ALUMINUM TUBULAR DISC AND RIM-BRAKE
Review: ALUMINUM TUBULAR DISC AND RIM-BRAKEBy Scott Mares | Published Jul 7, 2013
Like a lot great discoveries the American Classic Aluminum Tubular Disc Wheel for cyclocross was born from another purpose. We can thank the French road team Cofidis for this one. You see Cofidius approached American Classic for a wheel that would survive Paris Roubaix. They wanted a tubular that was light and strong and wide. Cofidis wanted a wheel that accelerated well and was wide enough to handle the wider tires that they use at the Queen of the Classics. Cofidis wanted to compete in Paris Roubaix and avoided all of the mechanical disasters that usually happen in this epic race. They didn't want any wheel failures. The innovated Bill Shook was up to the task of building such a wheel. the first sets were not disc they were the regular rim brake style. So it was only a natural step to use this wheel for cyclocross, Use the same formula and use disc hubs and there you go!
We have had American Classic wheels in the past and its been a while since we have put a pair on our bike. I can say with out hesitation that the hubs of the Aluminum tubular is a much higher quality than what I remember (12 years ago). As I unpacked them in the shop I took a few minutes to spin the wheels up in my hand and inspect them. As the wheel spun in my hands one word came to mind. Butter! Smooth as butter. I was starting to get excited about the Aluminum Tubular.
Next I inspected the workmanship and the cassette body. I'm sure that the other wheel manufactures will sit up and take notice of this next part as its pretty dam smart and needless to say will absolutely make people purchase American Classic wheels. Over the years I have trashed cassette bodies with the teeth of the cassette digging into the splines of the body. Those days are gone with American Classic! Bill has solved this problem by putting not 1, or 2 but 3 steel plates into their cassette bodies. This was giving me more and more confidence in the the wheels every moment.
6 Pawl cam actuated engagement system.
Multiple options on the Axle.
This wheel set comes with a Disc Reinforcing Ring. American Classic has identified some structural weakness in some of the disc rotors out on the market. Now Bill was not only raced at the national level but he also raced professionally. After his cycling career Bill also got a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University so Bill knows materials and forces like "Bo knows football". A lot of rotors are trimmed to save weight and in the process can trim off too much material that support the 6 bolt mounts. The rings provides structural support to the rotor and will help prevent possible structural failure by helping disperse the braking forces that are applied to the rotors.
American Classic has their own crash replacemnt program. Not many wheel companeis have this option and so we did like to see this. However, given how the wheels are built I dont think that you will be using it.
We Didn't Like
The total weight we would have liked to have been a little lighter. But in all fairness its in the hub and spokes where you need it. The rim is a light 400g.
We would have also liked a 28 spoke option. vs the 32 option. However, this is for wheel strength and if you are racing Clydesdales then this this a mute point.
The Final Say
There are very few things that are cyclocross specific. As it turns out the sport of cyclocross is mostly if not all made up from equipment from other disciplines in cycling. This is yet another example of that cross over. The American Classic Aluminum Tubular was born out of Paris Roubaix for the French Cofidiscycling team. Apparently, they were looking for a wheel that was tough enough to handle the Hell of the North and not leave their riders stranded by the road. American Classic made a disc version of this wheel and Viola! You have a tough cyclocross wheel that's durability has been tempered over Pave that eats bike parts like its going out of style. If durability is your gig then you should give these hops a serious look. They have lots of spokes with a light hub and the cassette body has been structurally reinforced with 3 steel plates to keep the cassette from biking into the cassette body. The rim is nice and wide to allow the tire to flatten out a bit. This will give you a better footprint with the tire and that means that you can corner like your on rails with these wheels. In cyclocross edging is the difference between staying up and having a mouth full of mud and some shoe prints on your back from your closes friends. The wheels could go on a little bit of a diet. But like I said earlier if you are looking for some tough cyclocross wheels then make sure that you take a close look at these wheels.
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- American Classic
- ALUMINUM TUBULAR DISC AND RIM-BRAKE
- Aluminum Tubular Disc/Rim
- 1571g disc 1526 rim
- Aluminum rims, AC 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black, AC Aluminum Nipples Silver, 32h 3-Cross Front and Rear
AC 400gr Aluminum Tubular Disc or Rim Brake Rims 700c
23.5mm wide tire bed, 16mm tall Box shape rim, 32h 3-Cross Front and Rear.