Gravel Grinder News: Whisky Spano Drop Bar & American Classic Tires

News on two new products for gravel fanatics comes today with the release of Whisky Parts Co. “Spano” drop bar and a surprise American Classic as the brand returns as a tire company! Let’s take a look at what is going on here.

The American Classic Wentworth tire.

American Classic Gravel Tires:

In a bit of a surprise, American Classic returns as a tire company. The brand, started in 1982 by Bill Shook, became well known for wheels, rims, and hubs before hard times in the bicycle business brought the company to an end in early 2018. Now, returning under new leadership, the brand is offering tires with quite a wide range in the gravel category. American Classic also is offering a few road tires, but we will concentrate on the gravel offerings for this report.

The range offers the rider choices which could be used on mostly pavement to tires suited best for single track and dirt, with choices in between, to suit most any purpose. With five tires in two different 700c widths and 650B X 47mm, also in tan or black side walls, there is sure to be something here for everyone. Tires in 700c are offered in 40mm or 50mm widths, so pretty unusual in that regard.

What may be most surprising is that the direct to consumer pricing for any tire in their range is $35.00. That’s pretty impressive, especially considering that many quality gravel tires are nearly twice that expensive or more at retail. Tires can be ordered from the American Classic site or off Amazon.

Riding Gravel should have a set of these tires in hand soon for test and review. Stay tuned. In the meantime, see the American Classic website for further details on their tire offerings:

Whisky Parts Co Debuts Spano Carbon Flared Drop Bar:

The Spanos has a compound flare and a flattened tops section

Whisky Parts Co revealed their latest handlebar for off-pavement use with the news of the Spanos drop bar. This has some unique features which really cannot be duplicated in a traditional aluminum bar. One being the compound flare, which you can see in the image above. Here following are a few features of the Spanos Bar:

Whisky Parts Co. Spanos Bar side view
The Spanos Bar has longer extensions to give riders more grip options.
  • Short and shallow geometry to make it easy to reach the drops on a modern wider drop bar with flares
  • Progressive flare so your hoods can still be mounted in a comfortable position but the bottoms of the drops are still flared out enough for easy access and increased control
  • Flattened tops for vertical compliance
  • Longer drop tails (Extensions) – easier to reach and offer more hand placement options. (Editor’s note- See our article “Drop Bar Terms Defined” to better understand terms used for drop bar’s design)

The Spanos Bar is offered in five widths. As is common with flared drop bars, the ‘width’ is measured at the hoods. Actual physical width of the Spanos Bar is 6cm wider than listed for each size. Those sizes are as follow: 40cm, 42cm, 44cm, 46cm, and 48cm. The flare starts out as a mild 12° where your brake levers mount, but then it flares out to a 20° angle below that for enhanced control and wrist clearance.

The drop is pretty shallow at 100mm and the reach is listed at 68mm, again, a pretty short distance for a drop bar. The Spanos Bar is only offered in a 31.8mm handle bar clamp size. The suggested retail price of the Spanos Bar is $280.00 USD and it is available now from most local bike shops who use QBP as a vendor.

Stay tuned to Riding Gravel as we will be getting samples of both the American Classic tires and the Whisky Parts Co. Spanos Bar in for test and review. Note: Information and images for this post were provided by Whisky Parts Co. and from the American Classic website.



Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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