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Anyone have any imput on the American Classic 420 wheelset?(8 posts)

Anyone have any imput on the American Classic 420 wheelset?skippy pinfish
Oct 26, 2002 4:21 PM
The 420 A/M Classic wheelset is very light and areo, however, it's new to the market. If anyone has any info I would appreciate it. Thanks
re: Anyone have any imput on the American Classic 420 wheelset?Smoothie
Oct 27, 2002 5:42 AM
I got my set last week. For reference they are replacing a pair of spinergy xaero 18/24 carbon fiber spokes semi-aero wheels.

The 420's are gorgeous and ohh so light. Very stiff! But they aren't as stiff as the K's. That doesn't mean the 420's are a wet noodle. They are plenty stiff and track amazingly well through a corner. You can defiantly curve out a nice line and expect them to hold it. It really depends on what you want from your wheelset. If you already have a soft frame and want stiff wheels, I don't think there is anything stiffer than K's on the market right now. But I found the Amclassic 420's to be perfect for my frame and my weight/ride style.

They are aero and the low spoke count helps - 18 front 24 rear for my set. The profile of the rim is nice and small. My spinergys are alot thicker and the hub extends from the rim alot more, so it seems like the 420 wheelset is actually more aero due to the smaller footprint it has.

Both the front and rear hub have a grease injection port which I thought was kind of cool. Another nice feature is the ability to change out the cassette body for shimano and campy. All the wheels are built for shimano, than any time an order for a campy body comes in they just take a shimano wheel and replace the cassette body. You don't have to replace the hub or relace the wheel - it takes about 2 mins! Pretty cool design feature!

I am working on a longer ride report - and I think another RBR member was also doing a A to B comparison test with K's and the 420's. But I am one happy customer and like my 420's alot!
What did yor wheelset weigh and what spokes did you run?skippy pinfish
Oct 27, 2002 6:17 AM
I was wondering if you weighed your wheelset. Also, how much do you weigh? I'm not sure what spoke count to try, I'm at 175 lbs. Thanks for the info.
spokes and weight - longSmoothie
Oct 28, 2002 4:56 AM
front wheel: 600 grams 18 spokes DT revolutions
front skewers: Amclassic Ti QR black - 41 grams

rear wheel: 809 grams 24 spokes DT revolutions
rear skewers: Amclassic Ti QR black - 43 grams

I weigh about 150 - 153 lbs. I stay pretty much in the same weight range all year.

I bought the wheelset from Mike Garcia or otherwise known as I've bought several wheelsets from Mike so when it was time to order the 420's it seemed natural to just call him. We talked for about 45 mins about the 350's and the 420's. Than I took a day to think about it. I settled on the 420's. Now I wanted to find out spoke count and see how light I could get the wheels. So the next day I called Amclassic to talk about the 420's. When I called they said the 18 spoke front would be fine. I asked if I could go down to the 16 count front since I don't weigh that much. We talked about it and they asked what I really looking for - easy answer! I want a stiff aero wheelset that is superlight. He laughed and we talked more about spoke count. He said going down to 16 count front was possible for me but I would have paid for it in the stiffness of the wheel. Losing 2 spokes doesn't mean that much in terms of weight, but it does affect the stiffness of the wheels quite a bit. The rear was easy - 24 spoke count.

I was very happy with the weight of the wheelset...I believe that's under the advertised weight for the pair. They came with a little sticker on each wheel with the weight on it. My scale verified the weight within a couple of grams (my scale sucks! :) )

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any other questions. I try and get some pics posted this week.
question: ride quality5ive
Oct 28, 2002 6:28 PM

Could you comment on the ride quality of these wheels? No doubt they're quite aero with those high profile rims, but how's the stiffness compared to other wheelsets you've owned? I am seriously considering these wheels and I've once made a weight-weenie mistake of going with light wheels (velomax ascent comps) that exhibited startling level of flex under my 145lbs body. Thanks in advance.
RE: question: ride quality - LONG!Smoothie
Oct 29, 2002 6:53 AM
good question. This is going to be tough to address since everybody has a different standard to rate stiffness. But I'll try my best :)

I think it's only fair to compare the 420's to wheelsets I have actually ridden - and I don't count a trip around the parking lot as "riding" So here are my reference points:

Spinergy Xaero semi-aero - PBO carbon fiber spokes 16/24 (logged over 3000 miles on these)

Mavic Ksyriums 18/20 spokes
(logged about 200+ miles on these)

Amclassic 420 wheelset 18/24 DT revo spokes
(logged about 600+ miles on these)

I think the Ksyriums were the stiffest of the three wheelsets on both of my frames. Very firm and responsive. They felt okay on my Litespeed with full carbon fork. It was a good ride, but not too harsh (thanks to the Ti frame) and delivered clean power transfer.

The Spinergy wheels on the litespeed was a very mushy ride! Might be nice depending on your riding style but I felt like I was losing too much power for the comfort level this combo provided. I usually keep my rides in the 45 to 75 mile range so I would rather sacrifice comfort for increased power transfer and stiffness.

Now I have upgraded to an aluminum frame with carbon fiber seat stays. The Spinergy wheels on this frame is a comfortable mix and gave a nice ride. Cornering was okay – nothing to brag about but I'm so comfortable with this wheelset I know how to handle them. But they still flex quite a bit under power or sprints.

So now we get to the 420 wheelset. I haven't mounted them on my litespeed yet so no comments there. But mounted on the aluminum/carbon fiber frame they are amazing. They feel as stiff as the Ksyriums, that's for sure. They hold a tight turn as well as the Ksyriums and they respond well to power strokes coming out of a corner.

The 420's are plenty stiff enough for me. I actually prefer the ride quality of the 420's to the Ksyriums. They ****might*** give a little more but I'm probably just not good enough of a rider to really notice it. This is where your personal riding style and preferences will matter more than mine.

I can honestly recommend the 420's as a great wheelset. I would rate them in the same league as Ksyriums. The 420's are the perfect mix of aero, less rotating weight, and stiffness. I have a hard time getting them to flex under power or in the corners. These are my everyday wheels and I'm confidant in their performance for any race. The only question you should ask yourself is whether to get the 350's or the 420's IMHO!

One final note (I know this post is already way too long – sorry) make sure you match the wheelset to your weight. My positive experiences with this wheelset are mainly due to matching them perfectly to my ride style and weight. I doubt my 200 lbs riding partners would get the same results. Push that spoke count higher if you are in doubt. Or better yet - call amclassic and discuss it with them.

Hope that helps! Get the 420's! :)
can you say anything about the braking surface?collinsc
Oct 31, 2002 8:21 AM
if i recall correctly, it is not machined. is it smooth? rim seams? holding up over time?

RE: question: ride quality - LONG!scorpionking
Nov 2, 2002 7:39 AM
AC website says no riders over 180 lbs for the 350 wheelset.