US brand American Classic has been producing innovative wheel solutions since they first appeared all those years ago. Owner and lead engineer, Bill Shook, has been a longtime proponent of tubeless technology, and he’s also been a big pusher of the wide rim movement. Wheelsets such as the Wide Lightning and the latest Smokin’ Gun wheels are built to support the wide rim movement, and they also offer carbon rim options too like the Carbonater mountain bike wheelset.
In terms of wheels, American Classic wasn’t showing off anything super new at Eurobike, but rather a comprehensive selection of all their 27.5in and 29in wheel options. The range kicks off with the entry-level Terrain hoops, which are their heaviest and cheapest set of trail-oriented wheels. Then you step up to the higher end alloy wheels, which includes the sub-1500 gram MTB Race wheels, the 29mm internal width Wide Lighting wheels, and the 40mm internal width Smokin’ Gun plus wheels. The top model is the carbon fibre Carbonator wheelset, which features a 26mm internal rim width, a 1600-ish gram weight and is purportedly American Classic’s strongest wheelset.
Of note is that most American Classic mountain bike wheels are available in 27.5in and 29in diameters, and you can get them in regular hub versions that’ll convert between quick release and thru-axle, and BOOST specific versions too. However, the company also had a very interesting conversion kit on display at Eurobike that’s going to make a lot of customers happy…
The BOOST conversion kit is designed to turn your regular American Classic rear hub into a BOOST compatible model. With many owners out there already with high-end American Classic mountain bike wheelsets, this conversion kit represents an opportunity to convert that wheelset for fitting to a new frame that features BOOST hub spacing. The conversion kit consists of a wider 148mm rear axle, along with a spacer that sits behind the disc rotor to help push it back inline where it needs to be with a BOOST rear dropout. Longer rotor bolts are included with the kit.
At their Eurobike stand, American Classic also had a neat cutaway of one of their disc rear hubs to show us how the unique cam plate clutch works. Unlike regular freehub systems, the American Classic system locates all of its six pawls on a driver plate that simultaneously locks them on to the ratchet teeth on the freehub body. Your best bet to see how it works is to watch the video below;
American Classic did have a range of new OEM rims and hubs on display at Eurobike, but for all the details on those including weights, specs and pricing, check out Marc’s report from Interbike here.