2011 Easton EC90 Carbon Wheelset

Easton has been at the forefront of carbon bike part development for many years. Their newest creation is the EC90 wheelset. This wheelset is the lightest UST wheelset available for mountain bikers. Check inside for more details on this new wheelset.

At 1285g (claimed) for a 26″ wheelset or 1416g (claimed) for a 29″ wheelset, the Easton EX90’s are some light UST wheels! The rims themselves are made out of Easton’s Armored Ballistic Composite material. This is the same material used in their Haven Carbon wheels they released last year. The ABC material was originally developed for light weight military body armor and other ballistic applications. Since the ABC material is more geared towards handling impacts it makes for a superb material to use in mountain bike rims.

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The ABC material according to Easton gets its strength and durability from a few key components and processes. Easton’s carbon rims are made with HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene). HMPE is the strongest man-made fiber family. They combine the HMPE with a lightweight resin called MRES-8. MRES-8 also has impact-resistant properties that help to enhance the final composite’s impact performance. MRES-8 helps the EC90 rims to achieve optimal strength and toughness with about 15-20% less resin than typically needed.

laminate going into the mold (click to enlarge)

The rims feature a 24.7-mm external and 19-mm internal rim width for optimal tire profile allowing for up to a 2.3″ wide tire. The rim bed itself is designed to be smooth and precise. Easton chose to use an advanced molding technique to ensure that the rims are consistent and uniform. There is a very small weight variance from rim to rim that you can’t  achieve from other manufacturing methods. Since the carbon material itself is lighter, Easton is able to add more material to the bead hook and other areas.

smooth rim bed (click to enlarge)

Like Easton’s other lightweight UST wheels, the EC90’s use a threaded eyelet and nipple system. It’s a system used exclusively on Easton’s wheels that allows them to attach spokes without piercing the rim well. The nipple is threaded internally much like a standard nipple to attach the spoke but they are also threaded externally to attach them to the eyelet. You don’t, however, need any special spoke tools or wrenches. All EC90 wheels are hand built and acoustically tuned in house at Easton’s Mexico facility. The 26″ wheels have 20 spokes per wheel, while the 29″ version has 24 spokes per wheel. Both are 3 cross lacing. The double 2.0 / 1.7 spokes are made by Sapim.

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The hub bodies on the EC90 wheels are CNC’d 7050 aluminum with a 7050 aluminum cassette body and oversized 7050 hollow axles. Each hub has double sealed cartridge bearings and features a simple to use quick change axle system. The rear hub simply pulls apart with a firm tug. The end caps come off to switch between 10x135mm (standard QR), 12x135mm, and 12x142mm. The front axle swaps out between 9x100mm (standard QR) or 15x100mm (15QR). The rear hub works on a 3 pawl system with 36 points of engagement.

simply pull the cassette body off and swap out end caps to convert the rear axle (click to enlarge)

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  • WHEEL SIZES: 26-inch or 29-inch
  • AXLE CONFIGURATIONS: Front—convertible between 9x100mm (standard QR) or 15×100 (15QR) | Rear— convertible between 10x135mm (standard QR) or 12×135/142mm
  • WEIGHT: 1,285 grams per set (26”) / 1,416 grams per set (29”)
  • RIM WIDTH: 19-millimeter inner / 24.7-millimeter outer rim width
  • HUBS: M1 series, anodized red with white, water transfer graphics
  • SPOKES: Sapim double-butted 2.0/1.7/2.0 sandblast grey spokes
  • LACING PATTERN: Front – 20 spokes (26”) / 24 spokes (29”) – 3 cross | Rear – 20 spokes (26”) / 24 spokes (29”) – 3 cross
  • NIPPLES: Proprietary Easton Aluminum Tubeless (red)
  • BEARINGS: Proprietary sealed cartridge bearings with
  • MTN specific grease and hybrid seals.
  • AVAILABILITY: Sping 2011
  • 1 year warranty against manufacturer’s defects
  • MSRP: $2500

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