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Gear Review

5 5

Perfect budget wheelset upgrade

  • Gender: Male

I upgraded to the EA70 XC's from the wheels that came stock on my Specialized Camber 29er about 18 months ago. I've got nothing but good things to say about the EA70's, if you don't feel like dropping a grand on a wheel upgrade then these are for you. They aren't as light as the latest-and-greatest composite wheels, but they handled aggressive trail riding and 2-3 foot drops under my 245lb rear end for almost two years without complaint. That's pretty remarkable as I exceed the maximum recommended weight limit for most of the higher-end and high-dollar wheelsets on the market in my birthday suit. I recently upgraded to a burlier wheelset and sold the EA70's, they did not need to be trued either during or after being rallied for over 1,000 trail miles.
Now the bad: The bearings in the rear hub did show some signs of wear when I sold them, the freehub still spun smoothly but there was a noticeable difference from when the bearings when new. However, my experiences with Easton's customer service have all been fantastic, they sent me replacement rear hub bearings (which I passed along to the purchaser) under warranty without me even providing a receipt or proof of purchase. While I can't speak to this, I have heard about problems with riders snapping spokes and having a difficult time replacing them. The spokes, nipples, and hubs are all proprietary Easton products that are incompatible with third-party products, however I can't imagine that it would be difficult to obtain replacements from Easton, either under warranty or not.
In summary, the EA70's feel like a much more expensive wheelset, are fairly light, hold up well under heavier riders who make other wheelsets cry, and the parent company has excellent customer service. They are really the perfect budget wheelset ugprade.