By Shannon Mominee. Photos by Justin Steiner.
Easton’s EA70 XCT 29” wheelset is essentially the high-end EA90 UST rim laced to a less expensive hub. The stealthy graphics are attractive and the multiple axle options make them available to a wide range of users.
The tubeless rims have welded seams, and are laced three-cross with 24 straight pull, butted spokes to Easton hubs. Though, their 19mm inner width is on the narrow side. I mounted the wheels to my rigid Niner with carbon fork, which provided a good impression of the wheels isolated from any suspension movement.
The more I ride 15mm thru-axles, the more I appreciate them. The wheelset has excellent steering precision and felt solid when making quick steering adjustments and when carving through switchbacks. Nothing felt flexy, and the wheels held a line through turns. They proved stiff and have an awesome strength-to-weight ratio. I think the EA70’s are durable enough to use everyday and won’t have you wasting time at the truing stand.
The two-pawl design with 20 degrees of engagement is slow to catch, so there’s a lot of play in the drivetrain before moving forward. I would’ve expected a faster-engaging rear hub for the price.
If you are looking for durable wheelset that isn’t overly heavy, these could be for you. If you frequently riding in technical terrain, where you need to ratchet the pedals frequently, you may want to look for a wheelset built around a rear hub with quicker engagement.
- Price: $750
- Weight: 1,900g
- Hub Compatibility: 9/15 Front; 135x10mm, 142x12mm rear
- Degrees of Engagement: 20 degrees
- Internal Width: 19mm
- Spoke Count: 24 front, 24 rear
- Country of Origin: Taiwan
- Online: eastoncycling.com