First Look: American Classic Re-Enters MTB with Sub-$50 Tire Lineup

After a successful 35 years in the industry and a three-year hiatus, American Classic returned to the bike world last fall with a new lineup of gravel and road offerings, and today announced its re-entry into mountain biking with a lineup costing between $45 and $50 USD. With four tread patterns and three constructions, the range offers a variety of both 27.5″ and 29″ options.

The all-around 2.5″ Vulcanite model is designed to work as both a front and rear tire, and it’s available in 27.5″ and 29″ versions using either the beefiest 2-ply EN Armor or the midweight 2-ply TR Armor constructions. Weights range from 1010g to 1230g, depending on the version.

bigquotes What goes up must come down–and the Vulcanite is ready to tackle both. The Vulcanite is a go-anywhere tire, featuring tall knobs for traction in loose terrain with hatch marks and siping for additional traction in hard-packed conditions, and ramped center knobs for straight-line speed. And its semi-open tread block layout reduces debris build-up, thus increasing bite on rocky terrain and roots.American Classic

Focusing on the front, American Classic has introduced the Tectonite, also available in a single 2.5″ width for 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, and with EN Armor and TR Armor options. Interestingly, the Tectonite has the same claimed weights as the Vulcanite: between 1010g and 1230g.

bigquotes The Tectonite relies on a directional tread that includes ramped center knobs, angled shoulder lugs, and alternating transition knobs delivering numerous angles of traction in high-speed cornering. Engineered tread block positioning and varying sizes provide consistent and reliable cornering no matter how hard you push into the turn.American Classic

Rounding out the trio of aggressive tires is the rear-specific Basanite, which comes in a 2.4″ width, again with 27.5″ and 29″ options. Like the Vulcanite and Tectonite, the Basanite is available in the TR Armor trail version and EN Armor enduro mode Meant to balance rolling ability with braking authority, the Basanite weighs in a bit lighter than its siblings at 990g to 1200g.

bigquotes Loose berms, choppy trails, and rugged rock gardens stand no chance against the Basanite. The Basanite is specifically designed as a rear tire with ramped knobs for improved rolling speed that alternate in shape and size for braking control. Alternating shoulder lugs and central knobs provide grip at any angle. And the large knobs all include hatch marks, or cupped profiles, improving grip on harder-packed terrain.American Classic

Finally, the outlier of the new releases is the – for lack of a better term, I’m sorry – downcountry Mauka, a straightforward tire available in a single 29″ x 2.4″ version with the light-duty, 1.5-ply TR- L Armor construction that’s topped with the Rubberforce G compound that the brand uses for flat protection and abrasion resistance on its gravel tires.

bigquotes Mauka is Hawaiian for ‘toward the mountain,’ and that’s where this tire excels.American Classic

The most surprising detail is that each of the tires retails for about half the price of some competitors, set at $45 USD for the Mauka, $48 for the TR-Armor models, and making the big $2 jump to $50 for the EN-Armor versions .

The tires are now available at and from the company’s Amazon store.

I recently received some test tires, so stay tuned for a review once I’ve spent some time on these reasonably-priced options.


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