American Classic Hurricane Tubeless wheelset - review - Road Cycling UK

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American Classic Hurricane Tubeless wheelset – review

Lighter wheels for heavier riders taking on rough roads

American Classic’s Hurricane Tubeless wheels offer a sturdy, reassuring ride which makes them a great choice for heavier riders or those a little more adventurous with where they ride.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Hurricane Tubeless wheels are road hoops; being 700c, 32-spoke, rim-brake wheels they certainly fit the description. They’re even categorised as road wheels on the American Classic website.

But no matter what parameters you enter into the website’s wheel finder, you can’t get it to recommend the Hurricanes as an option for road riding. Change the ‘discipline’ parameter to ‘cyclo-cross/gravel’, however, and the Hurricanes pop up almost every time.

American Classic’s Hurricane Tubeless wheelset boast a wide, tubeless-ready rim and a durable construction

Perhaps it’s just a glitch in the website’s programming but it does make you wonder if there could be such a thing as a cyclo-cross/gravel-specific wheel. And, if there is, what could possibly make it unsuitable for use on the road.

  • Specification

  • Price: £590.00
  • Weight: 1,603g (748g front, 855g rear)
  • Spoke count: 32 front/rear
  • Rim depth: 24mm
  • Rim width: 22mm
  • Website: American Classic
  • UK distributor: Moore Large

The Hurricane wheels are, of course, perfectly capable of being used on the road. But what makes them a little more suited to cyclo-cross courses and gravel routes than a typical road wheel is their wide, tubeless rims and durable construction.

They come taped up and with the necessary valves to go tubeless but you have to supply the tyres, sealant and, if you don’t already have one, a valve core remover (so you can pour the sealant in once the tyres are seated).

Tube or not to tube?

The reason they’re tubeless is so you can run the tyres at lower pressures – for greater comfort and traction off-road – while reducing the chances of getting pinch flats (where the inner tube is pinched between a compressed tyre and rim).

Which all makes perfectly good sense right up until you discover the extra hoops you have to jump through to set them up – potentially soaping the rims, inflating the tyres to seat the beads, deflating the tyres, removing the valve core to pour in the sealant before washing it around the inside the tyre and so on.

Then, when you are finally ready to start riding, you find yourself bringing a pump and back-up tube along anyway, just in case the sealant doesn’t work. At which point you begin to wonder just how much of a benefit tubeless tyres can really be if you’re still carrying pumps and spares with you after all that extra faff.

The jury’s still out on tubeless tyres for this reviewer, but there’s little to moan about when it comes to the American Classic Hurricanes

To put it another way, the jury’s still out on the whole tubeless matter, at least as far as I’m concerned. This is the problem (in my eyes) with all tubeless tyres, not specifically the Hurricanes.

But since the American Classic wheels can also be run with normal tyres (in this case, 700 x 25 Michelin Power All Seasons) and tubes, that’s how they were tested. That said, some riders are converted by tubeless and the Hurricanes give you the option, should you wish to make the switch.

Rock-solid build for rough routes

Aside from the tubeless factor, the other characteristic that bolsters the Hurricane wheels’ credibility for venturing off-road is their sturdy construction. Each of them is built with 32 spokes laced to high-flanged hubs in a three-cross pattern to help spread and withstand the load of the rider and the impacts from the ground.

Given their ‘strongman’ billing and how much extra metal there is in all those spokes, high flanges and the 24mm-deep rims, you might expect the Hurricanes to be a weighty pairing. But they actually do pretty well on the scales – 1,603g for the bare pair (that’s 748g for the front wheel and 855g for the rear without tyres, tubes, quick releases and the cassette).

The 32-spoke pattern (front and rear) backs up the sturdy feeling of the Hurricanes

That’s only 31g more than the Rolf Prima Vigor Alpha wheels, which admittedly have slightly deeper rims (32mm) but a combined total of only 30 spokes (14 front/16 rear).

The Hurricanes are also about £200 cheaper, although their more traditional design might mean they lose out on the head-turning/attention-grabbing front, depending on your taste.

Though the Hurricanes are far from being the most expensive wheels, £590 is still a hefty layout. So the odd grumble is an understandable reaction when people see the price and the conservative design.

But there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to riding them on the road. They’re not weighty enough to slow you down, they’re strong enough to withstand sprinting and climbing without flexing against the brake pads and their wide rim beds give wider tyres a profile that provides a smoother ride.

They also have one of the nicest sounding freehubs. Roll along without pedalling and it ticks away with a relatively muted but reassuringly sturdy sound, as opposed to the clattery whirring that comes echoing out of some deep-section wheelsets.


The American Classic Hurricane Tubeless wheels are strong, versatile hoops capable of withstanding the potholes, gravel and general slop covering the singletrack roads between farms on our Bristol test route.

The wide-rim, durable design means they’re likely to stand up to the test of more adventurous cyclo-cross/gravel settings, too, and the 32-spoke pattern ensures they also appeal to heavier riders.

The only thing that’s lacking from the Hurricanes is that feeling of extra momentum that comes with a deeper-profile rim. Other than that, what you’re getting is a strong, comparatively light, well-priced pair of premium wheels that you can run with or without tubes.


  •  Sturdy construction for bigger riders and/or adventurous routes
  • Exquisite-sounding freehub
  • Versatile – can be run with inner tubes or tubeless


  • Shallow profiles lack the feeling of extra momentum that deeper rims provide


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