Nimble vs. American Classic
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  1. #1
    gr8spinner
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    Nimble vs. American Classic

    Hi everyone. I'm looking for a lightweight non aero wheelset. For the price it seems to be down to the Nimble Fly and the American Classic 350. Has anyone got any experience or additional (other than website) information on these wheelsets?

  2. #2

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    Nimble wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8spinner
    Hi everyone. I'm looking for a lightweight non aero wheelset. For the price it seems to be down to the Nimble Fly and the American Classic 350. Has anyone got any experience or additional (other than website) information on these wheelsets?
    I have just taken delivery of my custom built Nimble Fly wheels, and I can't say enough good things about Nimble as a company. The wheels were custom down to the bearings in the hub, no extra cost. They perform exactly as expected. As for the choice between the Fly and the AC 350, you first have to make the choice of tubular vs. clincher. Now that I have gone tubular, I don't want to go back. The feel is everything people say it is. Plus, if you are a gram counter, there is nothing else. Even if the Nimble and the AC's were the same weight for the wheel, the tubular tire will be 230, 215, even 160 grams, where the clincher will be 220 for the tire, plus whatever tube and rim strip you run. All things being equal, you will drop 50-100 grams per wheel from the rim, where it counts. And yes, you can FEEL the difference in the acceleration. But its the cornering that I love. The braking on the Flies in the dry is wonderful. The carbon rims do not brake as well in the wet, so I will keep my Rolf Vigors (essentially AC 420's) for the rain. If you go with clinchers, consider the Rolf Elan's. My Vigors have been bullet-proof.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by salmjo1
    I have just taken delivery of my custom built Nimble Fly wheels, and I can't say enough good things about Nimble as a company. The wheels were custom down to the bearings in the hub, no extra cost. They perform exactly as expected. As for the choice between the Fly and the AC 350, you first have to make the choice of tubular vs. clincher. Now that I have gone tubular, I don't want to go back. The feel is everything people say it is. Plus, if you are a gram counter, there is nothing else. Even if the Nimble and the AC's were the same weight for the wheel, the tubular tire will be 230, 215, even 160 grams, where the clincher will be 220 for the tire, plus whatever tube and rim strip you run. All things being equal, you will drop 50-100 grams per wheel from the rim, where it counts. And yes, you can FEEL the difference in the acceleration. But its the cornering that I love. The braking on the Flies in the dry is wonderful. The carbon rims do not brake as well in the wet, so I will keep my Rolf Vigors (essentially AC 420's) for the rain. If you go with clinchers, consider the Rolf Elan's. My Vigors have been bullet-proof.

    I pretty much like and agree with your assesment of the Nimbles, and I thank you for the review, but I have to take exception to the comment that the Rolf Vigors are essentially American Classic 420's. Having riden both, I could not draw that same conclussion. They don't ride even remotely the same to me. But what could be a major factor is also why I take exception to that remark. Rolf Vigors are off the shelf boutique wheels. AC 420's are customizable to rider weight and style. Can't do that with the Rolfs. At least not to the same degree you can with the 420's. With the 420's you can choose your spoke count, spoke brand and type, nipple type, and lacing pattern. Can't do it with the Rolfs.

    I just don't see how that statement really holds up unless you were referring to the strength of both wheels, which does seem to be above par.

    Just my opinion....

    Russ

  4. #4
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by russw19
    I pretty much like and agree with your assesment of the Nimbles, and I thank you for the review, but I have to take exception to the comment that the Rolf Vigors are essentially American Classic 420's. Having riden both, I could not draw that same conclussion. They don't ride even remotely the same to me. But what could be a major factor is also why I take exception to that remark. Rolf Vigors are off the shelf boutique wheels. AC 420's are customizable to rider weight and style. Can't do that with the Rolfs. At least not to the same degree you can with the 420's. With the 420's you can choose your spoke count, spoke brand and type, nipple type, and lacing pattern. Can't do it with the Rolfs.

    I just don't see how that statement really holds up unless you were referring to the strength of both wheels, which does seem to be above par.

    Just my opinion....

    Russ
    Yeah AC 420's not really like Rolf's, due to the spoking arrangement among other things. I actually have a set of the Rolf Prima Elan Aeros (the Sapim CXray spokes making the aero part) which are great clincher wheels. I went with a set of American Classic 420's (on order right now) for my cross/winter bike (and for TT's) just because of the customizable nature of the 420s. American Classic now does a cross version of the 420's which were perfect for what I needed and the price was pretty good too, especially after looking at the big pice jumps for D/A and Record hubs as of late.

    Although I have to admit the AM350's with the Sapims that a teammate got are very nice and even a bit lighter then my Rolfs (although not as good in the wind).

    My current dream wheels are the American Classic Carbon tubies, due to the highly customizable nature of the wheels. Seriously light, and tough when you spec those Sapim CXRay spokes. Got to save my pennies (and Ebay some more goodies. . .)


  5. #5

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    I didn't mean to step on any toes... The Rolfs and the AC's share rims, front hubs, and rear hub internals, but you are certainly right: the Rolf's have a stock build unlike the AC's. And depending on how they are built, they will ride very differently. I knew the AC's could be customized, but I didn't know it was routine. That service is what I like about Nimble, and if AC does the same, I'd pick them over the Rolf's too. You can't beat a wheel that is built to your exact weight and riding style. Incidentally, in choosing the hubs for my Nimbles, I talked to Bill Shook directly and he was just as helpful and honest as he could be. You gotta love the "little guy" who can provide that level of service while putting out a product that is better and cheaper than the big players.

    But you still have to decide carbon tubulars vs. aluminum clinchers. AC would set you up for the clinchers, Nimble is tough to beat for carbon tubulars at the price.

  6. #6
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Thumbs up Spicy!

    Quote Originally Posted by salmjo1
    I didn't mean to step on any toes... The Rolfs and the AC's share rims, front hubs, and rear hub internals, but you are certainly right: the Rolf's have a stock build unlike the AC's. And depending on how they are built, they will ride very differently. I knew the AC's could be customized, but I didn't know it was routine. That service is what I like about Nimble, and if AC does the same, I'd pick them over the Rolf's too. You can't beat a wheel that is built to your exact weight and riding style. Incidentally, in choosing the hubs for my Nimbles, I talked to Bill Shook directly and he was just as helpful and honest as he could be. You gotta love the "little guy" who can provide that level of service while putting out a product that is better and cheaper than the big players.

    But you still have to decide carbon tubulars vs. aluminum clinchers. AC would set you up for the clinchers, Nimble is tough to beat for carbon tubulars at the price.
    No problem. Rolf makes a great wheelset, and their customer service is outstanding as well. But the pair spoke technology used on all there wheels makes them quite different then the AC's. Both are very good, heck I bought one wheelset for each of them.

    If you like dealing with Bill Shook you should check out all the nice custom stuff you have do with the American Classic Carbons:

    http://www.amclassic.com/Carbon_Wheels.html

    Custom 38mm Carbon Wheels available at additional charge - Options include:

    Drillings - 700c; 16H, 18H, 20H, 24H, 28H & 32H. 650c; 16H, 18H, 20H, 24H & 28H.

    Spoke counts, spoke gauges (DT Revolution and Competition or Sapim CX-Ray), spoke colours (Black or Silver), CX-Ray spokes black ONLY, Brass nipples (Alloy only on special request) and colour (Black or Silver), and hub colour (Black or Silver). Custom wheels cost a little more, with a wait time of 2 - 3 weeks plus delivery.

    Due to the electrical interaction between aluminum and carbon fibre, we recommend brass nipples for enhanced durability.


    Sample 38mm Carbon Wheel Weights

    Custom build 16H 650c 38mm Front Wheel, Revos, Brass nips - 415gm
    Custom build 20H 650c 38mm Rear Wheel, Revos/Competition, Brass nips - 623gm

    Standard build 18H 700c 38mm Front Wheel, Revos, Alloy nips - 457gm

    Standard build 24H 700c 38mm Rear Wheel, Revos/Competition, Alloy nips - 653gm
    They have 58mm deep V carbon rims as well. I

  7. #7

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    Looks familiar...

    (changing subject..)
    That picture isn't from 'cross at Panorama Farms is it?

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