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Ksyrium Elite or American Classic 420's?????(10 posts)

Ksyrium Elite or American Classic 420's?????K-Man
Mar 11, 2003 10:24 AM
If both wheelsets were close to the same price which one would you suggest for an upgraded wheelset?
Use would be training miles and a few races (looking to start some road racing this year.
If I went with the american classic would bladed spokes be worth the upgrade?
185lbs and very light on components.

Right now I have Mavic Cosmos, but with a team deal can upgrade.

Any thoughts or suggestions
re: Ksyrium Elite or American Classic 420's?????brianwg
Mar 11, 2003 12:15 PM
I went with the 420's and very happy I did. Fantastic wheels (and these are replacing ZIPP 303's, so . . ); light, well built and very attractive (well, the stickers are a bit much, but you can strip them off!). Everybody and their brother has K-Elites, but I'm not convinced it's a better wheelset. Mine do not have bladed spokes, but I'm sure if your looking for a few seconds in a race, they might be worth it. Two thumbs up!
American Classic 420's!russw19
Mar 11, 2003 3:10 PM
If you like really stiff wheels... get the bladed spokes. I have a set of 420's bladed 20 front 24 rear. They list this as their "heavy duty" build. Fine by me... I am 210 and a sprinter type, but I am easy on wheels. I just wanted a bomb proof wheelset and these are it. I just got mine in the 2nd week of Feb, but I am on spring break right now. So this is my time to really put some miles on them. I took them out for 60 miles today and they felt sweet. They are nice and stiff, and feel pretty darn fast. And they are quieter than my old Ksyriums were. I had a set of the 1st gen Ksyriums and they were loud.. and creaky... but the Am C's are pretty quite so far.

The nice thing about bladed spokes, other than being a little more aero, is that they are much stronger than round spokes. They spread the stress a spoke has over a larger area. They are heavier, but I am of the opinion that the added strength and aerodynamics offset that just fine. Also you can use lower spoke counts with bladed spokes to get around the extra weight. But like I said, I went with the 20 front, 24 rear which is the strongest wheels Am Classic says they build. And they are still lighter than the Ksyrium SSCs and quite a bit lighter than the Elites.

The bonus is that you can use any DT Bladed spoke in your wheel if you break one. You don't have to special order a spoke from Mavic and worry about the down time if you have problems. And if you call Am Classic and have any questions, they will walk you thru them.. try that with Mavic. My vote is get the 420's!

American Classic hub problems?BergMann
Mar 11, 2003 3:45 PM
There was some discussion last season of riders having problems with the American classic hubs -- it seems they weren't holding up that well.

Anyone out there who can speak to durability issues on these hubs? The AC webpage propaganda suggests that the hubs may have been redesigned recently with more pawls and better bearings, but I'm still skeptical about that long, skinny-axle design (not to mention the "made in Taiwan" hex-nut look).
American Classic hub problems?Leak
Mar 11, 2003 4:09 PM
I think I'm having issues with my rear hub. It's very loud when freewheeling...almost as loud as a Chris King...and it seems to have a fair amount of drag while coasting. I've made arrangements to send it back to them to have them take a look.

The other disappointing thing was that both wheels went out of true on the first ride (perfectly flat with good road surface), with the front wheel not even making it out of my driveway before it went out of true (three loud "pings").

Having said that, I've spoken with others that ordered the same wheels at about the same time and they've had no problems whatsoever and have commented on how quiet and smooth the hubs are. I think I definitely got a wonky pair.
Had rear hub problems with 420 rim/AC hub...wongsifu_mk
Mar 11, 2003 5:33 PM
...and promptly returned to Nashbar for full refund (420 wheelset). I posted a message about a month ago regarding my unfortunate experience with this product and was accused of being a competitor plant in the messageboards, but nonetheless, I feel for you.
My rear hub (probably the pawls) failed during the first ride with the wheels at 9-10 miles out. Basically, it spontaneously transformed into a fixed wheel causing the chain to leave a nice scratch on my OCLV frame above the BB. Needless to say, I was very dissapointed to be the guy who got the 'lemon' but I guess it happens.
If there's one thing I miss about those wheels is their lightweight, but that's about it. I've put over 1000 miles on my HED Alps after that incident. They're going strong. Not as light and more expensive, but they WORK.
re: Had rear hub problems with 420 rim/AC hub...Mister X
Mar 11, 2003 7:02 PM
Yeah, I had a Shimano Dura-ace hub fail, so that would mean any Shimano product is a pile of crud. I think Mr wonsifu_mk you received a one off bad wheel. Happens to the best of us. Shimano promptly replaced said dud Dura-ace hub. I'm assuming American Classic would do the same. Every company has a dud now and again. I always give a company the chance to correct the problem with their warranty.
American Classic hub problems?brianwg
Mar 13, 2003 6:18 AM
Leak mentioned "a fair amount of drag while coasting" problem. I had a similar issue last year with my ZIPP's. A few miles into a ride, the chain would start to catch and slack when freewheeling downhill. I called ZIPP and they suggested I loosen my rear skewer as a first check. That was all it took. Pretty embarrassing to admit after taking them into the shop and complaining about it for a week! Give it a try. I have had no problems with my 420's (on a different bike) except for the initial spoke popping during break-in.
re: Ksyrium Elite or American Classic 420's?????palewin
Mar 11, 2003 7:01 PM
Seems to me you're comparing apples & oranges - the Ksyrium Elites are the heavier version of their competition wheel, while the 420s are a lightweight competition wheel. (Sure, AmClassic will probably say they are good for everyday use, but weights don't lie.) So in terms of durability the Ksyriums ought to come out ahead, but if you want to race, the 420s will be quicker. My experience with my new AmClassic 350s is mixed. Since I just got them a week ago, they have only one 50 mile training ride and one 20 mile race in them. I have not had any problems with the hubs (same hub in the 350 & 420) - the bearings are very smooth and the freehub has been fine (& quiet). They are "pretty true" - like another poster, the 1st time I rode on them there was some pinging as the "pre-stressed" spokes settled in. They are not perfectly true, but when I put them on my truing stand they are within the tolerances that I can true to without spending an hour or more on that last millimeter. Also the weld on the rims is not as smooth as on my Mavic OPs, but again its close enough. And they felt great in the race (heck, they're a good 400 grams lighter than my DA/OPs, nearly 3/4lb of rotating weight!).
re: Ksyrium Elite or American Classic 420's?????Mister X
Mar 11, 2003 7:04 PM
Palewin, 350 rims, and 420 rims for that matter are not welded; they are pinned rims. It's explained on their website.