Weighing in at a mere 780g, it’s not surprising that Lightweight’s Autobahn carbon disc wheel is the go to choice for many professional teams.
However, the Autobahn is more than just an exercise in creating a lightweight time trial wheel using the “magical cloth” we call carbon fiber, as lots of engineering brilliance went into the design of the wheel in order to give it the structural prowess and “wind cheating” capabilities needed to take on even the most challenging “races against the clock”.
Indeed, according to Lightweight’s David Bergmann, the Autobahn derives much of its “design language” from the company’s role in developing satellites for the Sentinel Program.
“The Autobahn is a rolling satellite housing”, says Bergmann.
“We are currently supplying five satellite housings for the Sentinel Program,” he explains. “Number one was launched in 2016. The Sentinel Program satellites are supposed to measure the oceans and the ozone layer, and we were official supplier for a company contracted by the European Space Agency.”
“Those are built with a tolerance of five microns: five thousandths of a millimeter. That tells you a lot about the capacity we have.”
“The wheel was actually developed for building the satellite housing, and we just transferred all the knowledge across.”
Lightweight chose DT-Swiss’ robust 240 hub and CeramicSpeed’s bearings to mechanize the Autobahn, ensuring both reliability and ease of maintenance under all riding conditions.
The rim itself measures only 20mm wide however, which does limit tire choices to a maximum of around 21-22mm.
This seems to fly in the face of recent trends that suggest wider tires not only improve ride quality, but surprisingly have also proven to increase aerodynamic properties as well.
Perhaps, this is something Lightweight will improve upon in the future.
Like all of Lightweight’s wheelsets, the Autobahn comes with a premium price tag, which in this case is a whopping $4700.00.
However, it does come supplied with a wheelbag, brake pads, skewer and a valve extender, as well as a built-in magnet (for a bike computer) and a microchip that registers the wheel.
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Autobahn is not a disc wheel – it´s a weapon. The propulsion, speed, aerodynamics, lightness and agility of this time-trial shell is hard to put into words. You definitely need to ride Autobahn to get this experience. It’s now even faster as SCHWARZED with CeramicSpeed bearings.
This wheel will take you a further step closer to success. We have added an additional innovative component to all wheels of our SCHWARZED: CeramicSpeed bearings. It doesn’t matter whether you are a pro or recreational rider, this wheel will inspire you. Just imagine: on a 180km race like a Grand Fondo or Ironman you could save up to 9 minutes. Minutes that can make the difference between winning and losing. The reduced rolling resistance increases your speed, makes you more effective and gets you faster to the finish line. You will increase your performance by better gear. As a sportsman you will also benefit from the longer service life of the CeramicSpeed bearings. The perfect combination of speed and fun.
CeramicSpeed follows exactly the same philosophy as Lightweight: Ongoing development with a high standard of quality, best materials and continuous quality control. Mixed with the passion for biking and speed. That is what makes their ball bearings a product of the highest professional level and make them fit into our wheels.
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