London Bike Show preview: American Classic and Moda
New magnesium and tubeless-ready wheel sets from American Classic and an entry-level aero bike from Moda
January’s London Bike Show looks like an enticing prospect, with 90 exhibitors parading a vast array of shiny things you’ll wonder how you’ve lived so long without.
We’ll be bringing you pre-show updates from exhibitors we think you’ll be interested to hear from, such as Willier and their superb Campag EPS-equipped, Cento Uno SL.
Derby’s Eurobike will be displaying new wares from American Classic and Moda – magnesium and tubeless-ready wheels, and a new entry-level aero bike. We spoke to James Ryan, Eurobike’s marketing manager, who lifted the lid on the importer’s new offerings for the huge show, which opens at London’s Excel centre on Thursday January 12 and runs until Sunday January 15.
American Classic Magnesium Clincher – RRP £799
New for 2012, Tampa-based wheel builder, American Classic, has created a magnesium clincher rim with a semi-aero profile measuring 22mm wide by 22mm deep. Company president, Bill Shook, puts great store by the magnesium rim, which weighs just 300 grams, and has refined an extrusion process that has allowed him to make the rims with very thin walls. The result? A rim that American Classic claims is stiff and strong, allowing the rider to accelerate quickly and corner hard. With a claimed weight saving over aluminium, and a durability gain over carbon, American Classic say the magnesium rim has an impressive capacity to absorb road shock and vibration. The rim is coated inside and out for protection from the elements and comes with a free set of Kool Stop All-Weather brake pads. The manufacturer’s AC Race Blade aero profiled spokes are radial laced at the front, and on the non-drive side of the rear wheel, while the drive side of the rear features a three-cross pattern. The company’s own hubs, the minimalist 58 at the front (so called because it weighs 58 grams) and the wide-flanged RD105 at the rear (with a Shimano/SRAM/Campag-friendly freehub), both roll on ceramic bearings. The magnesium wheel is due to hit the shops in March, but will be displayed proudly at the London Bike Show in January.
American Classic Road Tubeless – RRP £799
A hit with mountain bikers, road cyclists have been slower to embrace the claimed merits of tubeless technology. American Classic hope to win a few hearts and minds with their new road tubeless wheels, which come fitted with three layers of rim tape: a base layer of fibre tape to seal the spoke holes and two covering layers to seal the rim. An improved bead design has been implemented to prevent the liquid sealant from “burping". The company claims its tubeless system reduces wheel weight (sealant is lighter than tubes, apparently) and rolling resistance by eliminating the friction that results from independent movement of tyre and tube. So there! And if you’re not convinced by tubeless technology, fear not: these wheels can also be used with conventional tubes. The wheels weigh in at 1179 grams a pair (519grams for the front, 660 grams at the rear) thanks largely to lightweight aluminium rims which tip the scales at 310 grams. The hubs are American Classic’s own: the minimalist Micro 58 at the front and the 130mm AC High Low at the rear (equipped with a freehub compatible with Shimano and SRAM nine and 10 speed set ups, and with Campag cassettes of 9, 10, or 11 speeds). Both roll on ceramic bearings and are laced with American Classic’s own Race Blade spokes. Due to hit the shops in January, you can also catch them at the London Bike Show.
Moda Mossa – RRP £999
Ignore the ‘Mosso’ branding in the photograph. This new-for-2012 offering from Moda has since been officially titled the Mossa. An entry-level aero bike, available in tri-bar and drop bar configurations, it boasts a double-butted aluminium frame, a high modulus carbon fork, and a set of American Classic Victory 30 wheels. A 53/39 SRAM chainset provides a clue to the Mossa’s intended use. A Barelli finishing kit includes the same carbon SPS seatpost featured on Moda’s upscale Interval and Sharp models. The rear mech comes courtesy of Microshift White, a little-known company clearly held in high-regard by no lesser institution than the Cofidis Pro Continental squad, who use Microshift White shifters and rear mechs on their time trial bikes. The Mossa has a claimed weight of 8.1kg (19lbs) and is available in small, medium, and large. We also think it looks great.