Whether you ride your 29er for fun or to toe the line at the races, you know that having the right wheels will make or break your day. Luckily, though, Easton is renowned for designing wheels that check off all of the boxes on your wishlist, and the EC90 XC 29in Wheel is no exception. The EC90 XC...
Strengths: Light, simple spoke design, easy access to spare parts and very strong rim design.
Weaknesses: Limited to 29ers, therefore high volume, low pressure use only.
I purchased this wheel set as I wanted a second set of wheels for my cyclocross bike. I have the Stan's Iron Cross Pro set up tubeless with Clement PDX 700x33 clinchers for the cross-specific trails and decided to mount the Clement LAS (diamond pattern tread) on the Easton EC90 XC 29er for on-road/pavement use. At first, I was concerned with rolling resistance on 700x33 Clement LAS at 50 PSI (maximum recommended by Easton Tech), but at 50 PSI, the tires held up well even riding with the roadies in my club. At this time, I'm not sure how a long-distance ride with guys running 120 PSI on their 700x23s would go, but so far I was pleasantly surprised after a 60-mile ride on the Easton EC90 XC 29er.
The wider tires 700x33 at 50 PSI smooth out the road bumps and I don't feel beaten up after a 3-5 hour ride. The real test will be a 65-mile gravel Fondo in June and I should have a long-term review at that time. Those of you who ride mostly on-road on your cross bike may find these wheels plenty stiff. The taller rim profile compared to the Stan's Iron Cross does create challenges on side winds, but not enough to warrant a negative review since these wheels were designed for off-road use.
I would think that the up-and-comer Stan's ZTR Valor wheels may take some of the market, but Easton has been marketing their carbon wheels for many years.
Similar Products Used: Stan's Iron Cross Pro, Mavic R-Sys SLR, Mavic R-Sys SL, Campagnolo Eurus 2-Way.
Bike Setup: Raleigh RXC Disc, 3T cockpit, SRAM Red, Selle Italia SLR Carbon, Time Xpresso, Cannondale Hollowgram 172.5 (50/34).
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2013
Strengths: ten out of ten for looks and great ride
Weaknesses: rear hub and bearing totally under engineered expect to have to replace bearings after every 10 rides. I agree with other reviews Easton claim these are not just a race day wheel only but believe me they are and need to be rapped in cotton wool permanently
Weaknesses: Rear wheel cracked in half on my way to a race while it was on the bike rack. Rode these for about 14 months. Only ride this bike about twice a week. Easton will not warr because I bought them new on ebay from a unauthorized dealer.
They say their strong, but I have 3 times the miles on some Stans Arch with no issues.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2012
Strengths: Light, stiff (considering so light and a 29er), look cool, they spin up fast
Weaknesses: Soo bloody expensive - that is about it
Well after the monster purchase of my tricked out full XTR Santa Cruze Tall Boy Carbon last August - I thought, 'go all in' and buy the lightest, strongest, toughest wheels that I could find. Easton carbons fit the bill perfectly. I am 165lbs, mostly race and ride all mountain/XC, no monster drops - getting too old for that - just ride a lot and hammer up and down. I generally run mid to low 20's for air pressure. These are my everyday and race wheels.
These wheels now have tons and tons of miles on single track. Not flat wimpy stuff; I live in Calgary, Alberta and we ride in the Rockies & we ride hard. Besides adjusting the ceramic bearings - so easy BTW - they are as straight and true as the day I bought them - incredible! I love how quiet the rear hub is, it engages quick and is bomb proof.
Mounting tires - My tires of choice lately, due to the mud, are TL Ready Schwalbe Nobby Nicks (2.25), they come on and off pretty easy, just make sure the bead sits in the center of the wheel and you start opposite the air valve. In order to seat the beads I install a tube, pump it up, till the beads seat, then I break the bead from one side only, remove the tube, re-install the tire, almost fully, dump in 2 caps of Stans sealant, and then pump it up using my low volume (road bike) pump - easy! I also have a set of Maxis Ardent UST tires, they go on without the tube trick. They simply air up with my road bike pump - sweet!
The ride is great, you really, really notice the lighter weight, especially considering that 29er's carry extra fat, I think they spin up as fast as my 26er's, and when they are rolling, they eat 26er's. Stiff, yup, I do not notice any flex, but then again I am not doing any side by side comparisons, but if they flex at all, I notice nothing!
So, without hesitation, if you have some money to burn, buy these, you will not be disappointed. Bombproof, yup, some of the crap I put them through should have at least made them out of true, but they said no, we stay true! Enjoy!
Similar Products Used: 1st set of carbon wheels I have evver owned. Other makes owned - Mavic's, Easton's, Sun, Fulcrum
Bike Setup: 2012 Santa Cruze Tall Boy carbon - full XTR - my dream machine!
a Cross Country Rider
from Novato, CA
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2012
Strengths: Light, fairly rigid considering weight, good engagement.
Weaknesses: I am 175lbs and ride a f/s on xc trails...and the rear rim bead cracked despite using a 2.1 ignitor with 35lbs pressure. I only had them 60 days. Easton descibes on their website and marketing materials that these are "able to withstand seasons of abuse on rough trails" due to the impact resistant military grade armored balistic carbon. They are super expensive and Easton really markets them as bombproof...they are NOT. Upon return they would not honor the warranty and claimed crash damage. BS. I will not buy Easton again and do not recommend these wheels. On carbon rovals now. Have also heard good things about the enve wheels too.
Also, bearings needed adjustment within 250 miles of use in the first two months.
Would not buy again. Easton overhyped this product and didnt stand behind its claims. Buyer beware...its an expensive gamble.
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore, MD USA
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2011
Strengths: Bombproof. I'm 6'4" 260 pounds. I kill wheels. So far the only wheelset whick can take what I dish out is the old Shimano XTR 970 26". Now that I'm running 2 29'rs... needed a new set of hoops. These are expensive, but are very light, and more important, very strong. I have yet to bust a spoke, and both front and back are as true as when they came out of the box. I like the low noise quick engagement rear Easton hub. The hubs are also red anno and the rim graphics look cool. Have had many compliments on these. Have let friends borrow them to prove that investing in a good wheelset will make their rides nicer.. they've agreed and a couple have bought this set or the very similar Haven.
For $650 delivered, the last lightest long lasting wheels you'll need to buy.