American Classic has launched a new line of gravel tires in the US and wheels look to be in the future. American Classic, started in 1982 outside of Columbus, Ohio strives to rekindle the legacy of the past. The first products included a lightweight bottle cage and an adjustable seatpost and, with time, that rolled into aluminum and then carbon wheels. Despite manufacturing some of the most sought after products on the market, early 2018 saw a wind-down of the company.
The tires are 100 per cent handmade and include a robust two-part customer assurance program. The road hazard replacement program “offers customers the promise that if you puncture or tear an American Classic tyre while riding, and it no longer holds air, you can contact them for a claim form for a one-time 50 per cent off the MSRP of the same or comparable product.” The second part of the guarantee is a “two-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.” The warranty only applies to the original owner but “any defective tires will be replaced at no charge.”
Those generous guarantees might be the mark of a premium tyre company but the pricing is far from premium. The combination of the direct-to-consumer sales model and efficient in-house production keeps prices low. There is nothing priced higher than $35 across the entire product line and that includes gravel and tubeless options.
American Classic Kimberlite Gravel Tires
Making up the bulk of the offerings rolling out today are a range of gravel tires with options to cover whatever gravel cycling means to you. Usage starts with pavement to hard pack surface with the Kimberlite. The Kimberlite tread design offers a smooth centre tread for efficient rolling, progressive transitional zones for maximum lateral traction, and robust side knobs for cornering performance.
American Classic Aggregrate Gravel Tire
For mixed surface and hard-pack dirt, the Aggregrate uses the same small lug across the entire tread profile. The Aggregate is created for minimal road vibration and consistent traction. Evenly-spaced, hexagonal knobs provide predictable handling across the pavement, hardpack, dirt, and gravel terrain.
American Classic Uddon Gravel Tire
Continuing the trend of more grip is the Uddon with a progressive lug pattern that starts with a central chevron for straight-line speed with widely spaced side knobs. The Udden features a fast-rolling, mud-clearing tread design for riding through the worst conditions without sacrificing pedalling efficiency on hardpack. Central chevrons provide straight-line speed, while the widely spaced side knobs allow you to carve through ruts and muddy corners and power over the top of slippery transitions. Air them up for the pavement and lower the pressure for improved traction off-road
American Classic Wentworth Gravel Tire
Designed for those whose who like to mix things up (road and gravel)The Wentworth features tightly-spaced, low-profile center knobs with more aggressive cornering tread for an efficient tire that works well across a variety of hardpack and gravel conditions without sacrificing traction through muddy and loamy sections. The Wentworth is suited for long days of aimless exploration and lining up on rainy race days where anything could be around the next corner. Bead-to-bead Stage 5S flat protection and a tubeless ready 120 TPI casing help to keep the miles rolling by through harsh gravel conditions.
American Classic Krumbein
The final, and most aggressive option, is the Krumbein which has been designed for rough gravel roads and single-track riding. The aggressive side lugs provide cornering grip across loose and muddy transitions, while the chamfered centre tread minimises rolling resistance without sacrificing off-road traction.