American Classic 420 - opinions and alternatives

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by hmronnow, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

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    I am getting a PowerTap SL 2.4 powermeter, and must decide on what wheel.
    Currently ride cervelo team with dura ace and velomax/easton circuit wheelset.
    The Easton Circuit wheelset weighs 1650 g (3.6 lbs). I weigh 65 kg (143 lbs)and ride both flat tempo and in the alps. I prefer a stiff (uncomfortable) setup. I would like the new wheel to be an upgrade:
    1) not add weight to the bike
    2) same or better aerodynamics/hub resistance,
    3) same or more stiff, reasonably durable.

    Some options:
    1) One LBS option is American Classic 420. I've found complaints on the web about these dating to before 2005. Any more recent opinions?
    Apparently, an AC 420 wheelset with powertap would be about same weight as my current wheelset.
    - Will it be equally good (aerodynamics/hub resitsnce, stiffness and durability)?
    - The American Classic front hub is 58 g. (2 oz) - i.e. half the weight of most other - is it still OK?
    - Should I get 18 or 24 spokes for front wheel?

    2) Mavic Open Pro seems to be default with powertap. How does this compare to the Easton Circuit and to the AC420? (weight, aero and stiffness) ?

    3) Do you have other recommendations? (I am not willing to go to the price range of e.g. Zipp wheels)

    Thanks a lot
    Henrik
     
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  2. fezzy

    fezzy New Member

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    Faced with a similar situation, I opted to go with a Niobium30 from Odds and Endos 24 hole with Sapim CX Rays. They are a bit more aero than your current setup, as a true 30mm deep rim, lighter at about 450 grams at the rim, and cheaper. The Niobium rim goes for around $50-$60. Its not super sexy, but built into a rear wheel at 1060 grams. I can't really speak to stiffness. I guess my ass isn't that sensitive.

    I stuck with my old front wheel to save $$. If you are really concerned about looks, you can try to get some replacement stickers from Easton and make the rims looks like they match. Or if you like the stealth look, they are ready to go.
     
  3. flapsupcleanup

    flapsupcleanup New Member

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    That's just the setup I'm running, 420's with the Powertap SL. I've had them for almost a year and I am VERY happy with 'em. They are still straight as an arrow after 5k miles on really crappy roads. They roll well and it doesn't seem to me that the wind grabs them as much as you would expect with their cross-section. Highly recommended!

     
  4. joepun

    joepun New Member

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    Might be a little late to reply but I've also got a 420 setup with a powertap and it's the best improvement on my bike. I've had it since about July and has been very good to me until about a month ago when I broke a spoke. Just got it back coz the LBS has been having issues getting the Sapim spokes in. It's been true from the beginning, very lightweight which helps on climbs and centuries. I usually ride with a Mavic Elite as a front wheel for training as it's a lot heavier and stiffer than the AC420 front wheel. I switch to the AC420 front wheel for races and centuries.
     
  5. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    I have been running a set of CR420 know for two years and the only complaint that I have is with the Hubs. The simple fact is that as they make them so light it tends to compromise their long term survivability. Having broken the axle in the front Hub twice while sprinting and have now had the rear Hub bearings die on my, my thoughts are if you are less then 80kg and use them only for racing then they are OK.

    On the other hand a friend replaced his Hubs a while back with Dura-Ace and loves them. The rims are quite strong and stiff and having given the new version of the wheels I have decided to do the same.

    At the end of the day the 420s are quite good value at around AU$700 and if they last a year and then rebuild the Hubs you will end up with a quite reasonable race wheel for quite a few years.
     
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