After a comedy of errors getting the correct pair of wheels to fit my ride, complicated by how insanely back-ordered the EA70 29er wheels are, I finally have a pair of these UST hoops mounted up on my Giant Anthem X 29er.
Like all Easton wheels, these are hand-built and acoustically tuned to ensure consistent tension on all 24 spokes. Yeah right… is what you’re thinking, and I’ll admit, I was too. For science, I got out my digital guitar tuner and checked it out. Sure enough, the spokes are right on, acoustically speaking. (If you’re curious, The front is a G and the rear is a G on the non-drive side, and a B on the drive side)
Light and stiff for Rocky Mountain “XC” riding.
- Hand-built and acoustically tuned
- Alloy UST with 24 straight pull spokes (3x lacing)
- Sealed cartridge bearings
- No rider weight limit
- Front is available in standard QR or 15mm thru-axle
- Rear is available in standard QR, and 12×135 or 12×142
- Actual weight on my scales: Front – 800 grams, Rear – 930 grams – 1,730 total
- Also available in 26″
The X2 hubs are manufactured by Easton and the rear is a 3-pawl design that engages quickly. The sealed cartridge design and easy serviceability should keep them spinning smoothly for a long time. As I already mentioned, the 24 straight pull spokes are well tensioned. This was most noticeable when I was moving the cassette and brake rotors over. My OEM Giant wheels aren’t flexy by any means, but the Eastons take spoke tension to a whole new level.
The rims are pure Easton aluminum, welded, with no breaks in the inner rim and therefore no need for a rim strip of any kind. On the outside these wheels have understated grey on black graphics that lend a clean, stealth look on the trail. The presta valve is pre-installed and attaches via a threaded collar and an O-ring. The valve cores are not removable, however the whole valve is easily removed in case you need to install a tube due to a flat. I’ve experienced this first hand as I cut a sidewall on my front tire and had to get creative to finish the ride.
Before and after … The Eastons would look incredible on this frame!
With a pair of brand new folding GEAX Saguaro tires and some True Goo sealant, these mounted right up and seated on the first try with the aid of my air compressor (watch for a review of the GEAX tires as well). With a few rides on them already, the stiffness and light weight are very noticeable improvements over my stock wheels.
My first ever tubeless wheel … Yay!
Easton has these listed at $750 but they are back-ordered due to popularity with bike manufacturers as an OEM wheel. Watch for them popping up on 2013 bike models, or grab a pair now from your favorite online retailer for around $600. So far I have been very impressed, and I’ll be continuing to put them through their paces here in the Rocky Mountains to see how well they hold up as a wheel for both trail riding and racing.
Thanks to the folks at Easton for providing these wheels for review.