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Easton EC70 SL Wheel - 2012 $0.00
With some wheels, you're forced to take their quality at face value. Carbon? Sure. Sapim spokes? We've seen that, too. But, we all know that your eyes are gravitating towards one variable -- weight. Sure, it's important, but it's not everything. When selecting carbon wheels, we tend to place an emphasis on the quality of the carbon, the precision of the production, and the craftsmanship with which it was built. Basically, we're describing the attributes of the Easton EC70 SL Wheel. It features one of Easton's finest carbon iterations, it's hand built, and it's acoustically tuned. So, the end result is wheel with low weight, high durability, and a confident degree of handling.
For the construction of the rim, Easton incorporated both its EC70 carbon fiber and its EA90 aluminum. The former was used for the main body of the rim itself, and reasons for this reveal themselves in a simple way. EC70 sits near the top of Easton's carbon food chain, with every wheel starting its life as a sheet of pre-impregnated carbon laminate. As for the variant of carbon used, Easton prefers the use of unidirectional carbon. Why uni-directional? Well, compared to a woven carbon fabric, unidirectional carbon is oriented as it sounds, with one direction, or on one axis. And while this makes the production process incredibly more complicated in regards to load path and force direction determination, the benefits are worth it. You see, compared to woven layups, unidirectional fibers tend to better stiffen wheels, while also improving the characteristic of vibration dampening. And incredibly, this is achieved at a much lower overall weight.
As for the shape of the EC70 SL, Easton incorporated a 42mm rim depth with a 20mm external rim width. The depth alone provides an exceptional aerodynamic profile, but this has been furthered by the rim width's clean interface with a standard 23mm tire. Additionally, the wheel's spokes have been recessed into the rim, creating a much cleaner drag profile than that of exposed nipples. However, while rigidity and aerodynamics propel you to higher speeds with less effort, Easton designed these wheels with the full knowledge of a carbon clincher's greatest weakness -- actually stopping at high speeds. Accordingly, it created what it calls an 'H' section where the carbon meets the aluminum brake track. Essentially, this is a section of alloy extrusion that been co-molded to the structure of the carbon rim. This creates a clean, yet strong, transition to the rim, which, in turn, aids in heat dispersion during braking. So, in other words, Easton purposefully sidetracked the potential failures of overheating carbon braking surfaces, while guaranteeing the effective braking power of aluminum. And, impressively, this was achieved at the relatively low weight of around 1660 grams.
In terms of the build, the EC70 SL rims have been mated to Easton's R4 hubs with Sapim stainless steel spokes. The front has received 18 straight-pull spokes in a radial lacing pattern, while the rear wheel features 24 straight-pull spokes in a radial non-drive, two-cross drive side pattern. Now, if you've been examining the photos of the rear R4 hub, you've surely noticed that the drive side hub flange is oversized in comparison to the non-drive side. Here's why -- Easton found that the rotational force of pedaling resulted in the flex of driveside spokes. This slackens rim tension and creates a net loss in energy. So, the solution takes form in strengthening of the drive side flange. Accordingly, energy dissipation has been nearly eliminated.
The Easton EC70 SL Wheel is sold individually as a either a front or a rear. Please note that this wheel is available in a clincher configuration, and that the rear wheel is available with your choice of either a Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM freehub body.
Reviews & Community
Is there a rider weight limit?
Is there a rider weight limit?
Pretty good wheel
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I got these on a super deal during the 21 days of the TdF sale. The spokes are attached directly to the carbon, i.e. it's not simply a plastic fairing. Spoke nipples are recessed, and you will need an internal spoke wrench (not included) to true them. Handling is very predictable and solid. I've had zero problems in cross winds. I've done a number of races on these wheels and am very confident pushing them hard through corners. Aero benefit seems to come in around 22-23 mph.
Spoke tension is extremely high and even, especially in the rear wheel. My only complaint is that it is seems the wheels weren't completely stress relieved at the factory. The first ride I was greeted with "ping, ping, ping" and slightly out of true wheels. To be fair, since that initial episode, the wheels haven't moved at all in a couple thousand miles.
Just an update after another couple thousand miles. I found that after riding in the rain it's possible to collect a substantial amount of water in these wheels. After riding in the rain, it's sometimes necessary to remove the tire and tube to drain the water out of them.
Update after about 9 months of riding. So far, so good, except I had a spoke snap in the front wheel while the bike was parked.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I was originally planning on going with some Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL wheels but when I saw these on sale and noticed they were lighter by almost 100 grams, I went with these guys. These wheels are lightweight and accelerate in a snap. The wheels are stiff but not harsh; they are still forgiving and absorb a fair bit of road vibrations. They're also quite durable and I've had no problems so far (~400 miles). With a 23mm tire, the tire had no bulge over the sides and looks like it's integrated with the wheel. As far as aero goes, once you reach about 19+mph, you can really notice the difference the aero wheel makes. The spokes aren't bladed, but the wheel is still plenty aero. I also liked that fact that these guys were 42mm deep, as opposed to the 52mm deep Mavics (a little too deep for me).
Overall, they've been a great all-purpose wheel so far.