What is one of the best upgrades you can make to your bike? I believe that a new set of wheels will give the greatest performance boost at the best cost. The endless selection of models, rim depths, widths and pretty designs can be slightly overwhelming sometimes. I was after the ultimate all rounder, a set of wheels that I could commute, race and train on. Not everyone has an endless supply of cash to spend on season specific equipment.
As I wanted to commute, train and race on the wheels this instantly ruled out tubs. There is a well known saying that nothing is certain except for death and taxes, I would like to add punctures to this list. With that in mind I decided I definitely needed a clincher rim, I also wanted to be able to break in the wet so I opted for a aluminium breaking surface. I was slowly narrowing down the choices, but the brain melting questions of rim depth and width were looming.
I won’t bore you with the details and benefits of running wider rims and surface area, rolling resistance. To summarise I have read a lot about how wider rims are more efficient so I wanted to try them. So I had nearly finished my short listing, now for the final factor…rim depth. This was relatively easy, I think deep rims look rad so I threw caution and logic to the wind and went for something that just looked awesome!
I have ridden a few sets of American Classic wheelsets over the years and have always rated them, so with my list in hand I began browsing their range. I needed an aluminium clincher, carbon, wide and deep…it was the American Classic Carbon 58 Clincher wheelset ticked all the boxes and they looked damn fine as well. The great guys at Today’s Cyclist were helpful a and after a few emails a shiny new set were on their way for me to abuse for a season.
At 1910g they certainly aren’t the lightest wheelset, but boy are they tough. A pair of these totally change the feel of a bike, they incredibly stiff and this stiffness is translated into power and speed when sprinting. The blades spokes paired with the deep carbon rim makes for a responsive and confidence inspiring ride.
The obvious downside to the Carbon 58 Clinchers is the weight, although I can’t say I have noticed much difference when climbing. There is no flex at all when sprinting on the flat or up short steep hills. They do tend to catch the wind slightly though this is expected with deep rims.
The most stand feature for me is the handling, if you ever doubted that the best upgrade you can make is your wheelset then I suggest you slap a pair of these on your steed and feel the difference. I have never cornered with so much confidence, the wide rim profile creates a larger tyre contact patch this paired with some 25c tyres and it feels like my bike is on rails.
I usually struggle to come up with a conclusion to reviews though it’s simple with the Carbon 58 Clinchers; go and buy them and enjoy the confidence they inspire, enjoy the awesome songs mad they make and enjoy how badass they make your bike look!