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American Classic Micro 58 / Classic 205 F/R Hubs - Anybody Using Them?

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American Classic Micro 58 / Classic 205 F/R Hubs - Anybody Using Them?

Old 02-14-15, 07:10 AM
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American Classic Micro 58 / Classic 205 F/R Hubs - Anybody Using Them?

Was thinking about a lightweight wheelset build and looking at hubs. The American Classic hubs are light and competitively priced but I have no experience with these hubs and was wondering about durability etc. Anybody rolling with these hubs have any insight into how well they stack up against the likes of DT Swiss, CK, I9 , White Industries etc. They are certainly the lowest weight of the bunch but how do they compare in terms of durability, stiffness, bearing quality, seals, rolling resistance etc. ?

Comments appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-14-15, 07:46 AM
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I've used them for years and do really like them. There is one overriding difference between the AC hubs and most of what you see otherwise: the AC hubs have narrower rear flange spacing than most others so that the NDS and DS spokes won't have such dissimilar tensions. Tensions from side to side are much closer on the AC hubs than others. I like that a lot. When I build a wheel using the RD205 hub and a Velocity OC rim with a 4mm offset (asymmetric), I get very nearly identical tensions from side to side. To me that is very positive.

But the trade-off is stiffness. Most wheel stiffness due to spokes comes from the NDS where the large bracing angles are. Those angles are smaller on the AC RD205 due to the left flange being more inboard. Since stiffness is a squared function of the sine of the bracing angle, the difference in angle makes a big difference in stiffness. I don't notice any problem. Wheel stiffness doesn't mean a whole lot to me within the normal range of experience, but some folks make a big deal out of it.

The bearings, engineering, and finish are excellent. And the reinforced splines on the Shimano-compatible freehub body is a real benefit. The splines don't get cut up by Shimano cassettes like plain aluminum ones do.

Be aware that the weight of the RD205 isn't 205 g anymore (not for years). Various modifications and improvements over the years have added about 15 g to the nominal weight, but those changes have been worth it.

Replacement parts are readily available. AC are good folks to deal with too.

There are often good deals on both new and used AC hubs on ebay. Check it out before you buy. Most AC hubs sold these days seem to be for MTB disc brakes, but the road bike, rim brake models are also readily available. Let me know if you have any further questions.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
I've used them for years and do really like them. There is one overriding difference between the AC hubs and most of what you see otherwise: the AC hubs have narrower rear flange spacing than most others so that the NDS and DS spokes won't have such dissimilar tensions. Tensions from side to side are much closer on the AC hubs than others. I like that a lot. When I build a wheel using the RD205 hub and a Velocity OC rim with a 4mm offset (asymmetric), I get very nearly identical tensions from side to side. To me that is very positive.

But the trade-off is stiffness. Most wheel stiffness due to spokes comes from the NDS where the large bracing angles are. Those angles are smaller on the AC RD205 due to the left flange being more inboard. Since stiffness is a squared function of the sine of the bracing angle, the difference in angle makes a big difference in stiffness. I don't notice any problem. Wheel stiffness doesn't mean a whole lot to me within the normal range of experience, but some folks make a big deal out of it.

The bearings, engineering, and finish are excellent. And the reinforced splines on the Shimano-compatible freehub body is a real benefit. The splines don't get cut up by Shimano cassettes like plain aluminum ones do.

Be aware that the weight of the RD205 isn't 205 g anymore (not for years). Various modifications and improvements over the years have added about 15 g to the nominal weight, but those changes have been worth it.

Replacement parts are readily available. AC are good folks to deal with too.

There are often good deals on both new and used AC hubs on ebay. Check it out before you buy. Most AC hubs sold these days seem to be for MTB disc brakes, but the road bike, rim brake models are also readily available. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Thanks Robert. Very informative / helpful!
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Old 02-14-15, 07:56 AM
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I should have also mentioned that I am not buying AC hubs any more. The Bike Hub Store Taiwanese hubs are just so damn good for 1/4 the price that I can't justify the added expense. The main differences are the unreinforced splines on the BHS freehub body and the very large differential in side-to-side tension on the BHS rear hub due to the very wide left flange spacing. I find the tension differential on the BHS hubs to be too great for me, so I lace them 8:16, that is 8 spokes on the left and 16 spokes on the right. That balances the tension, but similarly to an AC hub, the sacrifice is the stiffness due to the NDS spokes. With fewer of them, the wheel is not as stiff. No problem for me. You can lace them 12:12 if you like, just make sure your DS tension is high enough to force a decent tension on the NDS too.

Before you spend $600 on anybody's hubs, consider the inexpensive BHS ones. You can get 3 or 4 pair for the price of one AC pair, or White, or DT 240, or heaven help us, Chris King. And plenty of colors available too.

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-15, 08:06 AM
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I've got their Argent wheelset with the Micro 58 front hub, but their Hi-Low rear hub, which they don't seem to offer outside of wheelsets.

I've only got about 2.5k miles on them from last season, and I've not had cause to tear them down, so I can't speak to much about them aside from the fact they've been flawless and feel super silky on the roll.

My front is laced with 2mm wide aero blades (x20) to a 30mm tall rim, and it feel very solid and positive under my 220lbs, whether cranked over in a hard, fast turn or getting shoved around under a sprint.

I've done a 4hr ride through nonstop rain with them and they seemed to emerge unscathed, despite some concerns by some that the exteme outboard position of the front bearings (which is a big reason they're stiff) leaves them rather exposed. I'll get into the rear hub in the next few weeks just to make sure it's tip top for the upcoming season, but I don't plan to do anything with the front.

If you haven't look for the AC tubeless wheels reviews on Pez Cycling; there are at least a couple of articles which interview Shook and in which he explains some of the interesting solutions and tech he designed into the hubs. It's mostly in relation to the 58/hiLo, but there may be some info on the rear you're looking at, too.
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Old 02-14-15, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I've got their Argent wheelset with the Micro 58 front hub, but their Hi-Low rear hub, which they don't seem to offer outside of wheelsets.

I've only got about 2.5k miles on them from last season, and I've not had cause to tear them down, so I can't speak to much about them aside from the fact they've been flawless and feel super silky on the roll.

My front is laced with 2mm wide aero blades (x20) to a 30mm tall rim, and it feel very solid and positive under my 220lbs, whether cranked over in a hard, fast turn or getting shoved around under a sprint.

I've done a 4hr ride through nonstop rain with them and they seemed to emerge unscathed, despite some concerns by some that the exteme outboard position of the front bearings (which is a big reason they're stiff) leaves them rather exposed. I'll get into the rear hub in the next few weeks just to make sure it's tip top for the upcoming season, but I don't plan to do anything with the front.

If you haven't look for the AC tubeless wheels reviews on Pez Cycling; there are at least a couple of articles which interview Shook and in which he explains some of the interesting solutions and tech he designed into the hubs. It's mostly in relation to the 58/hiLo, but there may be some info on the rear you're looking at, too.
Thanks!
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