American Classic Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
With Winter knocking on the door and Fall about to expire here for another year, it is time to conclude this review of the Wentworth tires from American Classic. I posted my mid-term update a few weeks back and I mentioned there that I was hoping to get the word on the Uden and Aggregate tires in on this final review but that part has been delayed for now. I will update this review once that part of the review has been finished up. Now let’s take a final look at the Wentworth in the two sizes we have on test.
Update On Size: The issues with these tires not measuring up to size was noted by our contact for this review and we were informed that American Classic was aware that some 700c X 40mm tires had been found to be narrower than intended. We were also told that American Classic has addressed this issue going forward. Also, in relation to the 700 X 40’s in particular, we have gotten feedback from some of the readers here that their American Classic tires are showing up as the advertised 40mm width.
What I have noted is that the Wentworth tires in the 40mm size have stretched from their sub-38mm width initially to now being 39.4/39.7mm at 40psi. So, maybe these will end up at 40mm, or maybe they will end up just shy of that, but it is kind of interesting that the casings have stretched to this degree. On the one hand, you like to see these tires be what was claimed for width. On the other hand, you start to wonder how well these casings are made when they stretch this much, (and maybe are not done stretching). Some tires exhibit stretch, but we typically don’t see it to this degree.
Now the 700c X 50mm (claimed) Wentworth tires have not stretched like the narrower ones have. On those tires I still am not measuring 47mm yet at 40psi, so this seems quite off to me. I think what I will have to conclude here is that if you are expecting early production American Classic tires to be what the label says they are supposed to be for width, you may end up being disappointed. Going forward will this be rectified? American Classic indicates that this will be for the 40’s, and when our contact heard about our issues with the 50mm tires the indication we got was that American Classic was not aware of issues with those width tires at that time. Again- if we get new information regarding this I will update this review.
Ride Performance: Whew! Enough technicalities here. How do they ride? Well, as for the 40’s I will say that this stretching of the casings has also made those tires a bit less stiff than they felt like to me upon my initial riding of them. Otherwise I feel pretty much as I have from the onset. The casings lack the volume and width to deal with the deeper, loose gravel we get here. But what if you never have those conditions? Well, I also happen to have tracks available here which are smoother dirt, gritty gravel, and more ‘decomposed’ types of gravel which cover a lot of what I have seen out in the world of back roads.
The narrower Wentworth does well on those less severe gravel roads and on smooth dirt. Leaving the width issues aside, I could see living with this tire in an area which plays to the Wentworth’s strengths. However; in my roll-down tests this tire did not do great on hard surfaces and pavement. So it is a mixed bag there. I probably would put the Wentworth in the everyday ride, ‘training tire’ category. It would not be the tire I would pick for speed or maximum comfort.
The wider Wentworth was a really great tire the worse the gravel got. Deep, loose gravel was gobbled up and did not upset the bike with the Wentworth tires in the wider size on there. However; that slow-roll trait is even more perceptible with the wider Wentworth. I used the bike these tires were on to ride with a visiting friend and I noted I was having to pedal a lot more than he was having to pedal. This was especially noted on coasting down hills. So, I tend to believe my roll-down tests here and I would caution that the Wentworths tend to have a higher rolling resistance than some other tires in their class.
At The Finish: Well, here we are. The end of the American Classic tire review, and I still am right where I was in the middle of this test- A bit disappointed (tire width) and a bit torn as to how to pitch a 35 dollar tire against tires costing many dollars more. On the one hand, if American Classic gets the width issues sorted and consistently on point, then that issue becomes a moot point. However; right now? I have to say that as of now the consistency in size stated and what reality is has not been shown to be there in the tires I have been able to check out.
Now, as for value and performance. You may be just fine and run these tires until they wear out and be a happy camper because you only paid $35.00 each for them. Or: You may be surprised to find that these tires don’t do many things more expensive tires do and maybe you will wish you had paid more. For what they are, these American Classic tires are fine. They will get the job done and they do some things well. For example they have great air retention, set up tubeless well, roll deep gravel (larger Wentworth), or wear well, (I haven’t noted any significant wear issues so far). But again- they are 35 dollar tires. There are inconsistencies with widths and how the casings stretch. The weights are a bit heavy for their widths. Overall, I really haven’t got anything else quite comparable to gauge against here regarding price/value/performance when it comes to American Classic tires. They are a different class of tire, as I wouldn’t compare directly to any other tires I have tested, because those tires are on a different level in many ways.
So, in the end, I come back to that old adage: “You get what you pay for“. In terms of the American Classic Wentworths, that’s not saying they are bad. They are ‘pretty okay tires’ in my view, but nothing more than just that.
For more information on the American Classic tire range see their website here; https://www.amclassic.com/
Note: American Classic sent over the 700 X 50 Wentworth, 700 X 40 Uden and Aggregate tires for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel The 700 X 40 Wentworth tires were purchased at retail by Guitar Ted. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.