Quick: What’s painted black, made of aluminum and steel, whisper quiet, and capable of traveling at hyper speeds? If you said the B-2 Stealth Bomber you’re technically correct but it turns out the Easton XC One wheel set is a pretty good answer too.
When you take the Easton XC One wheels out of the box you can’t help but admire the fine machine work that makes up these babies. Easton’s attention to detail really sets the tone: finely machined hubs for weight savings, an alloy cassette body, straight pull spokes for consistent spoke tension, alloy nipples on the non-drive spokes, and 24 double butted spokes for lighter weight. All these features culminate to make a lighter, faster rolling wheel that is stiffer and stays truer longer. Speaking of tone, these wheels are all hand built and tone tensioned using a sonic testing unit!
Fitting a set of 26 x 2.1 tires onto these rims and placing a SRAM PG-990 cassette (11-34) on the rear, the XC Ones were ready to go. One quick note: don’t use any tools other than proper tire irons and especially avoid metal objects when installing tires because metal tools may damage your rims. Remember to always follow the installation instructions and quick release information provided.
On the trails the Easton XC Ones produce great acceleration from a stop. Putting down the power I really noticed improved forward thrust, which is great for racing. The reduced rotational mass and low wheel flex made these wheels almost feel like they were powering themselves. The low overall weight of this wheel set (about 10% less than competing wheels) also translates into improved quickness in steering. It took me a little while to get used to the ultra-responsiveness and I really had to pay attention to the amount of steering input I placed at the handlebars in the beginning. Easton claims these wheels are 36% stiffer than competing wheel sets and I could certainly feel the difference on the trail.
The only down side to high spoke tension shows up when hitting rocks. I felt every bump the wheels rolled over all the way up to my bars (changing to a carbon bar helped reduce the effect). But I did mention these are Easton’s top shelf racing wheel sets didn’t I? If you’re competing or wanting to go really fast for a long time you’ll have to give up a little on the comfort side of the equation – and for most that’s a tradeoff that’s easy to make.
Another thing I noticed about the XC Ones is how quiet these wheels run which is thanks to super smooth bearings and a virtually silent free hub. These wheels are so quiet that while testing on the trails I actually startled a few wild turkeys. The free hub is suspended by two bearings with 3 pawl fingers which grab the hub, allowing smooth positive engagement of the wheel.
Overall I have to say these are a great set of wheels that will put a smile on your face. I would almost dare to say these wheels will even help you crest most hills faster but then again it’s up to you to pedal. At the very least the XC One wheel set will help reduce the amount of force it takes to get you there. 🙂
Specs from Easton:
|Spokes||DT Double-butted black
|Nipples||F: Alloy Black
RNDS: Alloy Black
RDS: Brass Black