On Test: American Classic Carbonator wheels

Following the success of their Wide Lightning wheels launched a couple of years ago, American Classic set out to design and build a carbon version.
American Classic Carbonator 7.jpg

Featuring thicker sidewalls and 1mm wider outside profile than the aluminium Wide Lightnings (33mm vs 32mm outside, 26mm vs 29.3mm inside) to ensure durability, strength and stiffness. That extra material comes at a weight penalty of just 100g, making these one of the lightest, properly wide wheelsets available today at 1676g for the 29" set.


American Classic Carbonator 1.jpg

American Classic Carbonator 2.jpg


Built with American Classic Disc 130 and 225 hubs, laced to the 32 hole rims using 14/15g DB spokes and aluminium nipples front and rear. The wheels allow for standard QR or 15mm/ 142×12 thru axle configurations, with an XD driver available to run SRAM's 11 speed.

American Classic Carbonator 6.jpg

Build quality is top-notch and doing away with the white and gold graphics certainly gives them a more premium look.


American Classic Carbonator 3.jpg

American Classic Carbonator 5.jpg


The Carbonator wheelsets are available in 27.5" or 29" and come pre-installed with American Classic's tubeless tape. Skewers and tubeless valves are included in the box.


American Classic Carbonator 8.jpg

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Recommended retail price for a complete set is R18,500.

Specifications:


[spec_list]
[spec_list_row='Rims']Carbonator Tubeless All Carbon Disc Rims 27.5 / 29"[/spec_list_row]
[spec_list_row='Spokes']AC 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black / AC Aluminum Nipples Silver 32h 3-Cross Front and Rear[/spec_list_row]
[spec_list_row='Weight 27.5"'] Front 740gr | Rear 855gr | Pair 1595gr[/spec_list_row]
[spec_list_row='Weight 29"']Front 784gr | Rear 892gr | Pair 1676gr[/spec_list_row]
[spec_list_row='Hubs/Spacing']Front Disc 130 100 mm / 15 mm / Thru Axle Disc 100 mm / 9 mm Thru Axle Disc 100 mm Rear Disc 225 135 mm / 10 mm x 135 mm Thru Axle Disc / 142 mm Thru Axle Disc / Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 or SRAM XX1[/spec_list_row]
[spec_list_row='Brake interface']6 Bolt International Standard[/spec_list_row]
[/spec_list]
American Classic MTB tubeless tape installed and tubeless valves included.




17 Comments

Johny Bravo, Apr 16 2015 06:35

Flippen sexy wheels. I think the price is fair aswell.

DJuice, Apr 16 2015 06:42

Iwan and JB, agree they are sexy, gorgeous wheels.
In the market for new wheels, price tag double my budget.
Your thoughts on why they are perhaps better than normal wide lightnings or I9 ultra lights?

shaper, Apr 16 2015 08:06

1569g for the wide lightning http://www.amclassic...ing-29-tubeless

 

1676g for theses

 

Choice for weight, price and rim replacement costs... would take the wide lightning 

 

Would be interested to see a comparison of the two with regard to stiffness and ride quality!

IH8MUD, Apr 16 2015 10:02

Eish . . . just more of the many nice bicycle things I can only dream of. 

cbdcaffie, Apr 16 2015 10:13

What's the point? The aluminium Race wheels are lighter and half the price. I find them plenty durable and stiff enough.

Iwan Kemp, Apr 16 2015 10:25

Iwan and JB, agree they are sexy, gorgeous wheels.
In the market for new wheels, price tag double my budget.
Your thoughts on why they are perhaps better than normal wide lightnings or I9 ultra lights?

 

What's the point? The aluminium Race wheels are lighter and half the price. I find them plenty durable and stiff enough.

 

We'll be able to give you guys an informed opinion once we've done some k's on these as we've been riding the Wide Lightnings and will have a review out on those in just over a month or so.

 

For now I'd say the increase in stiffness will help with wheel deflection through the rough stuff which is a big issue on 29er wheels. BUT, let's put some miles on them then we'll let you know.

Stoffies1, Apr 16 2015 10:28

What's the point? The aluminium Race wheels are lighter and half the price. I find them plenty durable and stiff enough.

Carbon is the only way forward if you race hard especially the technical stuff. Aluminium rims they will be in the shop more often than not being true'd(spelling).

Johny Bravo, Apr 16 2015 10:49

Carbon is the only way forward if you race hard especially the technical stuff. Aluminium rims they will be in the shop more often than not being true'd(spelling).

My Alu rims were always dented and buckled. Got sooo tired of it, bought carbon and never looked back. 2 years now on a set of Roval rims and not a single problem. So yeah, absolutely agree with you.

danger dassie, Apr 16 2015 10:51

Carbon is the only way forward if you race hard especially the technical stuff. Aluminium rims they will be in the shop more often than not being true'd(spelling).

 

How so? Many a pro team race aluminum wheelsets with minimal maintenance issues. 
No wheelset is worth a damn if it isn't built properly.

BMC use carbon wheelsets for their inherent stiffness but on the rougher courses like the Marathon route in Pmb last year, they opted for alloy wheelsets as they find them more forgiving. 

 

My own wheels (Stans Arch) have lasted two full seasons of racing xco and marathon events. Including training rides. 
This is their third year and they're still running as true and tensioned as the day I got them. The only thing I've done is strip them down, clean them, regrease the bearings/freehub etc and redo the tubeless setup with a cursory check by the workshop on the truing and tension. 

It's 80% down to the build of the wheel, be it carbon or alloy imo.

danger dassie, Apr 16 2015 10:52

We'll be able to give you guys an informed opinion once we've done some k's on these as we've been riding the Wide Lightnings and will have a review out on those in just over a month or so.

 

For now I'd say the increase in stiffness will help with wheel deflection through the rough stuff which is a big issue on 29er wheels. BUT, let's put some miles on them then we'll let you know.

 

Is that rim tape the shiny ultra thin stuff that Shan is bringing in? 

Mongoose!, Apr 16 2015 01:54

What's the point? The aluminium Race wheels are lighter and half the price. I find them plenty durable and stiff enough.

jip love mine!!!!!!!!!!

jcza, Apr 16 2015 02:22

I'm done with non UST rims and rim tape.

DIPSLICK, Apr 16 2015 02:27

I'm done with non UST rims and rim tape.

+me

Iwan Kemp, Aug 09 2015 12:00

I'm done with non UST rims and rim tape.

 

Do tell more? I've never had any issues and am interested to hear about your experience.

raptor-22, Aug 09 2015 07:40

never had issues with any well built stress relieved wheel. UST is nice but have run Stans without issues.

NGUTF, Aug 10 2015 07:31

I'm done with non UST rims and rim tape.


Besides Mavic SL's (with proprietary spokes) which other rims after full USTNOTAPEANDOTHERCRAPNEEDED??

jcza, Aug 10 2015 09:50

Besides Mavic SL's (with proprietary spokes) which other rims after full USTNOTAPEANDOTHERCRAPNEEDED??


Easton, ENVE, WTB