The needs of riders in the WorldTour peloton, from which many of cycling’s technical advances emanate, are not always matched to those of cyclists in the real world.
To that end, we thought we’d look at wheels suited to heavier riders. Here’s a first look at the Victory 30 wheelset from American Classic.
The ‘30’ of the title is taken from the depth of the aero formed, aluminium clincher rim, a design we expect to show more stiffness than a traditional, box section rim by dint of the extra material and a profile less inclined to deform over obstacles.
Is that extra material reflected in the weight? American Classic claim a weight of 676 grams for the front wheel, 916 grams for the rear, and 1592 grams for the set. We removed the skewers and found little discrepancy.
The rim is pinned, rather than welded, but the braking surface has a smooth, machined finish, so we’re not expecting to find excessive judder.
A large flange on the rear hub should increase stiffness, working in tandem with the deep section rim to reduce the required spoke length. The front hub has small end caps and very small bearings. We’ll be interested to monitor the stiffness of the caps and the longevity of the bearings.
Spokes are American Classic’s own: bladed, predominantly black, with a red pair in both the front and rear wheels. Twenty-four are laced in a cross pattern at the rear, while 18 are laced radially in the front.
Out of the bike, the freehub shows a slight delay, but engagement has to be ridden to be properly assessed, so we’ll reserve judgment until we’ve put in some miles.
The finish is excellent: the red, white, and black rim graphics provide an elegant match for the red and black spokes, and the red and white hub graphics.
The recommended weight limit is 245lb or 112kg. The retail price is £399.