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  1. #1
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    Wide Lightning 29er Wheelset -- A few Questions

    I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more about the new Wide Lightning 29er wheelset that was announced at Interbike this year.

    Feature: American Classic Wide Lightning and other 2014 Wheels | Mountain Bike Review

    At a claimed 1569g and $849, it’s lighter and way less expensive than the 35mm wheelset from Syntace (1680g and more than $1200). Interestingly, even though it’s “only” a 32mm outer width, the inner width is 29.3mm, which is slightly wider than the Syntace and the Derby...

    So, lots of questions:

    1. Should the tire profile be pretty much indistinguishable from the Syntace and the Derby and the Blunt 35 (which has a 35mm outer and 30mm inner width)?
    2. Have any of you ridden these? (if so, what did you think)
    3. Does anyone know when they’ll be generally available?
    4. What do y’all think about the AC hubs – especially the rear for SS use? I know they used to get a bad rap…


    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Nothing to add, but I'm very interested.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCSS View Post
    I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more about the new Wide Lightning 29er wheelset that was announced at Interbike this year.

    Feature: American Classic Wide Lightning and other 2014 Wheels | Mountain Bike Review

    At a claimed 1569g and $849, it’s lighter and way less expensive than the 35mm wheelset from Syntace (1680g and more than $1200). Interestingly, even though it’s “only” a 32mm outer width, the inner width is 29.3mm, which is slightly wider than the Syntace and the Derby...

    So, lots of questions:

    1. Should the tire profile be pretty much indistinguishable from the Syntace and the Derby and the Blunt 35 (which has a 35mm outer and 30mm inner width)?
    2. Have any of you ridden these? (if so, what did you think)
    3. Does anyone know when they’ll be generally available?
    4. What do y’all think about the AC hubs – especially the rear for SS use? I know they used to get a bad rap…


    Thanks.
    American Classic has produced the largest quantity of sub-par products of any name-brand the past ~10 years running.

    If you're lucky enough to get a set from a 'good batch', it will be just that--luck.

    If not, best of luck with the AC customer service 'experience'.

    As for the AC rims, they are wider inside and narrower out because the extrusion/walls are thinner. If you dent rims consistently then these might not be for you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    American Classic has produced the largest quantity of sub-par products of any name-brand the past ~10 years running.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I'm about 280# and I've been on a set of AC all mountain 29er wheels for a year and a half. I had these wheels on a geared bike to begin with, and for the last year or so, they have been on a SS. I've had no problems with hubs or rims since I purchased them.

    AC IMO makes great wheelsets at average prices. They typically are lighter than other pre built wheels with similar intended use.

    When I bought my wheels, I couldn't have found or built a wheelset with 23mm inside width at 1750 grams under $1000.

    The wide lightnings look like they will have a lot of potential. (decent price, great weight, great width)
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  5. #5
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    I was interested in the WL wheels, but availability has been scarce. So I built a set of LB 30mm (with 23mm internal) carbon rims using Dan's Comp Sapim spokes (best prices and the spoke is strong!) and my choice of hubs laced 2X with brass on DS and alloy on NDS. Weight was 1480grams, super stiff and strong, and cost was about $650 give or take. Swap in hubs that are faster engaging and more reliable than the AC (okay, let's just say 'faster engaging' since some have good luck with AC hubs) and the price can still be the same.

    Weight-wise the WL is basically the same, but AC's alloy rim isn't even in the same league as a LB carbon rim when it comes to strength or rigidity especially for a Clydesdale rider such as yourself.

    To date I can't find an online source of the WL wheels. Called AC about a month or so ago and was told "early November" but even the likes of bikebling doesn't have them listed which is a shame because 15% coupons would make the wheels appealing for some.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnavy05 View Post
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I'm about 280# and I've been on a set of AC all mountain 29er wheels for a year and a half. I had these wheels on a geared bike to begin with, and for the last year or so, they have been on a SS. I've had no problems with hubs or rims since I purchased them.

    AC IMO makes great wheelsets at average prices. They typically are lighter than other pre built wheels with similar intended use.

    When I bought my wheels, I couldn't have found or built a wheelset with 23mm inside width at 1750 grams under $1000.

    The wide lightnings look like they will have a lot of potential. (decent price, great weight, great width)

    I don't doubt that your experience has been as you say, and I'm happy to hear it. Congrats.

    My experience comes from not one wheel or hubset, but hundreds. Overall, you're gambling with a losing hand when dealing with AC.

    Cheers,

    MC

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I don't doubt that your experience has been as you say, and I'm happy to hear it. Congrats.

    My experience comes from not one wheel or hubset, but hundreds. Overall, you're gambling with a losing hand when dealing with AC.

    Cheers,

    MC
    I tried to PM you, but I couldn't get it to go through for some reason. Anyway, What problems in particular have you seen from the AC wheels/hubs? I haven't had any problems with mine so far, and I didn't realize that they have so many issues until you brought it to light. I'm curious to know what they are so that I can keep a closer eye on my wheels in case I do run into problems.
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnavy05 View Post
    I tried to PM you, but I couldn't get it to go through for some reason. Anyway, What problems in particular have you seen from the AC wheels/hubs? I haven't had any problems with mine so far, and I didn't realize that they have so many issues until you brought it to light. I'm curious to know what they are so that I can keep a closer eye on my wheels in case I do run into problems.
    You don't need to keep an eye on anything--they'll slap you in the face when the time comes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You don't need to keep an eye on anything--they'll slap you in the face when the time comes.
    ^This ROFLMFAO

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You don't need to keep an eye on anything--they'll slap you in the face when the time comes.
    Well, I've been searching the interwebs on the subject, and I really can't find any complaints since they redesigned the rear hub. You said you have had experience with hundreds of AC hubs and wheelsets. Were you riding them yourself? Or building them up for your customers? What were the issues?
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  11. #11
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    If you want an alloy rim with additional width, at the same or lighter weight than everything else, you have to remove material. In this case there's no internal bracing and the extrusion might be a lot thinner. If stiffness is on your list of desires you might be skeptical like me. Pacenti did the same thing and a bunch of people on here weren't happy with them.
    Last edited by 92gli; 11-27-2013 at 05:23 AM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I guess that these things have yet to actually ship, since I haven't seen any feedback from people who've ridden them.

    I've ridden Arches extensively, as well as Enve XCs. Then I got a Krampus and have been running rabbit holes with knards and I'm a believer. I'm looking for a bit more cushion in my pushin on my "regular" 29er SS, so I'm going to try wider rims. But I definitely don't want something noodly or fragile. I'm a fan of low tire pressure and ride lots of rocks...

    It's funny, I thought that the issues I'd hear about w/ the ACs would be hub related. It's also interesting that I have 6 year old American Classic 420s on my road bike and I've been completely happy with them. Must've been a lucky batch!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    American Classic has produced the largest quantity of sub-par products of any name-brand the past ~10 years running.

    If you're lucky enough to get a set from a 'good batch', it will be just that--luck.

    If not, best of luck with the AC customer service 'experience'.

    As for the AC rims, they are wider inside and narrower out because the extrusion/walls are thinner. If you dent rims consistently then these might not be for you.
    Not true. The sub-par product award goes to Crank Bro's :-)

  14. #14
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    Rear hub is fine it simply lacks the engagement of some other brands. I have not ridden these wheels but spoke with a rep. and he basically said these are more of a "lite duty enduro wheel" so take that with a grain of salt. In my opinion, unless you are a really small guy or dont ride extremely technical terrain then i would lean torwards the all mountains or something else.

  15. #15
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    Wide Lightning 29er Wheelset -- A few Questions

    Well, I guess I'll be the guinea pig. Just got mine in today and hope to go for a ride on the morning!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ufdah View Post
    Well, I guess I'll be the guinea pig. Just got mine in today and hope to go for a ride on the morning!
    What terrain, tires, psi, rider weight, bike and old wheels and stuff if you can include it.
    Any spoke tension info if possible.

  17. #17
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    Wide Lightning 29er Wheelset -- A few Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ufdah View Post
    Well, I guess I'll be the guinea pig. Just got mine in today and hope to go for a ride on the morning!
    Also, let us know if they weigh in at the advertised weight. And how well they work tubeless. Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Wide Lightning 29er Wheelset -- A few Questions

    Sorry, can't get the weight for you, I've already got them setup and on the bike. Tubeless setup was great! I used 29x2.4 Ardent EXO tires and the setup was pretty much on par with my past experience with Bontrager Rim Strips. That being said a compressor was necessary or at least made it nearly painless to get them to seat. I put 3oz. of Stan's in each tire, sloshed it around and didn't appear to lose any air overnight. The wheels do spin extremely well and the hub is super quiet if that matters to you. They definitely aren't high engagement hubs, 24poe which is noticeable compared to my 50some cheap Chinese Carbon wheels. Other than that they seem like the real deal. I like the low profile rim hook, the tire seems like it's able to attain a more natural shape and the bead hook inside the rim seems like it will do a great job of preventing burping. I manually broke the bead after setting it and it took a fair amount of force to break it loose.

  19. #19
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    I'm interested in these as well and the guys over at twentynineinches.com just got 2 sets to test and I'll be watching for updates.

    Thanks!
    " I'm not inclined to resign to maturity "

  20. #20
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    I have them on my hardrock 2014. They'r great, really light, stiff and rolls fast and easy. acceleration is quick and the hubs are good looking and durable. its an XC-Enduro wheel set. Highly recommend them.

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