American Classic wheels for heavy riders

Posted by SuperClydesdale on September 30, 2010 under Wheels | Be the First to Comment

This is a brief summary of the conversations I had with American Classic representatives regarding what wheelsets they offer and recommend for heavy riders.   When talking about wheelsets for Clydesdales, I am not just talking about the smaller big men, but the real hulks among us:  250+.  I get notes all the time from competitive riders that are 250+, so a wheelset rated for 220 pounds only serves a small portion of the Clydesdale population.  And, these guys are not just on pleasure rides, they are hammering these wheels – climbing, sprinting, etc.

At the end of this week, I will be posting an matrix of all manufacturers I felt worth mentioning with model numbers, spoke counts, weight, MSRP, etc.   Stay tuned.

But, regarding American Classic:

American Classic designs their entire wheel:  hubs, bearings, spokes, and rim.   80% of their products are built in Taiwan, and the remaining 20% in the USA.

American Classic recommends three models for Clydesdales:

  • 420 Aero 3 (aluminum medium-dish wheel)
  • Hurricane (aluminum wheel)
  • Carbon Clincher 58 Series 3. (carbon deep-dish wheel)

The AM Classic 420 Aero 3. A $1,100 wheelset rated up to 225 pounds. Weighs 1530 grams for the pair.

One of features that American Classic stresses is their spokes, which are designed by them.  They are called AC spokes (which simply stands for American Classic spokes).  These are stainless steel, and they claim superior metallurgy which make them strong and of uniform quality which allows them to build the wheels more predictably and make them more stable.    While they love their spokes, they also offer Sapim spokes.

The AM Classic Hurricane. A $900 wheelset rated up to 240 pounds. Weighs 1600 grams for the pair.

AC also is very proud of the nipples that attach the spokes to the rim.  I’m a fan of anyone who is proud of their nipples.    While still aluminum, to allow for a low rotational weight of the wheelset, AC claims that the design of the nipple allows it to be much more durable than conventional aluminum spoke nipples.  I want durable nipples!

The AM Classic Carbon Clincher 58 Series 3. A $1,429 wheelset rated up to 235 pounds. Weighs 1880 grams for the pair.

Crash replacement

AC has a crash replacement insurance program called the “Crash Rebuild Program,” which must be purchased within 10 days of wheel purchase, from authorized dealer.   Prices for program are based on rim material:   $200 for aluminum, $300 for carbon.   This will cover an in-house (done by American Classic at their facility) rebuild of the wheel.

Cassette compatibility

American Classic hubs can be ordered with Shimano, SRAM, or Campy compatible freewheels.

The American Classic nipples. You've got to love a good nipple.

For more information:  American Classic web site:

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