American Classic 420 Aero 3 road wheelset review£499.99

Unique looking wheels that handle well

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With their unique looks, the American Classics earned admiring comments. The rear wheel’s three-spoke lacing groups are the most eye-catching feature. They combine a radial pattern on the left with three-cross on the right.

American Classic claim that with the larger right-hand hub flange this balances spoke tension for all spokes, increasing stiffness and strength. The 34mm deep rim is said to be the lightest rim of its type, and the weight, even with 24 aero spokes, suggests this could be true.

The pencil-thin front hub uses 18 radial spokes, and both wheels have aluminium nipples, which will need TLC to stop them seizing. The 420s feel firm but fast and encourage sprinting, responding with instant acceleration.

Maintaining a high cruising speed is easy, their stiffness means they handle well, and the braking surface is extraordinarily good – almost too good at times. They climb very well and are robust enough to be raced on or off road.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 43
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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