The ultralight rear road hub is certainly light in weight. It should only be considered for use by the person who loves to replace and adjust bearings often. Unless the rider stays out of the rain, expect to replace the bearings at least every 1000 miles. There seems to be no such thing as optimum bearing tension. The locknuts are either too tight, or wheel play is noticeable. The frequent adjustment reveals the poor quality of the materials. The locknuts will show wear starting with the first adjustment.
a Recreational Rider
from Tucson, AZ
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2003
Strengths: Light, shiny, smooth, quiet, tough, reasonably priced, easy to maintain, good waranty, and did I mention light?
Weaknesses: Not enough thread to tighten down the Campy 10s lockring properly on my hub. I was told that this was unusual and that it could be fixed under waranty, but I didn't want to wait a week or two to ride while the hub was repaired, so I fixed the problem by putting a 3mm spacer beween the small cog and the lockring.
Got these wheels built with Velocity Aerohead/AeroheadOC rims and 36 Wheelsmith 15DB spokes per wheel. <1600g for the pair with rim-strips and skewers. Pretty good for a $340 wheelset.
I was told by the wheelbuilder that around the beginning of April 2003 American Classic released a new version of their cassette hub with a quieter, more durable engagement mechanism. The new design seems to be working pretty good for me as the hub has been running smooth, quiet, and problem-free since I put the wheels on my bike more than 3500 miles ago.
Similar Products Used: Low-end Shimano cassette hubs (Alivio and RX-100), Performance Forte sealed bearing hubs
Bike Setup: Cinelli Genius Strada frame, Campy Centaur 10s, Chris King headset, Brooks B17 saddle, Conti GP3000/4Season tires, Speedplay X-2 pedals
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2003
Strengths: light stifff beautiful
Weaknesses: gee, the fact that they had a bad design, KNEW IT, and still sold the damned hub? Would it take another Kivilev or what? As a shop employee, how can I recommend this company?
2 rides and it fails? Wow.
I was extremely excited to have these wheels built up. Mated with Velocity Aerohead rims, light spokes, and tyed and soldered--very light and stiff.
Took them on a two hour ride with no problems, felt fine.
Raced them the next day and everything was going fine until, on a section of rollers, I started freewheeling in the middle of the pack! The rear hub completely disengaged and my pedaling sent me nowhere! This didn't happen on a hill, standing up out of a corner (Tyler Hamilton style!), or in a sprint--"just riding along" in the pack!
Upon inspection that night, a thin (thinner than a paperclip) piece of wire snapped. Rests against the cam plate and engages the cassette body when you pedal. The success of the hub rests on this little thing?!?
So we call AM Classic the next day and it turns out ol' Bill Shook has recently turned to a new design that incorporates this wire. Also turns out they've been having problems with this exact problem but have continued to sell the hubs!
I deplore the lawsuit culture we live in, but imagine if I had totalled myself in a wreck because of this! AM Classic would have a hospital bill on their desks...
Anyways, I am seriously anxious about riding this hub again (been sent back for repair/replacement). This really sketches me out--I don't like to wreck any more than the next guy or gal...
Failing grade to such a stupid design. Here's to hoping they revert back to whatever they had--seems that it worked a bit better.
Similar Products Used: Hugi, Bontrager/Hugi, Dura-Ace, Ultegra, Chris King
a Recreational Rider
from Walnut Creek, CA
Date Reviewed: December 15, 2002
Strengths: Beautiful, light, fast. At only 1400 grams in built wheels and less than 300 for the hubset, low $/gram compared to other botique wheels. No bladed spokes and enough spokes that I (155 lbs) feel confident riding them.
Weaknesses: Needed modification to fit, and respacing the axle is much more difficult than it should be. It took many tries to get the axle nut tension "just-right". These hubs are also super tight and haven't loosened up after 150 miles. Backpedaling with the rear wheel off the ground will spin it in reverse. The ratcheting is loud, even though I regreased the hub before putting it back together. I've been told this will remedy itself with time.
First off, these hubs are gorgeous. The wheels I bought have Velocity Aeroheads and are absurdly light. My climbing bike feels responsive and fast with them.
I did have one problem when installing them: At first the axle spacing seemed off, with the rim not centered in my frame and the chain just barely contacting the left seatstay in the smallest cog (Dura-Ace cassette). I solved this by disassembling the hub and adding a 19/32x25/32x3/64 washer under the left locknut. After this the fit was perfect.