These days high performance road cycling tires can cost as much as tires for your car especially for tubeless road cycling tires. American Classic is looking to change that by embracing a direct-to-consumer approach to keep costs down while maintaining high quality. Although American Classic as a brand is best known for their legacy of well priced wheelsets, in 2021 they returned to the market with a full range of tires. In this review we’ll be looking at the high-performance Timekeeper road racing tires which retail at an impressive $30 for tubed versions and $35 for tubeless. Aside from the clever naming and budget friendly price, the Timekeepers utilize their signature Rubberforce S Tire compound for high grip and Stage 3 flat protection. American Classic currently offers the tires in two sizes: 700x25C as well as 700x28C in black or tan sidewall color schemes.
The American Classic Timekeeper road cycling tires combine a budget friendly price with a high-performance design that feels fast on the road.
|Retail Price||$30 / $35 (Tubeless)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||232 (each – 700×25 Tubed)|
|Likes||+ Budget friendly price|
+ Available with both black and tan sidewalls
+ Feels fast and smooth on the road
|Dislikes||– Limited size options|
– Sacrifices flat protection and durability for speed
|Where to Buy (US)||American Classic|
The American Classic Timekeeper tires come in individual blue cardboard boxes with eye-catching orange stripes along the sides. Inside the box each tire is folded with a zip tie to secure it. As with any tire we recommend unfolding the tire and leaving it in the sun or a warm area before installation.
FIT & FINISH
The Timekeeper tires the highest performance road cycling tires American Classic currently offers. Compared to the all-weather Torchbearer tires, the Timekeeper is optimized for performance. That means the Timekeeper is optimized for lower weight and rolling efficiency instead of flat protection. Per American Classic’s own rating the Timekeeper tires score a nearly perfect 9/10 for rolling efficiency with a less impressive 4/10 for flat protection. That means the Timekeeper is best saved for faster rides and events than everyday use. American Classic does claim the tires have Stage 3 flat protection but the 120 TPI tires feel quite soft and thin to the touch.
The tires use American Classic’s signature Rubberforce S rubber compound and a nearly slick tire tread design. They are directional though as they have subtle trapezoidal details along the sidewalls. With the tan sidewalls American Classic uses sleek silver lettering on the side for branding. You’ll find premium looking “TIMEKEEPER” text printed on the side and a subtle stripe with an American Classic logo on it. For those looking for a even more subtle look, the black sidewalls offer the same details in white lettering. Either version looks sleek and comparable to other high-end tires such as the Continental 5000S or Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. Speaking of competitors, the American Classic Timekeeper tires offer identical or lower weight which is particularly impressive given that they cost a third of the price.
To evaluate the tires we installed them on our Specialized Tarmac, swapping out a fresh set of Continental 5000S tires. Installation of the tires was surprisingly easy, the 120 TPI construction and pliable feel of the tires meant they slid over our Mavic wheels with barely any resistance. Once on the wheels, the tan sidewalls and subtle logos gave the bike a premium appearance. From the initial mile to a few hundred miles later, the American Classic Timekeeper tires felt smooth and fast. Despite the poor road quality and debris on the road, we were lucky enough to only experience one flat which involved a large staple. Obviously your experience may be different, and we’d still recommend the Torchbearer tires instead of the Timekeeper for those looking for an all-season training tire.
After approximately ~500 miles of riding the Timekeeper tires still look good without any visible damage. Based on our experience other road racing tires such as the Hutchinson Galactik we don’t expect to get multiple seasons out of the tires as the tires are optimized for performance instead of robustness. Unlike Continental tires, the American Classic tires don’t have any visual wear indicator so you will need to visually inspect the tires carefully instead. Otherwise the Timekeeper tires offer a good combination of grip for technical descends and a fast-feeling smooth ride at higher speeds.
Overall, we found the American Classic Timekeeper to be affordable and high performance road cycling tires. Despite being half or a quarter of the price of other tires on the market, the Timekeeper tires feel fast and look premium. Particularly with the tan sidewall variations and silver graphics, the Timekeeper tires have a sleek and modern appearance. The nearly slick thread with sidewall details result in a fast and smooth road feel that gives you confidence to ride fast. Even though the Timekeeper tires do lack the flat protection found on more all-season or training tires we were lucky enough to only experience one flat while riding them. We can’t promise the same for you though, so we do recommend picking the right tire for your environment. Aside from the limited flat protection, the main downsides of the tire is the limited size availability. That said, if you’re looking for high-performance road tubed or tubeless tires that won’t break the bank the American Classic Timekeeper tires are an excellent option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by American Classic. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.