26in, 27in, and 29in versions are all available

It’s been a couple of years since we played with American Classic’s lightest wheelsets, but the company’s unique hubs and surprisingly light rims have always been good to us.  With a number of mechanical tweaks, new graphics, and newly available XX1-compatible XD drivers, it was time to see what the Floridians have been up to.

At an amazing 600g for the 15mm front, 712g for the 135mm DX rear, and 7g for the pair of valve stems, our 1,319g Race 26 Tubeless is among the lightest aluminum wheelsets going.  In true American Classic style, this light weight doesn’t come at the expense of footprint: the 22mm tall rims measure a massive 28mm across and 24mm between the bead hooks.  Hit the jump for more details and images…

American Classic founder Bill Shook believes that a wider rim allows the tire to better support itself and riders to get similar volume with a smaller, lighter tire than they would on a narrower rim.  Cornering is said to be improved as well.  One thing’s for sure: our Conti X-Kings have never looked bigger.

XX1-compatible XD drivers support the group of the moment- and are in stock at American Classic.  Think of an XD cassette as a standard cassette with a recessed lockring and all of the force driving the largest cog (which sits on the splines shown).  If there’s anything that makes American Classic’s high flanges look small, it’s a 42t cog.

Aside from three rim sizes, American Classic’s Race wheelsets are available with to suit the following hub standards:


  • 100mm x 15mm Thru Axle Disc
  • 100mm x 9mm Thru Axle Disc
  • Lefty Disc 100mm (for 26 and 29 only)


  • 135mm x  10mm Quick Release Disc
  • 135 x 12mm Thru Axle Disc
  • 142mm x 12mm Thru Axle Disc

Throw in the choice of standard Shimano/Sram cassette or XD drivers and you have over 50 potential combinations in the Race model alone.  Each retails for just under $1,000, comes taped, and includes QR skewers as appropriate.  Look for a review after some trail time…




  1. Woah weird graphic.

    I really like American Classic and how they are trying to make progress. I don’t like the play in Micro 58 hubs though, too much on the bearing.

  2. Is not a narrow rim better? Mr Bontrager cut down racing Mavic rims from drop bar bikes and converted them to MTB in the 80ies for example. Narrow rims and the tire becomes more round?

    So for 20 years narrow rims are considered de rigeur and now we are heading to wider rims, what will come next? 29″ MTB wheels?!

    Was it a bad idea to run 21 mm rims on MTB then?

  3. Greg, skinny rimes make the tire squirm at low pressure and while cornering. The wider they are, the more stable the sidewall of the tire will be while cornering, and riding off camber with low pressure.

  4. AC rims graphics are ugly to the point of embarrasment. but, fi you can remove the stickers, problem solved. wider rims were always better, just thin rims were lighter. apparently now wide rims are doable so, nice for rough terrain…

  5. I think that the decals look loads better than the last couple of generations. We built up a set of AC’s standalone rims recently and the 650b version weighed something like 360g and built up nice. We’ll see how they hold up.

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