American Classic All Mountain wheelset review£499.99

Lightweight tubeless hoops

BikeRadar score4.5/5

These very impressive new versions of American Classic's proven tubeless wheels save weight off your trail bike with no obvious stiffness or strength downsides.

The most obvious aspect of these wheels is a very low weight (1,582g) that’s comparable to carbon fibre wheels at a much lower cost. While freewheel pickup can lag, they light up very quickly once locked in. They flick and lift around effortlessly on the trail.

They’re not as stiff as the most rigid wheels available when you’re really ripping them round corners or rattling through rocky sections, but they still hold a line predictably enough to push the pace. The big, rounded rim has a super-wide 24mm internal diameter that fattens up mid-sized tyres noticeably and gives a secure footing for the biggest rubber, so grip or tyre roll is never an issue. 

So far they’ve handled all our local rockeries, steps and drops without denting or losing their tubeless ready integrity either. They’re tubeless taped as standard and valves are included too, although a slacker fit than most means a compressor is useful for inflating. It does mean you won’t be breaking tyre levers or thumbs trying to get your tyres on or off like some other sets. 

American Classic hubs generally last really well even under enduro/24-hour racers, the steel inserts add freehub longevity, and red marker spokes speed up valve finding.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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