November 2, 2015 – Fat, deep, lightweight, aero – all important boxes a modern wheel must check and now tubeless has been added to that daunting list. Easton’s new EC90 SL wheels checks those boxes in a hurry, including tubeless compatibility. The EC90 wheels are built around the new ECHO hub, boasting a pawl system that engages every 7 degrees and the widest bearing span on the market allowing Easton to reduce bearing size yet increase durability, performance and wear along the way.
While the upgrade to the hubs may have been much needed from a durability standpoint the ultra-wide EC90 SL Fantom rim – 28mm at the brake track and 19mm internally for a 38mm depth – really headlines these wheels. We mounted our set with 23mm Schwable One tubeless tires and after inflation they measured 25.5mm on these rims so before you buy check your frame clearance.
Based on Easton’s performance tests no other wheel on the market does more with less. Easton tested other wheels that were marginally “faster” under certain conditions but they had deeper profiles, were heavier and only created fractionally less drag. Easton uses Wind Average Drag or WAD for its aerodynamic analysis, the same metric the car industry uses, a measurement that takes into account wind drag statistics from all 360degrees.
Internally the rim construction also boasts some pretty remarkable upgrades, a proprietary carbon laminate allowing the rim to retain its integrity at a searing heat of over 500degrees Fahrenheit and a refined brake track that keeps braking feel consistent even under heavy loads.
The ride experience on the EC90 SL was exceptional. Acceleration was acute for a sub 1500g wheel set and once at speed the feel was extremely balanced with a smooth roll, helped no doubt by the tubeless compatibility. This may sound odd for wheel feedback since we are so accustomed to debating lightweight, stiffness, and acceleration but the braking ability may have been the most impressive piece of the EC90’s package. They offered a smooth uninterrupted feel no matter how long we had been on the brakes and no matter how much pressure was being applied. It seems Easton and ENVE are battling at the top of the brake feel heap these days.
Those looking for an ultra light climbing only wheel set will want to look elsewhere, but if you are looking for the best all around wheel set on the market that embraces carbon, wide width, tubeless technology and an aerodynamic profile the EC90 SL’s must be on your short list.
Price: $2800 Weight: 1473grams