American Classic Carbonator wheelset review
American Classic designer Bill Shook has always pushed light weights, tubeless-readiness and wide-rim profiles and that all comes together in this versatile, smooth riding, light wheelset.
The rounded carbon rim uses straight-sided ‘bead barb’ sidewalls to accentuate the already very wide 26mm internal span. That means it fattens up 2.3-2.5in treads for a noticeably more secure, planted (if slightly slower rolling) feel.
The wheels come ready taped and valved so it’s simply slop in some sealant and slip them on. We’ve taken the pressure down sub 20psi in really wet conditions on reinforced tyres without burping and cleaning them after a long stretch of regular rocky abuse didn’t reveal any damage.
The large old-school hub flanges keep the 32 spokes short for reasonable precision. The rims themselves though have a damped and trail calming ‘warmth’ rather than clinical brightness.
Weight is low for their width and spoke count but the dampened feel and slow hub engagement means they don’t feel as urgent as some heavier wheels. Extended, audible spoke settling means it’s worth checking tensions after a few rides.