As if often goes, the story behind the development of the American Classic 3430 starts with the use of a different product. Or rather, misuse. Before extra inner rim width became a thing, Bill Shook designed the Wide Lightning as one of the first truly wide rim options – but for XC. But the wide profile and super light weight also made it a favorite of enduro racers and riders around the globe. The only problem was that the rim was never designed to withstand the rigors of Enduro racing so they decided it was time for an update.
Rather than losing the original Wide Lightning for the XC crowd, American classic has added a second rim called the 3430. Named for the 34mm external and 30mm internal width, the rim is almost the exact same profile as the Wide Lightning with the exception of additional material at key points in the rim. You can really see the difference above where the sidewall, and tire bed meet – as there is quite a bit more material. This should beef up the sidewalls of the rim and prevent damage from high speed, aggressive riding.
Laced to their Terrain hubs for their complete builds, American Classic made the choice since the hubs have a bit more robust bearing arrangement which should better suit the aggressive nature of the wheels. Wheelsets will be available in 27.5 or 29″ and weights are claimed at 1855g for the pair of 29″ hoops with Boost hubs.
Also new to the family, is the Carbon 50 clincher wheelset. American Classic doesn’t have any plans to open up new molds for rim brakes, so these will only be available in disc versions. But American Classic says that allowed them to use a different resin that is less heat sensitive which they say reduces the weight.
Measuring 50mm deep, and 28mm externally/20mm internally, the rims feature molded spoke holes and have a claimed weight of 1630g per set. Tubeless compatible, Carbon 50s will only be sold with Centerlock hubs aftermarket.
American classic also had a few new small parts floating around like these new brass valves which they’ve coined the ‘Brassics’ Made from actual brass (not just in color), the valves are a bit heavier than aluminum, but for those that want the classic look, it’s an option.
There was also this American Classic 225 Boost kit for rear hubs, which will keep your original hubs rolling on a new frame for just $35. The hub design requires a new axle plus the rotor spacer and longer torx bolts, all of which are included in the kit.