All-mountain carbon from light/wide specialists
Having spent a great deal of time and effort on making some of the lighter aluminium-rimmed wheels on the market, American Classic was initially reluctant to get into carbon. Consistently light for their intended use, the company’s offerings have long been tuned to bend rather than break- and the move from aluminium to carbon fibre called for a new approach.
While the company initially set out to build a cross-country race wheel, they found that carbon rims’ impact resistance really suited more demanding applications and were concerned about the impact-related compromises needed to make a composite wheel as light as existing alloy models. That model may still come, but the Carbonator 27.5 and 29er wheelsets are designed for trail and enduro use.
Still using 32 J-bend spokes and the company’s trademark high-flange hubs, the wheels boast a 26mm inner width and stout hookless walls. A outward-sloping bead seat keeps tubeless tyres in place at low pressures, even without their aluminium cousins’ bead lock. Weights are on par with current All-Mountain models (1,595g and 1,676g)- but the Carbonators have proved far stiffer and sturdier in testing.
With a retail prices set at $1,800 (£TBC), American Classic is positioning the Carbonators as a bit of a bargain (as far as carbon wheels go) rather than trying to profit excessively from the composite wheel craze.