EB13: American Classic offers More Discs, More Width, and Less Tubes
American Classic has added a lot of new road tubeless wheel sets, many with disc brake options, and updated several rim profiles to be wider.
All road disc brake hubs get 11-speed hubs, which is an all new design and forging. The flanges were moved slightly to accommodate the extra space for the cog while maintaining the proper dish.
The biggest news (and surprise) is the carbon clinchers, something they’ve never done before.
On the dirt, there’s a new Wide Lightning enduro race wheelset that comes in very wide and *very* light.
Heck, there’s even some new hoops for triathletes!
The new Carbon 40 Clinchers are there first ever full carbon rims for that aren’t tubulars.
For as long as we’ve been covering the trade, Shook has said he wouldn’t do a full carbon clincher because he didn’t think they were safe. That changes for 2014.
The main concern was brake heat build up softening the resin that holds the rim together. The clincher’s air pressure could push agains the sidewalls and deform the shape. The solution, which they found through a third party rim manufacturer, was a resin that didn’t soften at high temps and allow the fibers to move, and it had to transfer heat out quickly. At the moment, the rim is not exclusive to them, but Shook says there are only a couple people using it. What is exclusive is the build, which uses their classic Hi-Lo road hubs, no disc brake version yet.
Is it a stepping stone to having ther own molds done?
“Maybe,” says Shook, but he still says a carbon/alloy rim can be lighter and offer better braking performance, so he’s not totally convinced it’s the best option. But, people wants what they wants, so they wanted to offer something he felt was the best available option.
The Argent is a 39mm deep, 22mm wide, aero alloy wheelset that’s been tubeless ready for a while, and now it gets a disc brake version with 11-speed freehub body.
It’s 19.4mm wide internally and has a minimal hook. Founder Bill Shook says that keeps the tires sitting in a more natural shape rather than getting a “muffin top” from having a huge bead hook digging into the tire.
They come pre-taped with tubeless valve stems, so they’re ready to go out of the box. Weight is 1531g. Without the disc brake mounts and the extra spokes, the non disc clinchers come in at 1372g.
Their upper level HiLo hubs get an 11-speed disc brake option for a lot of wheels, like the updated Hurricanes.
Not shown, the Hurricane gets a new tubeless ready clincher rim. It’s their original 22mm wide (external) wheel, but now comes with a new extrusion to work with road tubeless with the preinstalled tape.
Perfect for cyclocross, but also great for the burgeoning gravel racing scene.
Also not shown, The Victory 30 Tubeless is similar to the Argent but with a bit heavier, stouter rim and their lower end hubs to offer a road tubeless option at a friendly price point. The hub gets a few updates with a new lock nut and stainless steel bearing upgrade. They also color coded the 11-speed freehub body.
The rim is all new to offer tubeless compatibility, and it’s 3mm wider to come in at 22mm wide. It has a rounded “V” shape that’s 30mm deep. Weight is 1547g and they come in at just $570. No disc option on these yet since they don’t use the higher end hubs.
The Carbon 46 tubulars headline the revised carbon tubular range.
All sizes have a new rim design, and the count drops to two: 40mm and 46mm deep. It’s a new shape that’s 23mm wide and is being produced at a new manufacturing facility which they say has improved quality.
For those wanting a carbon clincher for ‘cross or just something lightweight for a disc brake road bike, these are the ticket. Weights for the 46mm are 1275g for standard (18/24, tri-group lacing on rear wheel) and 1435g for disc brake hubs (24/24 standard 2x lacing – more spokes are required to resist the additional torque of the braking forces). Available in early 2014.
The Carbon TT 3 front tubular is a new trispoke front aero wheel for time trials and triathlon. It’s there shape and layup and includes a built in magnet. The blades transition into the rim with a deeper section, then it falls away before hitting the next spoke.
They say it’s UCI legal, but they haven’t received the final rules yet to submit it for approval. Weight is claimed around 675g.
For the rear, there’s the new Carbon TT Disk that’s 11 speed ready. The sides have a slight convex curve out to the axle. It’ll come in at 1050g.
Both are tubular only, with a “V” shaped channel that curves up at the edges to lead into the tire better for a rounder, more aero shape.
Not shown, AC RD tubeless ready road rims are now available separately in 24 and 28 hole drillings. They’re 22mm wide and 18mm deep. Weight is 374g. Tape and valve stem sold separately.
MOUNTAIN BIKE WHEELS
The Wide Lightning is a new lightweight mountain bike wheelset that’ll come with huge 32mm wide rims for both 27.5″ and 29er.
Wheelset weights are just 1569g (29er) and 1512g (27.5″). Rims are about 380g for the 29er. They’re built with 32 14/15 gauge spokes, so it’s built tough despite the low rim weight and is claimed to be very laterally stiff. The wide rim pushes tire’s footprint out and lets you run a really wide tire. Add it all up and it means it’s built for racing Marathon and Enduro events.
Not shown, the Terrain mountain bike wheels/hubs get upgraded to stainless steel bearings.
As a sign of the times, they’ve taken all 26″ wheels out of the catalog. They’re still available for special order, but they say sales are so low they’re not worth making en masse.