American Classic MTB has been diligently working on lightweight, wider-profile rims to enhance the volume and performance of available tires and shaping them to more effectively interface with tubeless types. The ‘All-Mountain Tubeless’ was American Classic’s first wheelset to use the new rim profile and in this feature, we review the MTB Race 29 wheels, which are built around a lightened version of the same rim. Small-wheel riders may think that the word ‘wide’ is a stretch for a rim that measures 22-millimeters deep, 24-millimeters inside-to-inside, and 28-millimeters to the outside of the rim flanges – and you would be correct. Big wheel bikes, however, are notorious for heavy, hard-to-accelerate wheels, which is why so many bike makers choose skinny, old-school XC rims and tires to mask that deficiency.
MTB Race 29 Specs
• Purpose: Cross country/trail
• Rims: MTB Race Tubeless aluminum
• Spokes: AC Race Round 14 /16 gauge spokes Black, AC aluminum nipples Silver, 32-hole 3-Cross front and rear
• Weight: 29: Front 670gr, Rear 789gr
• Hub options: Front – Disc 130 100mm, 15mm thru-axle, Disc 100mm, 9mm thru axle, Disc 100mm, Lefty Disc 100mm (for 26 and 29 only). Rear: Disc 225 135mm, 10mm x 135mm thru-axle Disc, All Mountain Disc thru axle 12mm x 135mm, 142mm thru-axle Disc.
• Cassettes: Shimano/SRAM 9/10 SRAM XX1
• Colors: AC Cloud Black with Gray Hubs
• Included: AC Tubeless MTB Tape Installed, AC Tubeless Valves, Cromoly QR’s
• Upgrades: Ceramic Bearings, Titanium QR’s.
• Special Notes: UST Tires are not recommended.
• Brake Interface: 6-Bolt International Standard
Trail Testing American Classic MTB Race 29 Tubeless Wheels
We gave the MTB Race Tubeless wheels to Eddie, a six-foot, two-inch, 200-pound test rider who puts in mega miles in the Mojave Desert and the nearby San Bernardino Mountains. Eddie is a bit of a crusher, and six months is about the longest any wheels will stay round beneath him. That said, the AM-Classics performed quite well – one full season of riding and still counting. The following was his report:
Installation of tubeless tires: Excellent. I mounted a Specialized Purgatory 2.2 up front and a Ground Control 1.9 in the rear. Both could be mounted by hand without the assistance of levers or curse words. Once installed, the Purgatory aired up with a floor pump on the first try. The GC almost went up with a floor pump, and I probably could have nailed it eventually, but with a compressor in my garage, I took the path of least resistance. After spending several years on various rim/tire combos, the American Classic wheels rate on par with Stan’s rims (A-plus) as far as ease of tubeless mounting.
Aesthetics: Stand-alone, I give them a B, but mount them on a bike and they sure compliment a stealthy bike build out… and they graduate to an A (for an out of the box wheelset).
Weight: 29-inch wheels at 1480 grams? Wow! I was a bit apprehensive throwing a leg over the bike. Being known as a climber in a downhiller’s body, my thoughts were that these would not hold up under my 205 pounds of abuse, but I was secretly hoping that they would.
Upside: Light, stiff, easy tubeless mount and inflation, gGood looks, and they inspire you to go fast. The tires track exceptionally well and don’t float around. I plan to go to a larger rear tire.
Downside: Valve stems are way too fragile. One valve stem broke off on the thread when unscrewing the valve to add air. This is the second occurrence and an opportunity for American Classic to improve the design. The valve cores are light, but they need to handled very gingerly while unscrewing and inflating – something that is very difficult to do when you are in a hurry to get out onto the trail. I’ll take the small weight penalty and use a brass valve stem as a replacement.
Durability: The rims are very thin, and have been dented on the tops and sides by rock strikes and other impacts, but oddly, they have resisted the more typical flat spots and dented rim flanges I would have expected. If you don’t know how to touch up a wheel, these may not be for you. I had to throw them in the stand and tighten up the spokes or true a little wobble once a week
Source : pinkbike