Review: American Classic Sprint 350 wheels
I’ve been testing out the American Classic Sprint 350 wheelset for about 8 months, so now that I’ve amassed some serious mileage on them I figured it was time to get my review written up.
I’d originally planned to use them as winter training wheels, but I soon found myself racing crits on them as well. I suppose this was partially due to laziness as I couldn’t be bothered to swap them over, but the reality is I just didn’t feel the need to change to a posh wheelset when these were doing such a good job.
Wide profile comfort
The 22.6mm rim width gives your tyre a nice wide profile and maximises contact with the road, giving you more comfort as well as reducing rolling resistance. The wheels feel very robust and the wide footprint of the tyres makes for a smooth feeling ride.
Whilst you wouldn’t usually associate a regular rim (as opposed to deep profile) wheelset with stiffness, the Sprint 350’s have a 28/32 spoke count which gives them nice solid feeling. The 24mm deep rim keeps the weight down to 1396g, which isn’t at all bad at all for an aluminium wheelset, especially with such a high spoke count.
I’ve been using them with 25c tyres which look beefy when installed because of the wide rim but certainly don’t feel sluggish. The wide rim gives you confidence when cornering and descending. I know I keep banging on about rim width but I do so for a reason; wide rims equal more fun! Another great feature is they are tubeless compatible and come taped and ready with tubeless valves in the box.
I didn’t have any tubeless road tyres to hand, so decided to set them up on my cross bike. The whole process was straightforward and went off without a hitch. They paired perfectly with my WTB Cross Wolfs.
Tubeless tyres have their advantages and disadvantages, I wont go into it too much here as this is a wheel review, but in a nutshell, they are quick and easy to install, the sealant will seal punctures very quickly and effectively and you can run lower pressure than when using inner tubes. On the downside, changing tyres can sometimes be a bit of a faff and you cannot run them at quite as low pressure as you can tubulars. On the whole though, I think the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
So what are they like for all weather riding? Well, the braking surface is consistent and does its best to slow you down in the rain.
Great all round performance
The 350’s aren’t the lightest wheelset but they do climb well and when I get out of the saddle and really give it some there is no flex at all, so they’re clearly stiff enough for my 9-Stone frame.
Retailing at £600 I suppose these are a mid-level wheelset rather than cheap winter/training wheels but they have stood up to a beating over the past year, they’ve been raced on and they are still going strong.
The American Classic Sprint 350 wheelset is a great all rounder, they held up to the mud, grit and slop of cyclocross and were equally at home racing on a closed circuit. The simple understated design looks good and they perform very well for a wheelset in this price range. 2016 has been all about wider rims and tyres both in and out of the pro peleton. I wonder if we will see a disc ready version of these anytime soon.