Carbonsports' Lightweight Standard III C carbon clinchers may have been delayed for years but the reward for the weight is stunning performance that its peers haven't been able to match. Simply put, they're incredibly fast wheels, being ridiculously quick to accelerate and giving you the feeling of a constant tailwind on the climbs – ‘nimble’ doesn’t begin to cover it.
They’re equally impressive on the ﬂat where the excellent aerodynamics allow you to keep your speed topped up with the minimum of effort and they’re stiff with it, too. We were throwing ourselves into the corners of our fastest descents and the Lightweights didn’t ﬂinch.
Much of the credit goes to the wheels' amazing lack of mass. At just 1,080g for the pair (495g front, 585g rear), they're roughly 30 percent lighter than the competition and shockingly, weigh almost exactly the same as the tubular version. Carbonsports hand builds the wheels in Germany using carbon fiber throughout, including the 48mm-deep V-shaped rims, airfoil-profile spokes, and hub shells with large-diameter flanges, all of which are molded and bonded together to form a monolithic structure with superb torsional stiffness.
Our test wheels used just 20 spokes on the rear wheel and only 16 on the front though a 20-spoke front is optional for riders that want something a little stronger or stiffer. In either case, Carbonsports assigns a 120kg (265lb) rider weight limit across the board.
A modiﬁed DT Swiss rear hub offers Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo compatible plus the company's proven star ratchet driver and Lightweight’s own front hub keeps the weight low. According to Lightweight, a special resin in the rim helps control the temperature during prolonged braking and there’s also a computer magnet hidden inside the front rim so you don’t have to ﬁt one to a spoke.
Storage bags and carbon-specific brake blocks made by SwissStop are included in the package along with Lightweight's own 43g/pair skewer ("Special Edition" wheelsets get 34g/pair skewers).
Downsides? You can’t pump your tyres beyond 116psi (8 bar) and if you damage them they’ll have to go back to Lightweight to be repaired. But, in terms of performance, these wheels are hard to fault. For the price, that’s just how it should be.