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Lightweight’s new 81mm sectioned Fernweg wheelset (Lightweight)

German carbon boutique manufacturer Lightweight have launched a new aero
wheelset called Fernweg. While they peg them as perfect for triathlon, we have
no doubts that we’ll see them under discerning sprinters and paired to
Lightweight’s own disc for time-trialing.

Lightweight promise the new Fernweg — which roughly
translates to ‘distance’ — wheels to be light; they claim just 640g for the
front and 715g for the rear, for a 1,355g total, which is impressive
considering the 81mm front and rear rim sections.The wheelset costs roughly US$5,825 (£3,665, €4,400, however, Lightweight note these prices vary from country to country due to taxes, duties, and shipping costs).

“Development
started three years ago with lot’s of input from pro riders and aerodynamic
specialists, some lab and wind tunnel tests — with various wheels; wheels
alone, wheels in forks, wheels in bikes, ecettra — then we took this data back
to our RD and did various CFD work and ended up again in various wind
tunnels and pro rider tests on track and road, and finally got the Fernweg,”
Frank Jeniche, from Lightweight’s PR firm told BikeRadar.

“We really stuck
to the Lightweight core spirit — to build the best wheel for this specific use
in the world. We know that we can build stiff and light wheels, and still our
current wheels haven’t been too far away from top aerodynamic wheels, but we
took all that whole process very seriously to build a top aero wheel set that
suites the aero specialties. [It] also offers low weight, for perfect
acceleration — look at TT courses like last year’s Eneco-tour — and superb
stiffness in this aero wheel field.”

The carbon tubular rim is 19.5mm wide, completely sealed —
meaning no way for water to penetrate the rim or tire bed, save for the valve
stem hole — and co-molded to the hub set with 16 front spokes and 20 rear
carbon spokes. The hubs are spaced for conventional road use at: 100mm front
and 130mm rear.

Lightweight use DT Swiss hub internals for the rear freehubs
(front wheels are of Lightweight design), and offer both Shimano and Campagnolo
freehub compatibility.

The 640g front wheel may be the perfect mate to Lightweight’s own disc wheel

Lightweight claim an ‘outstanding’ stiffness to weight
ratio, due to the molded construction and carbon spokes, which pass from
rim-to-rim through the hub flanges. If the Lightweight Standard 16 spoked wheel is anything to go by, we expect the Fernweg wheels to be very stiff, laterally, especially with the deeper rim that’s used compared to the Standards. “Stiffness
is one thing — especially when it comes to cornering and braking,” said
Jeniche. “The superb braking surface and matched brake pads is another reason
why [our system works so well]; and the fact that we are able to use kinds of
carbon fiber and resigns that are really specific and not available to
everybody. Lightweight has access to those materials due to the certification
for aeronautic industry.”

Lightweight ships the new
wheels with quick-release skewers, wheelbags, valve extenders, and their own
carbon-specific brake pads. The Fernweg will begin shipping from Lightweight’s
factory to distributers and retailers this week.

The Fernweg has also, already, claimed a 2012 Red-Dot
product design award, where 30 international design experts recognized and
awarded the design from 4,515 other product submissions.

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