Mountain Gear

Sea Otter '11: Easton EC90 XC Wheels

Think the Haven Carbons are tough? Don't discount Easton's EC90 XC

Some EC90 XC 26-inch hoops in the wild. Photo by Tyler Roemer

With the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California being the de facto spring cycling trade show there are always sweet goodies being introduced.

So with Easton headquartered just a short drive away in Scotts Valley, introducing the company’s newest wheelset right before Sea Otter made it easy to check out the EC90 XC, the building in which they were dreamed up and the people who dreamed them.

MSRP: $2,500 26- & 29-inch
Weight: 1,285 grams per set (26)/1,416 grams per set (29)
Rim width: 19mm inner/24.7mm outer rim width
Spokes: Sapim double-butted 2.0/1.7/2.0 sandblast grey spokes
UST compatible
Available: May 1.

“As with the Carbon Haven wheelset we introduced last year, the EC90 XC is a the first super light, UST compatible, no compromises wheel in its category,” said Easton Cycling Brand Manager Dain Zaffke. “We’ve designed the EC90 XC from scratch for competition and high-speed trail riding and, unlike a number of systems on the market; the EC90XC will last for more than a season. There is no question that this wheel is a game-changer.”

Designed, engineered and manufactured by Easton in their wholly owned EMX composite factory in Tijuana, Mexico, the EC90 XC is light-yet-tough, UST compatible and comes in 26- and 29-inch versions.

The EC90 XC features a generous, 19-mm internal rim width (and a girthy 24.7-mm external width) that will accommodate tires up to 2.3-inches.

What sets the EC90 XC rims apart is the Armored Ballistic Composite that Easton introduced last season with the Haven Carbon trail/All Mountain wheel. Like any composite, ABC’s strength comes from its individual components — a high-end fiber called HMPE and a resin dubbed MRES-B. Easton is the only bike company to use MRES-B, chosen for its impact-resistant components that enhance the ballistic and blast performance of the finished composite.

The EC90 XC wheel system spins on a set of proprietary Easton hubs featuring a CNC-machined hub shell, a 7050 aluminum cassette body, and an oversized 7050 hollow axle riding on premium grade, double sealed ceramic bearings. The hubs are mated to the carbon rims via sandblast gray Sapim straight-pull spokes threading into Easton’s patented double-threaded nipple system, eliminating the need for spoke holes in the rim bed.