View Full Version : My beater/commuter (Lightweight review)

06-25-2005, 08:55 PM
Thought some of you might find some of this of interest. This is my ride, and yes I do commute often on it, although not on the Lightweight wheels. This bike truly does capture the complete and ultimate experience of road riding for me. Smooth, stiff, comfortable, light and fast. Didn't someone once say you can't have all these attributes simultaneously?

Note on the wheels. Wheels and tires make as much, if not more difference to the ride than the frame.These wheels accelerate much more quickly than others I have ridden: Ksyriums (commuter/training wheels), Zipp 303, Lews, etc. It's a function of lightness combined with stiffness. They are noticably stiffer than comparably light wheels. With the Zipps and Lews I can get some brake rub under out-of-the-saddle efforts, but never with the Lightweights. Despite their stiffness, they don't seem harsh. I figure this is a function of the tires (see below) and the carbon fiber everywhere on these wheels. I bought these wheels for a mere $1000 in 2001 before everyone knew what they were. Though they are among the best of wheels created, I wouldn't pay the $3800, but that's just me. Though my bike would seem to state otherwise, I am a deal scrubbing, cheap-skate! I have put probably 5-6K miles on these wheels and they are still as true as the day I got them which is a testament to their longevity. I have had one issue with a rim (small crack) which was my own fault. Carbonsports repaired it nicely and was a pleasure to deal with.

Note on tires. Two words. Veloflex tubulars. I have yet to find anything as nice. They roll oh so smooth, corner excellent, and last a long time.

Note on the frame. Can't say much that already hasn't been said. I had mine built up with the stiffest tubeset. I figured it would still be significantly more comfortable than the aluminum race machines I was accustomed to. It is.

06-26-2005, 05:52 AM
you raise another interesting point, i think...matching wheels to the frame. you say that both the wheels and the frame are stiff. so both major elements of your bike are giving you the ride characteristics you like. they're working together.

awhile back, i put a pair of zipp carbon wheels on my parlee. they utterly changed the ride of the frame. for me, they were too stiff. now i have very light, low profile alu rimed wheels on it, and the match of frame+wheels is great.

it's interesting how you can tune the ride with both the frame and the wheels.

just out of curiousity, do you know how much the wheels weigh?

06-26-2005, 11:14 AM
I weighed the wheels some time back on a digital scale and came up with 1210 grams for the set. Lighweight now makes their standard wheels with a few less spokes making them a shade lighter. The bike as pictured hovers right at 16 lb (58 cm frame). Plenty light for me (165-170 lb).

06-26-2005, 11:30 AM
I notices that the most recent Colorado Cyclist doesn't offer Lightweight wheels, unless I'm missing something. I thought that was interesting.