American Classic 420 Aero 3: first impressions

I picked up my new wheels at the end of last week from Herb at Revolution Cyclery.

I didn’t obsessively weigh them or photograph them, because someone else has already done that.

Here’s what I think so far:

  1. They’re pretty damn light, especially when you consider they’re 34mm.
  2. The finish is absolutely first rate. These are beautifully made wheels.
  3. Bearings are EXTREMELY smooth. I sincerely doubt one could discern the performance from that of ceramic, they are honestly that good.
  4. I mounted Michelin Pro Race 3 tires and had almost no trouble; no levers required, and bear in mind I’m a huge pussy and have no upper body strength.
  5. I used 60mm valve stems and these are probably the right choice; you can actually get a pump head on them and have room to hold the stem.
  6. The brake track is pretty small. I had to nail the brake adjustment on all four corners perfectly. It’s not hard to do; it just requires your attention.
  7. I went 50×11 in the stand and spun up the rear wheel. Holy shit. I wish I had my computer on the bike, because at a certain speed you can hear these things moving air.
  8. I got out for a “short” ride – 24 miles and 4,000ft of climbing. These are not feathery-feeling climbing wheels, but they are strong and I think climb very well. Not heavy or tanky feeling at all. No hesitations at all about racing these wheels up Mt. Washington in August.
  9. The rear hub is extremely quiet, which I like.
  10. These wheels performed far beyond my expectations in several inches of snow. The depth is such an asset. These are going to be phenomenal cyclocross wheels.
  11. On steep descents, these wheels absolutely take off. I don’t have balls big enough to do them justice in this department. So fast.
  12. No experience on the flats yet. I am very eager to get these up to Loudon for some crit racing, because I have a strong suspicion they will really shine there.

Search for American Classic Wheelsets on Amazon – you might find a hot deal.

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