American Classic Kimberlite 700 X 40mm Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
The American Classic Kimberlite tires in their updated form have been impressive overall. You can go back and read my mid-term review post here to see why this has been the case. Now with several more rides in on these tires, my impressions have only been solidified and so, it is time for a final verdict on the Kimberlite tires.
I mentioned in that last review update that I wanted to try out these tires on another wheel set and on a different bicycle. That I have done by switching the Kimberlite tires to the recently reviewed WTB CZR wheel set and that has been installed on a Twin Six Standard Rando v2 bike.
The re-mount went well. These tires don’t seem to stretch much, if at all, and so there was none of that loose fitting to the CZR rims or any issues reinflating the tires with a floor pump. Speaking of stretching, I verified that there was none by measuring the Kimberlites once I had them up to pressure. The tires measured out to 39.25mm on the WTB rims which have an inner rim width of 23mm.
I used the Kimberlite tires in a “mixed terrain” setting for the remainder of this review with the tires seeing a healthy amount of pavement. This came in the form of poorly maintained streets, broken up roads, and paved bicycle paths which are mostly chip seal aggregate here. On the other hand, I have experienced several rides on gravel with the Kimberlite tires which were done over some of the worst loose gravel conditions I have seen in a while.
My opinion of the Kimberlite tires was only reinforced over what my past experiences have been. While the tires are not the fastest on pavement, they do quite well. Given that the Kimberlte has a very nice, damped ride feel, I am somewhat inclined to give these tires a pass on the very, very slight penalty they have on pavement over other tires in this class. On gravel, especially over what I have ridden lately, these tires have been quite amazing. I would have thought that they were in the 43mm-45mm width range in the way that they handled loose, deep gravel. The Kimberlite refuses to cut down into that type of gravel, or plow through it, instead it rides up over, as a good gravel tire should. The American Classic tires do all this and they still allow for the best possible rolling resistance levels.
Tire wear and durability are non-issues. I cannot find any reason to fault the Kimberlite tires in that regard.
All is not perfect with the Kimberlite tires though. These tires are heavy for a not-quite 40mm tire at over 500 grams each. I would have thought I would find sub-500 gram weights here since there is no tread to speak of to add weight. Certainly the width does not point to this weight as being reasonable for a 40mm tire. In every other sense though, the Kimberlite seems very impressive.
At The Finish: The weight of the Kimberlite perhaps can be forgiven, and if you can look past that, the value of these $45.00/each tires is pretty amazing. They roll just fine on pavement, the ride feel is excellent, they set up tubeless and hold air very well, and the performance on gravel, especially loose gravel, is amazing.
The width at juuusst under 40mm is fine for a tire in this category where a mixture of pavement to gravel is the expected use scenario. In my opinion, the Kimberlite punches far above its class when it comes to gravel, so in this case, the 40mm width doesn’t concern me as much as it would with other tires. In fact, this tire does loose gravel noticeably better than the recently tested Goodyear County tires. Those measured out to 43mm in width, but are no match fr the Kimberlite tires in the deep crushed rock situations.
Look past the weight and you will find a lot of bang for the buck with the Kimberlite tires. I’m pretty impressed and not only that, but I also am impressed by the updated casings American Classic has brought to the entire range of its gravel tires. For the money, there is no better tire. Even if you take the price out of the equation, the Kimberlites are probably the best minimalist tread gravel tires out there now.
For more information on the Kimberlite and the American Classic tire range see their website here; https://www.amclassic.com/
Note: American Classic sent over the pair of Kimberlite tires at no cost to Riding Gravel for testing and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.