American Classic - Taipei Show 2015

Mar 23, 2015
by Paul Aston  
Taipei

American Classic


American Classic - Carbonator Wheelset
  The Carbonator was designed to out-perform the Wide Lightning wheelset.

American Classic owner Bill Shook says that, apart from some dings, they have never had of one of their Wide Lightning rims fail. Despite this, he was still determined to better his design and created this Carbonator wheelset. The carbon rim comes with a fifteen gram weight penalty over its alloy brethren, but Bill wanted to over-build in order to improve upon the performance and reliability of the Wide Lightning. The new rim has a 26mm internal width and a hookless rim wall that measures 3mm thick, while the bead seat slopes downwards from the centre of the rim to help with burp security - the bead will actually tighten as it is pushed or pulled inwards.

American Classic - Carbonator Wheelset
The Carbonator is only available as a complete wheelset.
American Classic - Wide Lightening and Carbonator cutaway
These cutaways show the differences between the Wide Lightning (left) and Carbonator (right) rims.


The hubs have a number of interesting features and a trio of patents. First is the freehub body that has three steel inserts to prevent steel cassette carriers biting in to the softer alloy, which might not be a new idea but is a smart one. The second is the two cut outs through the sleeve that spaces the inner bearing races. This makes the sleeve behave like a leaf spring that will absorb pressure when preloading the bearings, giving them less rolling resistance, and it will self adjust as the bearings wear. Inside the freehub there are six pawls that are engaged using a patented timing plate rather than springs - the pawls only move when prompted to engage, which reduces rolling resistance. With standard springs and pawls they are constantly being pushed in to the ratchet teeth, and there is also a very small difference in the timing as each pawl engages, with the timing plate this happens at exactly the same time. Shook says that this creates the strongest system on the market.

American Classic - hub cutaway
This cutaway shows the six pawl freehub mechanism. A timing plate engages all the pawls simultaneously.
American Classic - hub cutaway
The two small cut outs on the bearing sleeve turn it in to a leaf spring, allowing better bearing preload.


The Carbonator wheelset weighs in at 1,595 grams (27.5") and costs $1,799 USD. All the usual options are available, and Boost hubs with a difference are on the way. Cecile and Cedric Ravanel will be out to prove this wheelset on the EWS circuit in 2015, riding for the newly formed Commencal/Vallnord Racing Team.

American Classic - Boost 110 hub
  These hubs are Boost compatible, but with a difference.


American Classic have taken a slightly different approach to other manufacturers jumping on the Boost bandwagon. While other brands simply moving front hub flanges outwards 5mm on each side, Shook have added extra 10mm of width to the non-drive side axle, and the flange width hasn't changed from their regular hubs.This makes for a symmetrical wheel build, which they say is more beneficial in terms of strength and weight than a wider base to the spoke triangle. A symmetrical wheel will have equal spoke tension rather than one side having a higher tension and therefore less pressure on the spokes and eyelets, and the possibility of building a slightly lighter rim. The same theory is applied to the rear hub which adds 6mm to the non-drive side between the flanges and disc mount, not quite achieving symmetry, but close.

Bill didn't seem to be a fan of the new Boost standard, and says he only produced these hubs to give his customers the option. He feels that the industry isn't thinking outside of the box, and suggests the main reason for Boost is to move the chain line further outboard, to give clearance for wider tyres and shorter chainstays, not to create wider hub and stronger wheel. He's a fan of Cannondale's F-Si cross-country race machine which uses an offset rear end to achieve the same effect. The F-Si has some of the shortest 29er chainstays on market with suitable rear wheel clearance and chain line. "We didn't need the Boost standard in this ever-changing industry, and could have simply used non-symmetrical rear ends to achieve the same results," he said.

American Classic - RS-1 hub
For RS-1 owners, there's now another choice aside from SRAM and DT Swiss.
American Classic - tubeless valve
This valve seals against the rim surface, opposed to the edge of the valve hole.

Until now, the only options for RS-1 owners were SRAM and DT Swiss wheelsets. This hub has bigger axle and clamping area then competitors for even more stiffness. The sides of the axle are also smooth instead of serrated, and Shook says that with the design of the RS-1 the serrated edges can cause the bolt-thru axle to work itself loose as the 'teeth' dig in to the alloy fork dropout, which shouldn't be an issue with smooth sides.

This is an example of the valves that are supplied with all American Classic wheelsets. They use two different sized o-rings at the base of the valve, a configuration that means that the valve seal is created against the flat surface of the rim instead of sealing against the edge of the valve hole. This is said to provide more surface area to give a better seal that's less likely to break when adjusting the valve or using a pump.


94 Comments

  • + 46
 I'd buy them just because they are Boost 148 and I hear that's a real game-changer.
  • + 16
 Imagine what an extra 6mm can do...said no one ever (even SpecialED's marketing peeps).
  • + 7
 I like your way of thinking Terryotomy. Boost is marketing, Boost is money! It's the XCE of parts. Okay, maybe not as much of a game changer or as revolutionary as XCE, but a close second.
  • + 15
 Boost in hub sales = Boost in Cash flow. Bike industry is going to love boost. Boost all the things. Make everything tried and true obsolete.
  • + 16
 Enduro everything is out, it's all about boost now!
  • + 25
 SRAM C-Level Guy: What's this I hear? Some hub manufacturer is refusing to do Boost?
SRAM PM: Yes sir, the guys over at American Classic.
SRAM C-Level Guy: Who the fcuk is American Classic and how dare they mess with us?!
SRAM PM: They are relatively well known sir, smaller than DT Swiss, but not insignificant.
  • + 23
 SRAM C-Level Guy: I don't give a flying fcuk. They need to get on board with Boost, or we'll fcuking put them out of business!
SRAM Engineer: Sir, they aren't exactly refusing to do “boost”. They just aren't moving the flanges out, but they are providing the same width hubs that will work in our “boost” forks.
SRAM PM: True, but the wider flanges are what we told marketing to position as the main reason for Boost, you know, for stiffer wheels.
  • + 31
 SRAM Engineer: [rolls eyes]
SRAM C-Level Guy: Then get them on board, or make dame sure they get maligned in the press as yet another incompatible standard or for producing products with crippled retarded child slave labor or something. We need everyone on board so we can boost our profits. Now get the fcuk out of my office!
  • + 33
 I was gonna say that I wouldn't be willing to pay more than 1,499 USD for a Carbonator wheelset, but then I took note of the valve's superior design and sexiness. Yeah, that justifies an additional 300 bucks. I mean, they're red!
  • + 3
 Let's be honest here, Carbon wheels are not a sensible purchase, even the AC ones, I bet they're lovely wheels though, like all the other AC wheels at more sensible prices are too.
  • + 8
 And two white spokes
  • + 7
 @fix-the-spade If youre spending money anywhere, it should go to the wheels first. The most performance enhancing upgrade for your bicycle is a set of light, and quality wheels.
  • + 2
 I have them on my Light-bicycle rims, but friends that had them told me they were too easy to break. Aluminum is obviously not the best material for something with wall this thin.

www.bike-forum.cz/upload/users_lib/100/fotogalerie/big/light-bicycle.jpg
  • + 2
 @GoRideYoBike

I do believe wheels are a valuable aspect of a bike, but I think components like the suspension and frame carry more weight in the performance department.
  • + 5
 I'm speaking to carbon vs aluminum components. I would rather have an aluminum frame and carbon wheels than a carbon frame and aluminum wheels. Wheels make a much bigger difference than most people think. They're your second level of vibration dampening after tires, and your ride can be improved exponentially with less rotational weight and a wheelset that tracks the ground consistently and without excessively high levels of flex.
  • + 4
 red is fast
  • + 1
 @GoRideYoBike. As it happens I own a set of King ISO/DT Supercomp/E13 TRS wheels that are brilliant, the price was about £500 (a third of the very cheapest carbon wheels at the time, although sub £1k carbon wheels have appeared since) and the hour-ish it took me to build them. They're better than any stock or aftermarket wheelset I've owned or seen. I agree with you completely about quality wheels making the bike nicer to ride, but there comes a point where you've spent enough to just buy another bike, or a holiday, or several weeks worth of skills training, or a fullly custom suspension set up from Avy or similar, all of which are better for your riding.
  • + 2
 *damping
  • + 1
 @fix-the-spade You are correct. The component-specific argument of carbon vs aluminum wheels is an example of micro thinking. Carbon is superior to alluminum, but when compared to an awesome mtb vacation or something of the like, there's no question as to where the money would be better spent.
  • + 1
 Red is fast! Best comment ever!!!!!!!
  • + 15
 I am still bummed there are a million way-too-narrow rim options and very few 32mm+ options...even Pinkbike has been championing wide rims since at least 2012...and we get this boost crap out of nowhere already in production yet wide alloy rims are scarce? It seems odd that one of the most functional upgrades never gets mainstream.

I love my Velocity Blunt 35s but wish they had welded joints and a better bead design that didn't fold so easily.

RC feel free to chime in.
  • + 10
 "These hubs are Boost compatible, but with a difference."

Hey boost... ...yeah you... > GTFO!
  • + 5
 Freehub body design is very smart to offer a light weight aluminium alloy body that will not gouge over time from steel cassette cog movement.

Owner at American Classic should license to other manufacturers, they could pay royalties and he could sit on beach drinking cocktails after riding fatbike through the surf Wink

Owned too many hubs with light weight alloy bodies (Hope the worst offender!) ruined by cassette gouging = clicking / creaking and under extreme examples, causing bad shifting as timing on individual cogs thrown out by rotation as they cut into the soft body.
  • + 1
 Novatec already did the same thing years ago (one insert only).
  • + 1
 Hope used to offer their Steel body as standard, don't know why they have stopped doing it. But all you need to do is buy XT cassettes. Alloy carrier causes less gouging.
  • + 1
 @RyanWensley

Hope offer their hubs and Hoops wheels with aluminium alloy body as stock, you then have to pay to upgrade to the heavy steel body. The old Titanium alloy body on the Bulb was awesome, but became too expensive to manufacture so they stopped doing it when the Pro II hub was launched.

The steel body is crazy heavy, I know because after ruining 3 aluminium alloy bodies on my 10 speed road bike in 1 season, they finally moved me to steel, Hope were great with warranty support, but its not how a freehub body should behave.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb10360053/p4pb10360053.jpg

It may not sound like much, but the weight of the replacement steel body was so much it basically made what had been a weight competitive / good value wheel set completely uncompetitive.

I had notching on several pairs of Hope MTB wheels whether used with SRAM PG-990 or Shimano XT cassettes, the small loose cogs always bite into the soft body over time.

Would be great to see Hope able to use the AC style method with small leading strips on the leading edges of the body, would solve all those wear problems!
  • + 1
 xtr uses a ti freehub body. dura ace uses an extra deep alloy splined body designed specifically for dura ace cassettes.
  • + 5
 " This makes the sleeve behaves like a leaf spring that will absorb pressure when preloading the bearings, giving them less rolling resistance, and it will self adjust as the bearings wear."

Erm.No?

The whole point of the sleeve between the bearings in most cartridge bearing hubs is that it doesn't compress.

If the hub uses angular contact bearings, then this sprung sleeve is unnecessary.
If the hub uses standard cartridge bearings then this sleeve will promote faster bearing failure.

I'm confused about the so called benefits of this design. Anyone care to explain?
  • + 2
 Dude, did you even look at the photo. It's great that you took a "it's unnecessary" and another negative stance, but if we can have tighter wheels with less rolling resistance due to 0.001% more preload than we need.......... HOW IS THAT NOT A GOOD THING. Have you owned a single hub that had a preload mechanism on it?
  • + 8
 Yeah. every shimano hub Ive ever owned.
  • + 5
 They didn't say anything about engagement speed – which the Wide Lights supposedly had issues with. Anyone know if this this fixed on this hub, and with the new WL's shipping now?
  • + 1
 yup, once again a very important spec of points of engagement POE is absent. c'mon guys.
  • + 1
 Their hub design has always had this issue, poor design IMO, I stripped the teeth of my ac hub on the first ride because the pawls were to slow to engage.
  • + 1
 It should have a slow engagement just like the WTB hubs did that used the same design
  • + 4
 American Classic, made in Taiwan. I have seen way too many AC rear hubs crap out over the years to even think about using them. I worked for a wheel builder for over 10 years...we stopped carrying AC hubs because they are pretty much junk for MTB bikes.
  • + 10
 Mountain bike bikes? Wtf the f*ck, man? Wink
  • + 1
 Haha! Damn you auto correct!!
  • + 4
 You say "made in Taiwan" as if where it was manufactured is the root of the problem you've witnessed. If so, damn... 95% of the parts available to us MTB bikers are going to crap out over the years, and no one should even think about using them!
  • + 2
 Oh, no doubt theminsta. I have no problem with Taiwan, actually make great stuff. I am just laughing a the name "American Classic" as if it says "Made in the USA" or similar. Most parts and bikes we ride are from there. I have just had particularly bad luck with several of their hubs.
  • + 2
 No made in Taiwan = no f*cking bikes you tool!
  • - 1
 Made in Taiwan is better than made in China, they are not the same thing. Almost all top end cycling parts are made in Taiwan. Every USA company would love to make stuff in the USA but then they'd have to employ complainers like yourself which is unlikely they'd get a quality product in a timely fashion at a competitive price. And if it was made in USA you probably would complain that it was too expensive. Are you some sort of racist who hates the Asian community? The world is no longer flat and we live in a world economy.
  • + 4
 snowcrash....you are a complete F'ing jackass!! How the Hell did you get "racist" out of my comments? You F'ing troll! Did you not read my statement about Taiwan making good stuff??? Here, let me quote it for you: "I have no problem with Taiwan, actually make great stuff" Much of my stuff is made in the US, but I have NO problem with Taiwan. I have a problem with most American Classics hubs.
  • + 1
 @bman33 - Smile Totally trolling and your response was perfect. I was intentionally pushing your buttons because it clearly shows how you react in extreme measures with over exaggerated comments which is probably how you approach most things. I highly doubt you really "I have a problem with most American Classic hubs." It honestly just sounds like you're doing it wrong. Have you ever called them and gotten assistance or talked about a warranty?
  • + 5
 Wait a minute....it costs 2x as much and weighs more than the alloy version??? Marketing dept is going to have to kick it into overdrive for this one...
  • + 0
 Yeah, 1512g vs 1595g...I know about carbon being stiffer and stronger, but I have to agree here. wtf
  • - 1
 READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE NEXT TIME MAYBE ?

"The carbon rim comes with a fifteen gram weight penalty over its alloy brethren, but Bill wanted to over-build in order to improve upon the performance and reliability of the Wide Lightning."
  • - 4
flag SlodownU (Mar 23, 2015 at 12:04) (Below Threshold)
 The only reason to get carbon is because they are lighter, and these are actually heavier?!?! The mfg'ers admit that aluminum is still the more durable rim material, go back and read the WTB article. So where is the value in these wheels? Any gain in stiffness isn't worth it the weight or price premium, and if stiffness was so important, every pro would be on carbon (and they're all not).
  • + 6
 No... carbon is also a wonderful material to use to make things stronger/more durable instead. Its only the sheeple of the consumer world who've been fooled into a belief that it only exists to make things lighter.
  • + 2
 LOL!!!! Looks like there are at least 5 people here all butt-hurt because I'm talking smack about the carbon wheels you way over-paid for. Consider this, WTB makes both, but still says aluminum is currently better as a rim material. And I guess the other sheeple like Jared Graves, Gwin, etc. didn't get the memo that carbon is so much better. Who are the sheeple here?
  • + 0
 I don't over-pay for my wheels, carbon or otherwise, but don't confuse what the majority of racers use for what is sold to consumers. American Classic at least will outright say these wheels are the same as what some of their sponsored riders will be using but that very often isn't the case.
  • + 1
 I think you are missing it @deeeight
If you make both rims the exact same dimensions; width, thickness, diameter, etc. the carbon rim should be both stronger (much higher tensile strength and modulus of elasticity) and lighter (lower density). Add in the fact that this rim is (according to the article) narrower than the aluminum version (less material required) there should be no reason for it to be heavier, even if it is stronger. You should be able to gain both strength and decrease weight. But to make it stronger at the expense of weight could have been done with aluminum, and certainly not for a 2x price premium.
  • + 1
 And I think you're missing an understanding of the basic properties of carbon fiber and how its manufactured affects the final product's strength, stiffness and weight or for that matter, how its actually different than a structural metal like aluminum alloy. If you made an exact same rim in titanium as the aluminium rim, you'd end up with a far stronger (at least double) and stiffer (60%) rim for roughly 60% more weight. But carbon fiber depends more on the lay-up of the fibers and the epoxy used to bond them together than the actual fibers themselves. Its quite common to end up with finished parts which weigh more than the equivalent part would in Al or Ti alloy alone.
  • - 1
 Dude, your such a dumbass you outsmart yourself. First, a heavy carbon rim kind of defeats one of the main selling points of the material, second, it can't take sharp impacts (which I hear happen in the world of mtb) because it cracks or breaks, where aluminum just deforms but is still usable. Carbon has it's optimal uses and material limitations, and making mountain wheels comes with compromises some are not willing to make.
  • + 0
 First its You're not your. Second, are you a weight weenie? Does this site represent them all of a sudden and I missed the memo for that ? I would have thought that folks here would have appreciated a company exploiting the properties of a material to make a stronger and more durable wheel, not be whining because the rims are 15 grams heavier than the dent-prone alloy ones. Carbon is quite up to the task of absorbing impacts IF its designed to do so. And aluminium often doesn't merely deform, it also develops cracks when over-stressed. They may not be visible to your eye at first, but they're there and growing larger every time you ride the part again. I'd rather a part that abruptly fails when over-loaded and doesn't give this false sense of security that you can happilly keep on riding it because you're too cheap to replace it.
  • - 1
 This is getting old, and your like a dog with a bone. Do yourself a little experiement, search the reviews on this humble site and find how many carbon wheels failed during testing vs. aluminum. Then do the same with carbon frames (hint, go back a couple of days).
  • + 2
 Yeah see there's a problem with your suggestion,.. this isn't really a consumer review site, mtbr's forums on the other hand are where people really go to report failures... but again you're trying to deflect attention away from the fact you don't understand what you're talking about at all. You would have been better to have said nothing on the subject at all than tried to defend your stupidity and removed all doubt about it.
  • + 1
 I'm sorry guys but deeeight is right here. I don't want to offend anyone, but you really can't compare the carbon fibre composite rims against alu ones as simply as you have suggested. Ok, you have the minute weight difference, but in terms of many of the other properties you can't say carbon or alu is better without more data on the carbon rim's laminate. There is more than one way to improve a product, reducing weight being only one of these ways. A lot of these facts you have presented sound like bs to me. There are so many different possibilities with composite design that unfortunately merely saying that your wheels are carbon fibre, gives next to no idea of their properties. Its like me saying my wheels are made of metal, but not giving any further info on metal, its grade, its manufacture etc.
  • + 1
 PS didn't the Santa Cruz syndicate do pretty well this year on carbon wheels?
  • + 2
 I could see buying the hubs... but not until a bunch of other people have before me. Timing plate could be amazing, or it could be a shitshow, entirely dependent on how resistant the plate & pawls are to deformation. You start bending the high spots on that plate, & your freehub performance is going to go to hell really quick.
  • + 3
 The timing plate is old tech. WTB used it on their hubs back in the day. There's a lag from clicking to engaging.
  • + 0
 Deformation would be concern about implementation, not concept.
  • + 0
 I quite liked the WTB system. Felt incredibly solid.
  • + 0
 I've put several yrs and a pile of miles on an older AC hub. (actually have a couple fronts and one rear) The cam plate on mine shows some very minor wear but still performs 100%.
The engagement is not fantastic as others have mentioned but for trail or xc use it's fine, and I can't feel any engagement difference between the AC and hope (for sake of reference).
  • + 3
 I destroyed three AC hubs in less than one year. They warrantied them for me but the design sucks and is prone to failure. The engagement internals would deform and the hub would basically blow up when only one pawl would engage. Too bad because AC has some pretty good ideas like this new boost compatible hub and the steel freehub insert.
  • + 0
 They made them too light with the cheap chinese alloy.
  • + 2
 @groghunter - The pawls are steel and the plate doesn't deform as it has a spacer between the body and hub bearing. Like all hubs, if you don't do maintenance or check the adjustment they certainly can be problematic. If the nuts aren't tight then the system probably won't work well and will stop working early. I am very familiar with the hubs.

@Kark - the engagement is slower than something like a CK but it also does not drag like a CK when coasting. I'd rather maintain faster descending and coasting than have a quicker engagement in racing. Quick engagement has its place - trials, single speed, etc. or even just as a preference. I actually really enjoy it, however I wouldn't describe the AC hub as "not fantastic" but simply different and has its appropriate usage.
  • + 2
 @snowcrash. Fair enough. instead of 'not fantastic' I might've said, "Totally sufficient for most purposes", which is why i compared them as being equivalent to Hopes which is a brand that the internet has deemed beyond reproach.
I actually like my AC hubs a lot. Nearly silent, no drag and super light while (in my experience) being quite durable. But, I don't completely discount others experiences either, and I trust that some of the internet criticism thats dumped on AC is warranted in some cases at least.
  • + 2
 You know what I think about Boost?
Well, for the front hub, it is completely reasonable. Going from a road bike 100mm width to a 110x15mm width increases the distance between the fork lowers, thus increasing tire clearance.
However, for the rear 148mm spacing makes no sense at all. I can understand the 142x12mm standard, being the mid point between 135mm and 150mm and that brings me to the point I am trying to make: WHY CAN'T WE JUST USE THE 150X12MM STANDARD? LIKE WHAT DIFFERENCE IS IT REALLY GOING TO MAKE IF THE HUB IS 2 MILIMETERS NARROWER???? What are we coming to?
  • + 3
 Originally you had 135 & 150mm, then some smart company decided aligning through axle wheels was too hard and should be more like Qr axles, so they made 3.5mm slots in each dropout to help align the wheel with the hole, thus giving 142 and 157mm, the extra width contributes nothing functionally, just makes assembly easier.

This new 148 standard is a 141mm spacing with the alignment slots... Its a mildly pointless intermediate standard for people who cant align their wheels properly. But more pointless is the new 110x15mm front axle when you already had 20mm axles the same width for over a decade.

The laughing point of it all, is heaps of companies dont even increase flange spacing between 135 & 150mm hubs and the whole claimed reasoning for 'boost' is 'increased flange spacing'... Companies are just going to sell the new axle spacing without changing the flanges.... Lol
  • + 2
 Haha, they'll be like using the same exact hub shells as 135mm and saying: "It fits well and rides well, so lets do it. The masses are dumb and won't notice a difference. Oh wait, while we're at it, lets put ceramic balls in the bearings so we can jack up the price."
  • + 1
 Same thing when the change from 20x100 to 15x100 was made. Hub flange width remained the same with most manufacturers and we just got new endcaps that allowed us to switch.
  • + 1
 So what's to stop me putting a 5 mm spacer on each side of my 1999 Hope bigun, and thus making it boost compatible?? The world has gone to shit. Save yourself £1000 spend £500 on and old lathe, google how to use it and make your old hubs fit whatever bullshit standard they come up with next. Simples :-D
  • + 1
 Or just buy Chris king and Swap the axles out as standards change. They're always on top of stuff there.
  • + 0
 Unfortunately you just can't swap encaps because the rotor mounting face has moved outwards in relation to the cassette. The cassette and/or the rotor will be in the wrong place.
  • + 0
 So bogey is somewhat right, in that the disc flange spacing is different, so you can't just use a 5mm spacer on each side. However, I predict we'll see a bunch of hub conversions with a long spacer on one side, & a short spacer on the other, both front & rear(that silver AC hub in the article being the first I've seen.) People will live with a slightly off chainline in order to not need new hubs, & it's even more of a no brainer on the front.
  • + 1
 Pahhhh, easy fix, 5mm spacer bolted to the disc flange, offset the bolt holes a few degrees and mount rotor to spacer peace of piss. I know it works because ive run a 135 rear 12 bolt through hub in a 150 back end with the same idea. I made 5mm spacer for driveside and 10mm for brake side and brake........... I am future proof.
Next question?
  • + 1
 Just ask the sponsored boy racers how many sets of alloy wheels they have ? go through ? and you will get your answer as to what wheels are stronger and lighter but with the fact that they have many to destroy on the down hill, enduro or crank works comps says "that the choice of weapon" will be in most cases alloys cause it's dirt cheap for sponsors to give their team riders than Carbon and the only God dam reasons why you would buy Carbon is the simple rea$on is that you don't need 20 sets in the truck and one set will last a lifetime for the average mountain biker, so in actual fact the carbon would be much cheaper over a decade than 20 sets of dented alloy ones in the shed. So when I can afford a set of good Carbon wheels I know what the obvious choice is !!! good luck in your investigations guys cause repeating the same old over and over is a waste of ! when you can go with the fact !
  • + 1
 @Paul Aston

Those American classics WL rims are only 26mm wide internally?
The alloy versions are 29.3 mm , it seems strange to me it would only be 26mm on the carbons.
26mm Isn't all that wide these days. Or does that big round hookless carbon lip provide some real estate
For the tire to use or ooze over, extending the functional internal width?
  • + 3
 Are they actually made in America ?
  • + 3
 No, production is now in Taiwan.
  • + 3
 hahah!
  • + 1
 American classic wheels always have 2 white spokes. Mainly to help find the valve better but also for looks,
every pair of american classic wheels ive seen have them. Razz
  • - 1
 The hub engagement mechanism and hub design was originally done by WTB. I have a set of their Laserdisc Lite hubs from 2002 (they are date stamped 2002) that are still going after many rebuilds and a couple of alloy cassette bodies. Great design but WTB somehow sold them the rights to the design or at least designed it first.

Also boo-hiss for no 26" wide lightning rim-only option.
  • + 0
 Actually Bill designed it first but AC used to have a co-development agreement with WTB where they shared designs/manufacturing.
  • + 1
 The truth is that American Classic straight up made the WTB hubs. They simply had WTB logos on them. Way back in the day Chris King used to make WTB hubs, too.
  • + 1
 Hang on...they're called the carbonator.. As in 'bring mee der carbonators NAAAOOOOO!' Take my money...take it now.
  • + 0
 "American Classic owner Bill Shook says that, apart from some dings, they have never had of one of their Wide Lightning rims failing."

But they ALL have dings in!
  • + 1
 AC is simply The shit
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