Easton EC90 AX Carbon Gravel Wheels are Comfy, Capable, and Efficient [Review]

The Easton EC90 AX gravel wheels are made for anything, but bikepackers and adventurers will especially love them.
Easton EC90 AX gravel wheel

When it comes to mountain bike wheels, I don’t believe that either carbon or aluminum reign supreme. Carbon can be slightly lighter, but more vulnerable to devastating impacts. Aluminum isn’t as responsive, but usually it’s more trustworthy, considering impacts.

Gravel riding on the other hand negates much of the argument about impacts with rocks and other objects and for most folks who are on a fully rigid bike, it makes sense to err on the side of a more responsive and lighter material–if carbon wheels are in the budget. The risk of catastrophic failure is smaller and the reward for a faster spinning wheel is greater.

I’ve been riding the Easton Cycling EC90 AX wheels since at least the last summer and they have been some of the best gravel wheels I have yet to try.

Easton EC90 AX gravel wheel specs

  • Carbon rims: 21mm deep, 24mm internal width
  • 24 spokes laced three-cross
  • Weight: 1500g
  • Price: $1,420 (pair)
  • Buy from Jenson USA

Easton EC90 AX gravel wheel with Vault hub

About the Easton EC90 AX Wheels

Easton’s EC90 is an all-arounder gravel wheelset, built for “high performance, high adventure” and are “race ready,” according to the brand’s marketing copy.

The wheelset weighs 1,500g on our scales, just 30g over the reported weight. The EC90 rims have a 21mm rim depth with a 24mm internal rim width. The wheel uses 24 Sapim straight-pull double butted spokes, in a three-cross pattern.

On the hubs, there are center lock rotor mounts, typical for gravel bikes. The hub itself is a Vault, 60-point ratcheting hub with 6° of engagement. If you’re unfamiliar with Easton, their mountain bike counterpart is RaceFace which also uses the Vault hub on their wheelsets.

The Easton EC90 AX gravel wheels on my Obed gravel bike

Off road and on the trail

My rides of the EC90 AX wheels have been pretty wide ranging, from regular ol’ gravel rides, to bikepacking, to singletrack and road. My first impressions of the wheels came from the compliance. A wheelset I had previously used were outstanding, but the Eastons were noticeably more comfortable.

Why does a balance of comfort and stiffness matter on a carbon gravel bike wheelset? I’d argue it’s primarily to avoid fatigue, especially if you’re putting in long days on a bikepacking trip. But you don’t need to go on a 50-mile ride to understand the difference a compliant set of wheels makes. Even if you’re out on a short lunch loop cruising around a smaller trail system, your palms–and butt–might feel the difference on a wheelset that is too stiff.

Vault hub

The Easton EC90s also hold an admirable weight, at 1,500g, helping them get up to speed even quicker. That’s on par with many gravel wheels and lower than a lot of them.

The comfort and compliance of the EC90s doesn’t seem like a compromise when it comes to response. The wheels feel as stiff and responsive as any other wheelset and they seem to maintain a cruising speed without too much effort either.

This is to say, the EC90s also choose to side with compliance more than stiffness with their shallower rim depth. The 21mm rim depth is quite shallow compared to many gravel wheels on the market, like a Hunt 35 X-Wide, which is 35mm deep, or a 32mm-deep Reserve 32 wheel. As you increase depth, you increase stiffness and aerodynamics, so the EC90s are a great option for those who are looking to ride rougher gravel roads and trails on their gravel bike.

Easton EC90 AX gravel wheel rim

Still, the lateral stiffness has been on point and the wheels create a sharp turning response and hold a tight corner.

The Vault hubs deliver quick engagement, making it more enticing to ratchet up technical trails with your gravel rig.

Over the past six to nine months, I haven’t had a single issue with the wheels: no skipping of the hubs, no dings or worries on the rims, and even the decals have managed to stay pretty fresh. I know I buried this a little bit, but I had no issues mounting tires and installing the wheels either. The quality tubeless tape has stayed intact.

Easton does have a 2-year, no fault replacement program (at their discretion). It’s a nice gesture and most folks shouldn’t have to worry about it, as the rims are robust. But there are quite a few brands that offer a more confidence-inspiring lifetime warranty which is always nice to see on a pricey purchase like this.

Pros and cons of the Easton EC90 AX carbon gravel wheels


  • Comfortable
  • Fast, efficient feel
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to swap end caps for 12 or 15mm thru-axles


  • There are more affordable carbon wheels on the market
  • Other brands offer better warranty/replacement programs

Bottom line

The Easton EC90 AX have a compliant, but efficient feel and stay strong on daily gravel rides or long bikepacking journeys. It’s hard to stir up any complaints about these wheels.