Let me start by saying I am 235# squat 450# and can run a 7 min mile so I can put a hurting on wheels. These wheels are amazing I ride them everywhere(xc,am,dj,and light dh) and can't break them or even knock them out of true. I blew out 3 shimano hubs (2 slx and 1 xt) and bent a lot of rims both shimano and Wtb before buying these and really expected mo re of the same but boy was I wrong. The rear hub has a little play that can't be felt while riding and has not posed any problems and I replaced the rear bearings after three years as they were a little gritty. Part of my local loop includes a 100ft long 45 degree concrete slope that will expose any weakness in a rear hub and i can't find any in these wheels. The engagement could be a little quicker but i will sacrifice for durability. Overall I think these have been the best bike purchace I have ever made and would buy them again.
Have completed two years with these wheels on three different frames. All types of terrain from Moab to Crested Butte and thousands of miles in New Mexico. Flawless. I keep waiting for these things to blow up given the horrible experiences of other reviewers, but they just keep going, No play, no noise, no maintenance. Never touched by a spoke wrench in two years. Not sure what the gripe is about the hubs; there's nothing particularly exotic about the design. Yes the spokes are proprietary but the bearings are COTS and I've run both the 9mmQR and 20mm front axle without incident. Called Easton to find out about the 15mm adapter. Rudest person I've ever talked to and useless too. No adapter, never existed, don't know what I'm talking about. OK. Guess I won't put them on that other bike. Might go Sun-Ringle next time just to avoid Grouchzilla queen of the Incompetents.
Similar Products Used: Sun-Ringle MTX33, Mavic XM317
Bike Setup: Al hardtail trail rig, RS Reba, Formula RX Brakes, Shadow Plus 1X9
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2012
Strengths: Solid front wheel! Very little maintenance required for sealed bearings. Engagement is decent. Hold a true well.
Weaknesses: Rear wheel developed play in the hub within the first ride. Took to lbs and they checked the bearings and re torqued the hubs. Play is still there, though it has not caused any other issues to date. 14months and counting. Bought the 15mil from hub conversion. Which was horrible to round up. Took me three weeks to find one. Probably called over a hundred bike shops before finding one on the shelf.
Overall a pretty decent wheel. I bought mine for $220 in late 2010 from bikebling.com. Worth every penny. Great deal for a wheel set that retailed for 700-800. Has taken a fair amount of abuse and are still working like the second day I rode them.
a All Mountain Rider
from OCEANSIDE, CA
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2012
Strengths: Bulletproof. Holds a line like nobody's business. Instills confidence.
Weaknesses: Stickers vice laser etching.
Single best upgrade I have done to my bike. I didn't realize how much flex my last wheels actually had until I rode these. The wheels are stiff and hold every line that I point them down. I can't wait to take them to Big Bear this summer. Great product, great deal!!!
Bike Setup: Trek Ex8, Marzocchi 44 RLO, Panaracer Fire XC Pro.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2011
Strengths: Very stiff and strong for only having 24 spokes.
Once bearings are lubed good, they roll super smooth and for a while.
rear hub noise, i love the noise, i don't like silent ones and i dont like obnoxious ones, this one is good imo.
STAY TRUE (even after abuse and a gnarly crash)
Weaknesses: bearings come very lightly and poorly greased.
easton has TERRIBLE customer service (my email still hasen't been answered and it's been over a week).
Good wheelset, very strong, my rear disc got a little lube on it and while I was riding downhill at about 25mph rear brake was not working, ended up hitting a tree directly straight on, tire took a huge hit, I was expecting bad damage to it, nothing at all, still straight as an arrow.
I was impressed, I don't think I would buy another wheelset from easton, their CS sucks.
My set was BRAND NEW, 2010 model, if you get them new, LUBE THE BEARINGS before riding, my creaked and were poorly lubed from factory.
Follow up to a previous review four years ago! Finally sold them and got Havens. I hammered on these for almost five years and when I sold them they were still almost perfectly true, even after denting a rim.
The hub play thing is not a big deal, I ride four days a week and about once every few months I'd retorque them.
Also, at about year four I replaced two of the bearings (the rear hub). The freehub and front hub bearings were still fine.
For those interested they sold for $200. Not a bad investment at all.
Strengths: These are very strong wheels, perfect for the intended use (all mountain riding). Can take some serious abuse (have ridden them at DH parks and came out unscathed). Light, at around 2000g for the set and stylish to boot. Wide rim at 23mm inside width and holds a 2.3" tire very well. Easily set up tubeless (with appropriate tire). Front wheel is convertible from QR to thru axle with the included adapters. Rear wheel convertible from QR to bolt-on ($80 upgrade kit from Easton). Sealed bearings are crazy smooth and have lasted me over two years with daily use - they're also easy to service which is a major plus.
Weaknesses: Alloy spoke nipples have a tendency to crack and fail which is really annoying to fix on a tubeless wheel set up with sealant. Not a deal breaker, but an annoyance to consider. Hub could have more engagement (28 points) for a wheelset that MSRPs at $700. Straight pull proprietary spokes can only be purchased through Easton, which is also an inconvenience.
Perfect wheels for a 5-6" trail or AM bike. Light enough for XC use even. I wouldn't FR/DH on them regularly but they can take the occasional abuse. I also wouldn't pay $700 for them, but $400 or less and they're a steal. I've beat on mine for 2.5 years and landed the rear wheel on some serious rocks - a couple minor dings in the rim, but no serious damage. Incredibly stiff for only having 24 spokes, and hold up very well considering what I've put them through. Easton customer service is awesome and helped me out when my stock TA hub adapters were not to spec - they replaced them with a new, updated set for free.
Similar Products Used: Various other wheel/hub combos. Mavic, Bontrager, Cane creek, Shimano.
Bike Setup: 1x9 Chumba XCL, RS Lyrik at 160mm, 146mm rear wheel travel. AM Havocs with bolt-on axle kit
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2010
Strengths: mid weight, fast, wide tracks
Weaknesses: untruable rims, free play on hub design which easton says it must be that way.
I sent the wheelset to the LBS and they have said the rims will never be straight again as spoke are few. nvm that. So I was thinking ahead, if the rims go out real bad, what are my options to purchase new rims?
I do not think there are such options.
I think no one should buy these wheelsets as they are like cheap shoes. buy and throw away. there is little way to repair or replace the rim.
Easton does expect everyone to buy a new wheelset when the wheelset fails. BOO! good product but poorly though off handling of issues wrt to rims.
The Dread Pirate Roberts
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2010
Strengths: I guess they're basically round...
Weaknesses: In conjunction with the most poorly designed hubs I've ever owned (I've now been riding for about ten years), comes the worst customer service I've ever experienced.
*This is a follow up review to my previous, rear wheel review on 08/19/10, in which the bearings failed pre-maturely, and my wheel disappeared for an entire month while being serviced at Easton. I hoped my customer service experience was a fluke, and tried to give Easton the benefit of the doubt in my initial review.
Within a week of finally getting my rear wheel back, and doing a few rides- my front hub started clicking as well. In addition, it developed unacceptable bearing play (like the rear hub), which was exacerbated by the poor design of the 20mm adapters. At speed, you could actually hear the wheel bounce laterally on the axle... think the sound/feel of a wildly under-torqued headset. Having just lost the rear wheel for a month to Easton for service (they had no explanation for my local shop either) I refused to send the wheel out for repair, and simply ordered replacement bearings directly from Easton. I would let my local shop handle the installation, as doing so requires a $50 installation tool (for the installation of an $8 bearing mind you). Like my previous experience, the technical people who responded by e-mail on Easton's website were excellent. The gentleman who answered my e-mails went as far as to set up my order in advance... with a PO number and everything... before I even placed a call to customer service/sales. I ordered, and paid for said bearings on September 9th, hoping they would arrive before a race on September 25th. On September 25th (perfect timing) I finally received a copy of my paid invoice... AND NO REPLACEMENT BEARINGS??? Needless to say I missed my race and ate the $25 entry fee. As of September 28th I still have no replacement bearings.
Bike Setup: 08 Giant Trance XO, Reba Team, XT Transmission
a Weekend Warrior
from San Francisco
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2010
Strengths: Fairly light weight, convertible front hub with both wheel skewers and 20mm adaptors included with the wheels, reasonable price if purchased online.
Weaknesses: Wheels have too much flex, 20mm adaptors are a poor design and fall off the hub easily when trying to mount the wheel, problem with rear spokes loosening, 100% lack of support from Easton. They simply will not return calls to my bike shop after 15+ calls over a three week period. Decals on rims look cheap, fade over time and make the wheels look much older than they are after only 3-4 months of riding.
I was pretty stoked to find these wheels on Ebay for $450 shipped. They were heavily promoted by Brian Lopes and I figure with that endorsement they should hold up fine for trail use. For the first couple of months these wheels were trouble free and I was super happy with my purchase. Then one day I noticed a little more flex coming from the rear wheel. I stopped and checked the spokes and one had nearly backed itself out of the nipple and could be shaken back and forth it was so loose. I took the wheels into my LBS to have the wheel trued and tensioned. The shop owner first called easton to get the correct spoke tensions since he did not have any information on these wheels. He thought they would be fine after that but said if not, to bring them back and he would tension & true again and use DT Spoke Prep to help lock the threads into place. After one 2 hours trailride, the spoke was completely loose again. I took the wheel back to the shop and the wheel was tensioned and trued again and the DT Spoke Prep was used. I got about three more rides in before the spokes, one in particular, started loosening up again. This time, my LBS said they were calling Easton back to see what the deal was with these wheels not holding spoke tension for more than 20 miles of use. He wanted to keep the wheel in the shop till he spoke with Easton. Anyhow, he called them a couple of times a day, spoke with receptionist several times and was told he need to speak with a tech support person. Well, he left message after message on either voicemail or actually speaking with the receptionist or whoever the lady was that answered the phone 15-20 times over a three week period and never did get a return call from the tech support person. So, that is why I say these wheels are 100% unsupported by DT Swiss. I would not recommend buying wheels from anyone that will not return calls. I have been using Easton products, primarily handlebars for nearly ten years and never had an issue. They make the best handlebars in the business in my opinion and perhaps some other products as well but these wheels have not come close to living up to the reputation earned from their handlebars. I am not hard on my bikes, have been riding mountain bikes for 20 years and these wheels have been used on my traibike, not a downhill/freeride rig. Any set of wheels should hold up to the kind of riding these wheels have been subjected to. Value is subjective. A product does not provide value if the price is low and the product does not hold up.
Similar Products Used: Mavic Crossmax XL Disk wheels are the only other factory built wheels I've owned. All handbuilt custom wheels I own or have owned have held up perfectly from day one.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur LT2 with Fox RP23, Fox 36 Talas, X9 drivetrain, Easton Carbon DH Bar, Thompson Stem, CK Headset, Gravity Dropper Turbo Post, WTB Rocket V Saddle, Avid Elixir CR Carbon Brakes, Kenda Nevegal Tires, FSA Crankset, Wellgo MG-1 Mag pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 18, 2010
Strengths: Spoke tension has required no maintenance and the rims are durable enough for aggressive trail use. Wheels remained stiff and true after two seasons. My service questions to Easton were answered quickly and thoroughly via e-mail. Furthermore, in an era of $1000 trail wheels, the Havoc price (online) is compelling!
Weaknesses: Wheel bearings were designed at The University of Suck and engagement is sluggish. The 20mm adapters make wheel insertion problematic unless the bike is turned upside down.
I have never owned a set of wheels that developed bearing play (especially the rear hub) as quickly as the Havocs. Bear in mind that this entails only midwestern, single track use... no downhill (I assure you)... no built stunts... two foot, dirt drops max. Even brand new, there was notable lateral movement in the front hub, which sort of negated my new 20mm through-axle stiffness. With no way to externally increase the bearing preload tension- mailing my rear wheel to Easton for service was the only option. Though my e-mailed, technical questions were handled exceptionally well- my wheel disappeared for an entire month (goodbye July) for bearing replacement. To give credit where credit is due, once my wheel was finally returned the bearings were perfect. I truly hope they stay that way for a while. I guess I was spoiled by other "set it and forget it" brands.
Similar Products Used: Chris King/Mavic and Bontrager
Bike Setup: 08' Trance XO, Reba Team (Maxle), Avid Elixr CR, Race Face Deus Stem, Race Face Next Carbon Riser, Thomson Seatpost, WTB Tires & Saddle and Full XT Transmission.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2010
Strengths: Strong, reasonably light, faster engagement than anything in their price range, sets up tubeless easily with Stan's rim strips, nice rim width for 2.3 tires
Weaknesses: not the prettiest set of wheels, wouldn't mind if they were lighter or the engagement was faster, but they would surely cost a lot more
For $450, these are hard to beat. I have noticed that some high volume tires can feel pretty funky on a narrower rim. Not a problem with these. Nice engagement. Reasonable weight. All three sets that I own have been completely maintenance free. They are all now set up with Stan's Rhyno Lite rim strips. I never get pinch flats with these rims set up tubeless. The only time I have to change tires is when I want to try something new, or the tread on the old ones wears out.
Similar Products Used: crossride, crossmax XL, crossmax enduro, shimano hubs with rhyno lite rims or various mavic rims (117, 819, 321)
Bike Setup: I have these on three different bikes
a Cross Country Rider
from Lyle, WA
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2010
Weaknesses: Front wheel out of tru, rim bent- rear wheel bearings failed
Very dissapointed, thought I would get a heavy duty wheel set to complement the light weight wheels I have, not only do they add 1.5 lb to the bike they are not as strong. Have had no problems with any of my existing wheels going far out of tru or the bearing not last at least a couple of thousand miles. These wheels have less then 1000 mi on them and no hard crashes. The CrossMax wheels have 7000 mi on them have only been trued once and needed 2 rebuilds( + yearly rear hub lube)
Strengths: Strong, rigid wheel set. Compliant yet, very responsive on the super harsh technical terrain. The wider rim width allows even a narrow 2.1 tire have ample contact with the trail.
Weaknesses: Propritary type spokes (cant buy on line etc) Crappy Crappy service from Easton. Poor communication or lack of it from them.
These are the best wheels I have ever ridden. They take a beating and keep on rolling. Easy service to replace cartridge bearings etc. Well worth $400 a set. Easton service however is crap (like most of American Companies except Intense). I ordered 10 replacement spokes and nipples. My credit card was charged for the full amount. What I received was 5 spokes almost 30 days later. Nice job Easton and for this little mess up your chilly rating drops to two. It does no good if you produce a great product but can't support it. And how about getting with the times and allow on line ordering of parts. I hate having to call and call and call and being placed on hold.
Similar Products Used: These are it man. I own three sets. I have sold off all of my stock wheels. Hands down even better than my old Mavics
Bike Setup: Intense 6.6, Pushed, 36 Talas RC2, DHX 5.0 (600), Sram X.0 all the way, Juicy's
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2010
Strengths: Strong, wide rim for larger tires, hub design.
Weaknesses: none yet(?)
Got these for my son's Dirt Jump bike and I cant stop thinking about how I can steal them from him and maybe give him the heavier Mavic SX wheelset. These wheels are great. Super strong, really light for what they are - AM wheels. These could be the best wheel on the market right now for a do anything type of wheel! (huge statement I know - but thats how much I love these wheels)
They come with 20mm & 9mm qr (also 15mm from website)
setups, put a light tire on these and you will make up for the 300g's over the XC ones (which should have a wieght limit). Also, tubeless (tape) and a wide rim, and you have an amazing race setup. Great job Easton!
I'm having an issue with rear axle spacing on my 2010 Enduro. I have good rotor caliper alignment but on the drive side it seems to be about 5mm short of reaching the dropout. If I clinch the axle it sucks in the stays and the cassette/chain rubs the dropouts. I actually rode it like this last seaso ... Read More »
I'd guess from various forums that a whole bunch of riders bought the Easton Havoc AM wheels when they were being closed-out at bargain-basement prices. Had mine a year now and they've delivered great performance. Has anyone actually ever seen the 15mm axle adapter? Many have looked for it but I don ... Read More »
anyone have a source to purchase a set? bikebling is the only online retailer that i've found ($60 shipped) and easton has sets available directly, for $88! i was expecting around $20 after searching a bunch of threads here, any help would be great!Read More »
My bike is a Haro shift, classified as an xc, and it came with the WTB zx24 wheelset mentioned. my riding is a little harsher than xc, so would it be worthwhile to invest in the easton havoc AM wheelset?Read More »