On Tuesday, two days prior to the Sea Otter Classic, Easton Cycling hosted a few media members to see its new Scotts Valley, Calif. test facility and ride their now-available EC90 SL carbon tubeless wheelsets. Cyclocross Magazine was in attendance, and will be bringing you initial impressions on these wheels shortly. But what caught our eye at the end of the day was the company’s new foray into the rim market.
Easton has long been offering complete alloy and carbon wheelsets, but is now entering the rim market. The company offered Cyclocross Magazine a first look at its new Arc alloy tubeless rim offerings, and we even got a chance to throw them on the scale.
The new Arc rims (not to be confused with NoTubes’ Arch rim) come in 24mm, 27mm and 30mm internal width options, and are all 20mm deep. The aluminum rims are welded, come in 32 hole drillings, and are offered in both 27.5″ (650b) and 29″ (29er/700c) sizes.
All variations are tubeless ready, which Easton Cycling Marketing Manager Craig Richey (and top Canadian cyclocrosser and occasional contributor) explained means that the rims should work well with tubeless mountain bike and cyclocross tires, but are just not officially UST (or Road Tubeless) certified.
The rims do feature a bead barb that lines the center channel and is designed to keep the tire’s bead in place, as well feature a minimal, short hook bead.
The Arc 24 rim looks to be an ideal rim for gravel cyclists and cyclocrossers looking for extra volume from their tubeless tires. A 24mm-wide rim will be too wide for a UCI racer looking to use a 33mm cyclocross tire and still fall under UCI tire width restrictions, but for the rest of us looking for extra volume for rugged terrain, the extra width may work well with the right tire.
We threw an Arch 24mm in 29er/700c diameter on the scale, and it weighed an impressive 463 grams…just 8 grams more than the 455 gram list weight, and lighter than some competing products of a similar width. The WTB KOM I23 and I25 rims might be the most similar in terms of price, width and weight.
Perhaps the biggest story, other than the width, is the price. At $99, for a welded alloy rim that’s wider and lighter than most competition, Easton’s Arc rims look like they’ll offer an affordable way to move to wide, tubeless rims without breaking the bank, especially if you’ve already got a set of hubs you can use or reuse.
Stay tuned as we plan to build up a set and test them in gravel events and monster cross riding.
Easton Arc 24 / 27 / 30 Rim Specs:
Internal Rim Widths: 24mm, 27mm, 30mm
External Rim Widths: 28mm, 31mm, 34mm
Weight: 455g list, 463g actual (24mm), 515g list (27mm), 535g list (30mm)
Tire: Tubeless Ready Clincher
Drilling: 32 hole
Finish: Black anodized
More info: eastoncycling.com
Check back soon for our ride impressions and first look at the production EC90 SL carbon tubeless wheels.