Team Ineos races on £5k Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels at 2019 Tour de France

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<img src=",413" srcset=";resize=2400,1598 2400w,;resize=1920,1278 1920w,;resize=1440,959 1440w,;resize=1200,799 1200w,;resize=960,639 960w,;resize=720,479 720w,;resize=576,383 576w,;resize=360,239 360w,;resize=180,119 180w, " sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-389642 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail" alt="Team Ineos Lightweight wheels" title="Team Ineos Lightweight wheels" /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400">Team Ineos riders have been spotted swapping their sponsor-correct Shimano Dura-Ace wheels in favour of Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels for stages five and six of the </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400">Tour de France</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. </span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">The German ultralight, handmade hoops are also expected to be used in the remaining mountain stages of the 2019 race.  </span></p>
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<p><span style="font-weight: 400">Lightweight’s Meilenstein Obermayer tubular wheels have a (frankly ridiculous) claimed weight of 935g, which presents a significant saving over the team’s usual Dura-Ace 9100 C40 wheels (1,355g, claimed). </span></p>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src=";lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset=";lb=1456,969&amp;background=white 1456w,;lb=1112,740&amp;background=white 1112w,;lb=940,626&amp;background=white 940w,;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w,;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w,;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w,;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w,;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-279561 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Egan Bernal’s 2018 Pinarello Dogma F10" title="Egan Bernal’s 2018 Pinarello Dogma F10" data-source-name="Colin Levitch / Immediate Media"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) is usually seen using Shimano Dura-Ace wheels. Here’s Egan Bernal’s 2018 Pinarello Dogma F10 wearing a set of C24s at the 2018 Tour Down Under.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Colin Levitch / Immediate Media</i></span>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">Even the C24 — Shimano’s lightweight wheelset — comes in at 1,110g for the pair. 175g is a good chunk of weight to lose from a wheelset and could potentially offer an advantage in the mountainous stages to come.</span></p>
<p>Stage six marks the first summit finish of the 2019 Tour, with the final climb of La Planche des Belles Filles pitching up to a maximum of 24 percent, although Ineos riders were also spotted using the wheels on the rolling <em>parcours</em> of stage five.</p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">As well as a ridiculously light weight, the wheels also boast a slightly ridiculous price tag of around £4,900 (approx $6,150/AU$8,800) depending on which model you opt for. </span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">It’s also worth noting that, in 2019, aero concerns trump pretty much all else in pro cycling. For the team that prides itself on marginal gains to choose to use a wheelset with a decidedly old-school and not particularly aero-friendly V-shaped profile is significant. </span></p>
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Is Lightweight a sponsor of Team Ineos?</span></h2>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">We’re not sure of Lightweight’s exact relationship with Ineos, although we suspect the company isn’t an official supplier. Before today, we understood Shimano to be the sole wheel supplier for Team Ineos. </span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">However, it appears the situation has changed. In response to a request for comment for this article, a Team Ineos spokesperson said the team “can confirm we will use wheels from two brands during this year’s Tour. Shimano remains our main supplier and they are a valued partner for Team Ineos”.</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">This cagey response probably shouldn’t come as a surprise because infractions from sponsor-correct components are increasingly rare and, if they happen at all, they’re normally </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400">(badly)</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> concealed.</span></p>
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<p><span style="font-weight: 400">Whether Ineos riders will continue to use Lightweight wheels after the Tour, or this is a one-off arrangement, remains to be seen.</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">If Lightweight </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400">is not </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">sponsoring the team, buying a set of wheels for each rider (and their spare bike) at full retail value would have cost the team roughly £80,000. Marginal gains indeed! </span></p>
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Do any other pro teams use Lightweight wheels?</span></h2>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">For the time being, no.</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">While Lightweight wheels have a long history at the Tour — fans of mid-’90s racing will fondly recall the likes of Jan Ullrich riding them — they are a very small German brand that would have very limited marketing resources compared to the likes of Shimano.</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400">Either way, for the sake of nostalgia alone, we welcome the brand’s reintroduction to the upper echelons of bicycle racing. </span></p>
<p>Fancy a set of the wheels for yourself? <a href=";xs=1&amp;">Why not buy some for <em>just £5,678 </em>from Sigma Sports!</a></p>
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