Easton has gone back to the drawing board and revised its range of wheels for 2014.
Now focusing solely on high-end wheels, there are two tiers; the first tier 90 and second tier 70, each with a prefix of EC or EA – Easton Carbon or Easton Aluminium. With the aim of creating stiffer wheels, Easton has focused on strength and durability and both ranges now feature a wider internal rim profile of 17.5mm.
Easton says the added benefit of a stronger, wider rim allows the tyre to achieve a better profile and rubber-to-road contact, in effect gaining a 25c feel from a 23c clincher tyre and, in the 90 series, tubeless tyre options together with a tubular rim option in the flagship wheelset.
Improved durability was also a concern and this comes from new hubs. The 70s gain a V5 hub, sealed cartridge bearings and an alloy cassette body, while the 90s gain the Echo hub. The engineers took their favourite bits from other existing brands of hubs, looking at everything from spoke placement to machining methods.
The end result is widely spaced bearings – 95mm apart to be exact – to help counteract the side loads and torsional forces through hard cornering and climbing. This, along with attaching the individually sprung pawls to the hub shell, means that you could potentially have some of the lightest, most responsive wheelsets on the market.
The EC90 Aero 55 tops the entire range – a full carbon rim with Sapim CX-Ray straight-pull spokes. The deep-section wheel has all the above upgrades and has been designed to be incredibly stable in crosswinds, thanks to its new blunt nose Fantom rim profile. In theory, these could become the only wheels you’ll ever need – so long as you have a spare £1,799.98.
In total there are seven new wheels in the Easton line-up: four in the 90 series, two full carbon – the EC90 Aero 55 tubular or clincher – and two aluminium – the EA90 SLX and EA90 SL. The EC70 SL is a hybrid clincher that crosses both camps, a structural carbon rim with aluminium ‘H’ section and braking surface and the full aluminium EA70 SL and EA70.
This article was first published in the January 2 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!