SCOTTS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – We recently reviewed the Easton EA90 XD Road Tubeless disc brake wheels in Issue 20 of Cyclocross Magazine, and Easton just introduced the EC90 Aero 55 Tubular and Clincher, two new carbon fiber wheelsets, handbuilt around the new Echo hub and featuring the wind-tunnel proven Fantom rim shape. The EC90 Aero 55 Clincher is the world’s first Road Tubeless-certified carbon clincher. Carbon tubular wheelsets will be available beginning this fall at MSRP $2,400 for the 1330g tubular and $2,800 for the 1580g clincher.
“The EC90 Aero 55 is the crown jewel of our all new family of road wheels,” said Easton Cycling Brand Manager Dain Zaffke. “We created the dream wheel, with all of the bells and whistles we could think of. You want tubeless? These are the only Road Tubeless-certified carbon wheels out there. You want reliable braking? Easton has the best braking in the business. Let’s not forget that they’re nearly as light as climbing wheels and remarkably stable in crosswinds.”
Easton has refined the new Fantom rim shape, developing a profile that is wide – 28mm wide and 19mm internal – at the spoke bed for improved handling in crosswinds and stays wide through the brake track to keep the boundary layer attached past the tire. Easton didn’t stop at the best aerodynamics, but also met the challenge of ensuring that the world’s first road tubeless carbon clincher would stand up to real-world braking conditions. To this end, Easton developed a fixture at their Scotts Valley, California, headquarters that tests braking in high heat for a sustained period. Variations in the rim’s sidewalls are measured dynamically – down to the hundredth of a millimeter – with lasers. The test is designed to kill carbon clincher wheels and most wheels fail within the first mile. The new EC90 Aero 55 carbon clinchers passed this rigorous test twice and still remained fully operational. With Easton’s new carbon layup process, EC90 Aero 55 wheels are literally twice as durable as the best clinchers on the road.
“Our focus for this – and all of our new wheels – is durability,” said Easton Product Manager Adam Marriott. At the center of the EC90 Aero 55 wheels’ durability lies the all-new Echo hub. Optimized for today’s 11- and 10-speed cassettes, Echo hubs feature angular contact cartridge bearings with an extra-wide bearing stance, an unconventional drive system with increased engagement from 12- to 7 degrees, and a bigger, stiffer hub body. All of this combines for increased durability, decreased maintenance, and improved power transfer. The EC90 Aero 55 is handbuilt and acoustically tuned with a new 1x non-drive side/ 2x drive side lacing pattern to further improve durability and power transfer.