One of the stops I had to make sure I hit at the 2012 Interbike show in Las Vegas, NV was the AMERICAN CLASSIC booth. I have been hearing so much about these wheels lately and I decided to do some investigating for myself so that I could share it with all of you out there.
I have always been a huge fan of the “Mavic Ellipse” wheelsets, however, I myself have had many problems recently with my set of Ellipse wheels. So when it comes down to performance I believe in taking a scientific approach towards building your bike, especially when it comes to building up your race or “track bike”. One huge difference I noticed between the Mavic Ellipse and the AERO 420 by AMERICAN CLASSIC was the overall weight. The Mavic Ellipse wheelset weighs in at appx. 1895 grams with the rear wheels weighing appx. 995 grams and the front wheel weighing appx. 905 grams. The AMERICAN CLASSIC AERO 420 wheelset weighs appx. 1585 grams, with a rear wheel weight coming in at 840 grams and the front weighing only 745 grams. This is already a huge difference when you are able to drop appx. 315 grams just by switching wheelsets to the AERO 420 WHEELS. This is absolutely astonishing to me because most full carbon wheels do not even weigh less than 1585 grams for a set ! There is appx. 453.59237 grams in one pound and by shaving 315 grams on just the wheelset you use will drop your overall bike weight by .6944651 pounds (appx. 3/4 of a pound). Now keep in mind that the Mavic Ellipse wheelset comes with 20 spokes in the front and rear wheel and has a 30mm deep rim profile. When this is compared to the AERO 420 WHEELS you can not help but notice the differences. The AERO 420 WHEELS have a 34mm deep rim profile and have a spoke count of 24 in the rear and 18 in the front wheel. Technically the AMERICAN CLASSIC wheels have 2 more total spokes than the ellipse wheels and also have a deeper profile rim but still weigh less than the Mavic Ellipse wheelset. One thing I must point out in the design of the rear AERO 420 wheel is that it has 24 spokes compared to only 20 with the Ellipse wheel. By adding 4 spokes to the rear wheel you will notice a significant difference in the stiffness of the wheel compared to the Mavic ellipse. When you are trying to shave seconds off your time you do not want any flexing of the wheels when applying torque because any flex in the wheel will make you lose power.
The next key feature I would like to point out about the AMERICAN CLASSIC AERO 420 WHEELS is their use of ceramic bearings. When using a ceramic bearing you are doing two things. One, the ceramic bearings are going to be lighter in weight compared to any other kinds of bearings. Two, because these are ceramic they offer superb rolling with little to no resistance while also maintaining performance over a long period of time or use. This is something to think about when choosing a good track wheelset that you plan on riding on the street and on the track. I know the next wheelset I own is going to be the AMERICAN CLASSIC AERO 420 WHEELS without a doubt.
I would like to thank all of the crew at AMERICAN CLASSIC who helped me out during my Interbike 2012 visit to their booth. I would also like to thank Helen for sitting down with me and going over their product line and making me a true believer in the products they manufacture.