American Classic Ultralight Cassette Hub Hub

Ultralight Cassette Hub

  • Cogs: Shimano type 7, 8 or 9 speed
  • Sealed Bearings
  • Silver or Black

  • User Reviews (15)

    Showing 1-10 of 15  
    Eug   Weekend Warrior [Aug 31, 2010]
    Strength:

    The hub is strong, light, and very smooth rolling

    Weakness:

    The 6 pawl ratchet mechanism does not always engage, which makes it slip. No rebuild kit available from American Classic.

    Stay away from the American Classic 6 pawl design. I had Dave's Wheels build an awesome wheelset with this American Classic rear hub, and a Hugi 240 hub for the front wheel. After 8 years, the wheels are as true as the day I bought them.

    But the cam plate and the 3 little "fingers" inside the hub do not work well, causing the 6 pawls not to engage all the time. Only a few months after I got the wheelset, the freewheel was slipping while we were riding at Moab. When I got home, Dave Thomas told me over the phone how to take the hub apart, stretch out the springs under the 3 little "fingers" and put it back together. It worked fine until now, but the wheel is still perfectly true but the hub is junk and worn out.

    I looked at the American Classic website, and they have very good instructions on how to rebuild these hubs, but unfortunately my hub is discontinued, and parts are no longer in stock.

    I never had a problem with the old Shimano stuff, but they didn't have cartridge bearings. So, I'm thinking about rebuilding the wheel or getting a new one with a Chris King hub.

    Similar Products Used: Shimano Deore, LX, and XT.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    nat   Cross Country Rider [Feb 07, 2009]
    Strength:

    Weight

    Weakness:

    Ratchet mechanism on first hub siezed and broke loose (cassette spun freely both ways) after 6 months. Had wheel rebuilt with new hub, which also failed in the same way.

    Not reliable.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    1
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Simon   Cross Country Rider [May 04, 2007]
    Strength:

    Weight

    Weakness:

    Axle, getting replacement parts

    I've had the axle fail twice and I've also had the clutch plate fail/wear out once.
    American Classic service has not been very responsive. Hard to get spares in the UK.
    Still, while the hub was working it was nice and light.

    Similar Products Used: Hope Bulb
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Ace Niño Gica   Cross Country Rider [Dec 10, 2003]
    Strength:

    like shimanno xt and ringle

    Weakness:

    the cassette body is a little bit soft

    the hubs works really good in all conditions and i am using this for the stiffness lightness and superbility and it is polished very good i love this hubs lighter then xtr chris king wyte or hope its great but the aluminum cassette body is a little bit soft but it doesnt give me problems at all as long as you maintain it good if the aluminum cassette body was a little bit harder i would give you 5 flamin'chilis

    Similar Products Used: deaore shimano mavic 501
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Ree Sheng Ong   Cross Country Rider [Mar 07, 2004]
    Strength:

    very light

    Weakness:

    The bearings they gave is very low quality China bearing.
    Easily spoilt and the size for the bearing is a special size (very hard to find, even SKF and NTN don't have it).
    I have to pay a lot more for such a cheap bearing.

    The hub can give a quite smooth ride, but the bearing inside is very very poor in quality.
    My rear hub bearing spoilt 3 out 4 in 6 months time.
    I hope American Classic can change the bearing into better bearings instead of using cheap china bearings.
    by the way if you know where can we buy a better quality bearing for this hub, please let me know.

    Cartridge Bearing Model: 15267-2RS

    The maintenance for this hub is quite expensive too.
    It always gives me problems after a few rides, and I have to service it.
    I can save a lot if I'm using other hub.

    Similar Products Used: Deore XT (the bearing used are ball bearings. very easy to find a replacement bearing)
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    dave   [Sep 22, 2006]
    Strength:

    light

    Weakness:

    Reliability, Quality, Customer service. Did I mention reliability?
    Don't be deceived by the smoothness of the bearings when you hold the hub in your hands. When clamped into a fork/frame, their poor design/fabrication results in end loads that cause drag and premature bearing failure.

    American classic hubs are totally unreliable. I had a rear hub seize (after a month of use, bought brand new) while descending causing a crash and long walkout. American Classic informed me that they had been mis-machined and the problems corrected. The new hub failed the same way. The new hub also came with the bearing journal oversized so the wheel had play. American Classics elegant solution was to tell me to put loctite in the bearing journal to fill the gap and hold the bearing in place – now that’s a professional organization! Just what you want when you buy a “high-quality” product.

    I thought I would hang on to the front hub, thinking it was simple enough that even American Classic couldn’t mess it up. Wrong! They seem to spin freely but when locked in a fork as a hub alone have terrible drag. Turns out the hub body (on both the front hubs I have from them) were poorly machined (one bearing journal not deep enough, the other one just poor quality machining and oversized aswell) so that the bearings were end loaded meaning that they run with lots of drag and fail prematurely.

    Customer service likes to claim that is it the consumer's fault. Have you noticed that virtually each year they come out with a new model that supposedly corrects the reliability issues of the preceding ones? But they never get it right and their customer service is abusive and condescending. They recently told me that getting a season or two out of mountain biking equipment is all you can hope for.

    Read the reviews here and you will catch the recurring theme of poor quality control, questionable designs, and inadequate customer service. They work OK for some people. Obviously, if you make enough parts some will be OK for a while but you really can’t count on them and I suggest you not waste your time or money.

    By the way, WTB hubs have been made by American Classic and are subject to the same kinds of problems. Check those reviews as well. If it looks like an American Classic and smells like one it probably is one and should be avoided like the plague.

    Get a King, they last forever with little maintenance. DT Swiss hubs are excellent as well.

    Similar Products Used: Chris King, Shimano, DT Swiss, Tune
    OVERALL
    RATING
    1
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Opal CULT Bike Magazine Published in Thailand   Racer [Jul 20, 2001]
    Strength:

    Super light for a rear cassette
    Smooth bearings
    Grease injection port
    frewheel pawl design

    Weakness:

    Difficult to find proper spoke lengths. Lots of work cutting and threading.

    Excellent Value for money. Spoke tensions were incedibly high, over 170 kgf. Helps to have large flange.

    Similar Products Used: Ringle, Chris King, Whyte Industries
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Stephen Craig   Cross Country Rider [Sep 11, 2002]
    Strength:

    light, quick engagement, good price, cool looks

    Weakness:

    grease injection system, seals

    mike garcia built a wheelset for me based around these hubs. he did a great job but the hubs are really letting me down. i lubed them prior to my first ride per the instructions but quickly discovered that the freewheel was so clogged with grease that it wouldn't spin so i took the hub apart, removed all of the grease and tried a lighter grease, same problem. for a while i ran them with grease packed in the bearings and light oil on the pawls and things were great except for the fact that the seals on the bearings are trash and couldn't keep any dirt or water out which meant that i had to take the hub apart every few rides (or every ride in nasty conditions). mike garcia then started offering a light weight grease that was supposed to be ideal for this application. i applied some through the injection system and was very happy for about a week. everything was running super smooth and then i realized i couldn't stop. the hub had been slowly throwing grease out of the seal around the freehub mech behind the cassette which flew all over my rims, got wet and obviously made for bad stopping.

    so, i'm left with the option of taking this hub apart about once a week or dealing with grease all over my wheels. i've chosen the latter because it's easier to degrease my rims each ride than it is to deal with a tear down and then re-adjustment of bearing load. the dry dusty conditions around here combined with a grease coated hub, cassette and spokes makes for a nasty mess. i can't even add air to my tires without getting grease all over my hands and gloves from the spokes. don't even get me started on how nasty it makes my cassette and drivetrain all the time...

    verdict: unless they have changed the design to sealed bearings, save your cash and buy something better.

    Similar Products Used: real, shimano lx & stx
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Toby   Cross Country Rider [Apr 19, 2005]
    Strength:

    Looks, initial price.

    Weakness:

    Function.

    Fall of 2001 I had a set of wheels built up with AC hubs - wheels were the only thing I didn't build up on this bike myself. The build was done by a good builder that frequented this web site, the build was outstanding.

    The rear hub failed rather quickly when injected grease prevented the drive mech from catching. I got some rather strange phone support from AC telling me to open up the rear hub, pull the pins and stretch the springs out, which I did while on the phone. The problem was solved until grease once again made its way into the drive mech gumming up the works. It seemed that the grease port was no longer an option if I wanted these hubs to function.

    In the forums here I stated my experience and was quickly berrated, AC hubs were the next great thing and I was going against the grain. The wheel builder offered to take the rear and have it serviced with a mod that AC had determined would solve future problems, so I sent the wheel back. The solution was a flat rubber gasket around the hub body and a set of double sealed bearings. The grease ports were officially out of the picture, no big deal, right? Double sealed bearings all around should solve me problems! Also, word was AC was taking info from the field and fixing problems left and right. Good deal.

    Well the bearings, for me, never held up much of a seal. Every 3 or 4 rides or after any deep water crossing I would pull the seals (brass I think), clean up the bearings and repack w/grease - then repress the seals back in. This is still done to this day. To lube the drive mech I used a very light oil, anything else caused the thing to fail.

    My cassette body also is quite soft, it has the dings and knicks to prove it.

    I have spent most of the last couple years away from MTBR.com, and today I am surprised to see that the AC hubs are still experiencing the same problems I had a few years ago.

    Similar Products Used: Shimano, King
    OVERALL
    RATING
    1
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Sami   Cross Country Rider [Nov 23, 2003]
    Strength:

    Light weight and works well in all conditions.

    Weakness:

    Bearings are not stantard size. Aluminium cassette body is bit too soft. Cogs cut little bit the cassette body, but does not cause any problems.

    Bearings were bit loose when I bought this product (1 mm free motion in rim sideways). I didn't care about it nad I have know driven over 5000 km and hub still has the same 1mm free motion. Bearings can be tighten up but someone said me that bearings would wear quickly after tightening.

    Freewheel machanism is good, it's works well and if it doesn't you can fix it. Shimanos often get frozen in cold conditions, but this one has worked always. (Tested at -35 C)

    Bearing are some china made and outer diameter is 26mm and 28mm is stantard. If you have to renew bearings you must buy new AmClassic china bearings.

    After all I am quite satisfied with this product.

    Similar Products Used: Shimano
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Showing 1-10 of 15  

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