I got very excited about using the tubeless American Classic Argent wheels. They’ve got a lot going for them: they are relatively lightweight, make a nod towards being aero and are of bullet proof construction. All that means they are potentially very fast, especially when combined with some tyres-without-tubes from Schwalbe, who reckon their tubeless One tyres have the lowest rolling resistance of any in their range…
As with any tubeless wheelset, the Argents have that all important, built-in, on the go puncture repair thanks to the encased sealant; when you add that to all the other advantages, it’s no surprise that American Classic are really keen to promote tubeless technology.
I want to love it as well, but haven’t a good track record with tubeless. I have just about given up on it for cyclocross but perhaps I’d have more luck on the road? Unfortunately things didn’t get off to a good start…
During the first outing with the Argents I rode, head down, straight over a smashed bottle – not an uncommon thing on London roads. The resultant cut was too large for the sealant to repair, negating one of those tubeless benefits immediately. In fact, when I went to stick a tube inside, all the latex sealant managed to achieve was the ruin of a pair of my new team shorts. It wasn’t just the tyre that was deflated at that point.
But these things happen and since overcoming that initial mishap – with a new tyre – I have been enjoying trouble-free riding with these wheels and their tubelessness (yes I am not sure either).
It’s actually very confidence inspiring to train on tubeless tyres, knowing that your average, everyday puncture will just be dealt with automatically. That peace of mind is definitely worth something.
Strangely I still haven’t met any other roadies using tubeless and only a very few appear keen to use the technology. Even the mtbers on our team who, given the widespread adoption of tubeless off-road, should be advocates for its use on the road, aren’t stepping up to the plate. It’s a bit like all the fuss over road disc brakes: the technology probably is better but it’s not really necessary, so no one is bothered.
That makes me think that there’s a lot of work for companies like American Classic to do to convince roadies to switch over to tubeless. Still I am old enough to remember the fuss made by some over the switch from downtube mounted gear levers to the integrated brake and gear levers we all use now…
But this review is about the wheels, not tubeless technology per se – even though the two things go hand in hand – and the wheels were left unscathed by the bottle experience. They are certainly tough.
As we said in the Preview, the American Classic Argent tubeless wheels are good-looking, if boldly liveried wheels; and they look good on any bike, which is an important consideration nowadays with cycling being so chic. They may not be in vogue carbon, but they look the business and will have more reliable braking in every situation.
Compare prices and buy wheels from:
|Cyclestore||Evans Cycles||Hargroves Cycles||Merlin Cycles|
|AW Cycles||Biketart||Cycle Surgery|
|Leisure Lakes Bikes||Rutland Cycling|