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Easton delivers road tubeless wheels and budget goodies

2011 Eurobike tech: Easton goes tubeless
Easton had Cadel Evans' Champs-Élysées ride on display. The win is a big one for Easton Bell Sports. Photo: Nick Legan © VeloNews

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (VN) — Easton showed its new EA90RT (Road Tubeless) wheelset at Eurobike last week. The new wheels feature a wider rim, much in vogue right now and with good reason. The inner rim width is 17.5mm and when mounting a 23mm tire, the wider rim helps increase tire volume up to 12 percent.

2011 Eurobike tech: Easton goes tubeless
Dain Zaffke, Easton Cycling's brand manager, shows off the new EA90RT wheel. The 1,550 gram wheelset sells for $850 and features a wide-profile tubeless rim. Photo: Nick Legan © VeloNews
The alloy wheels use a double-threaded nipple system already employed by Easton on several more expensive models. It allows Easton to forego spoke holes on the inner rim and makes the structure tubeless without the need for rim tape.

The pair weighs 1,550 grams and is available now, through dealers, at $850. This is a very competitive price in the alloy tubeless game. The big advantage that Easton has here is the wider rim. Giant offers the only other wide tubeless rim (without the use of an aftermarket tubeless kit) on the market. Giant’s P-SLR1 weighs less but costs more than the Eastons: $1,000 and 1,390 respectively. (Related: Giant introduces wheel systems) For further comparison, Shimano’s Ultegra WH-6700 tubeless wheels are $650 but weigh a bit more at 1,652 grams.

If you race with a set of wide-rim carbon wheels, the EA90RT’s would serve as an exceptional training wheel and you wouldn’t have as much brake adjustment to perform during wheel swaps (just pad changes). The EA90RT’s also seem a perfect fit for tubeless cyclocross setups.

Easton also showed a new cross-country mountain bike wheelset, the EA70XCT. The $725 set is full UST-compatible and comes in 26-inch and 29-inch versions. This wheel pairs Easton’s top-of-the-line EA90 alloy rim with an EA70 hubset. This drops weight without raising the price of the wheel too much.

For budget conscious consumers (that’s all of us really), Easton has a new line of bars, stems and seatposts. The EA50 group of components offers a wide range of sizes, though only one bar-drop shape, at a reasonable price. The handlebar, for instance, is offered in 38 to 46cm widths in two-centimeter increments. Prices range from $40 for the EA50 stem to $50 for the bar. This should help shops with cost-effective changes to stock bikes for customers seeking some customization, especially for fit reasons.