With three hard months’ commuting and training under its tyres, RCUK’s American Classic Sprint 350 wheelset continues to provide reliable and speedy service in all conditions, from dry and pleasant to wet, grimy and miserable.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of their performance in the latter has been their immaculate appearance after a quick wash-down. Even the white decals, which look like they might stain with oil, have so far shrugged off the worst by-products of London weather, while the rim braking surfaces show little sign of wear. But, then, winter proper is not yet here…
Fine through they look, however, the colour scheme of these wheels doesn’t go with many bikes in my stable. A more versatile alternative colourway would be welcome.
While absolutely reliable, the rear wheel did develop a slight ‘fred’ early in the test. While this never got to the point where it had to be tweaked, it was enough to goad me into whipping off the tyre and sticking the wheel in my jig. AC distributor Eurobike sent me a T-bar tool to turn the nipples, which are bonded to the spokes using the usual US-style non-permanent ‘spoke prep’. A standard nipple key will do fit, but the T-bar feels great to use.
Because the spoke-prep holds the nipple firmly to the spoke, a good plan is to wrap, as shown, a piece of tape around any spoke to be tightened. I did this with the tape sticking out perpedicular from the rim. That way, you can note how far the spoke twists before the nipple moves, then turn it back the other way once it has been tightened so the tape is once again perpendicular to the rim and no twist present on the spoke.
Result: near perfection in wheels that run very freely while offering excellent acceleration and impressive resilience.