We put the American Classic Carbon 58 Clinchers to the test

American Classic Carbon 58 ClinchersAmerican Classic Carbon 58 Clinchers

American Classic has fattened up and fancy-spoked its deep-dish wheels to put them right back into the mix in the competitive carbon/alloy hybrid wheel market. Despite the alloy rims and deeper than average 58mm profile, a 40g weight loss from the previous 58s puts them right among their 50mm full-carbon clincher-tyre price peers at 1,844g (823g front, 1,021g rear).

Alloy rims give far more predictable braking than carbon ones, particularly in the wet. The new wider profile (22mm outer, 16.5mm inner) also syncs with the latest ‘fatter is faster’ tyre thinking. The rim isn’t toroidal (the body doesn’t bulge out wider than the braking track, as on Zipp, HED and Bontrager wheels) but it’s fat enough to make the wheels more manageable in mixed wind conditions than their predecessors.

The skinny front hub and triple-grouped rear spokes mean they aren’t particularly stiff or sharp in terms of handling, but then they’re not horribly harsh on rough roads either. Power response is OK if not outstanding too, once the relatively gappy 15-degree engagement of the
steel-reinforced freehub has caught up