket Published