Easton Introduces More Road Tubeless, Better Hubs; EC90 Aero 55 – The Single Wheelset Arsenal

ec90_aero55_clincher_wheelset_new

When new wheels were spotted under triathlete Andreas Raelert at Ironman Austria, the lack of hiding them suggested an imminent release. Well, here they are, along with a whole lot more. Not only have the 55mm EC90 Aero wheels been completely redesigned, the road line up gets a boost with new hubs, tubeless compatibility, wide rims, and more freehub selections!

Ratchet past the break for more details…

EC90 Aero 55 Details

While most of the new developments are wrapped up in the all new EC90 Aero 55, other wheels in the line up benefit from the technology trickling down. Called the Single Wheelset Arsenal, the new Aero 55 seems to have all the bases covered – they’re light, aero, clincher, tubular, and tubeless, and have much improved hubs.

Fantom Rim

A big part of the new design is the Fantom rim – a much wider rim that improved drastically over the previous shape which is now found on all EC90 wheels. Now 21mm wide, and 19mm internally, the rim is 6mm wider than the previous EC90 Aero 56, while 1mm shallower.

Aero Chart ec90 55

At least according to Easton’s data, the Fantom is radically better than the 2012 Ec90 Aero, while also appearing to be quite a bit better at yaw angles of 12.5 degrees than the competitors. Due to the blunt nose of the Fantom rim, it is also more stable in cross winds – something that becomes more important the more aero you go. The result is a more rideable, aerodynamic wheel for all conditions.

EC90 Aero 55 Details tubeless

In addition to tubular rims, the Aero 55 will be offered in a tubeless clincher version as well. Using Easton’s Eyelet Nipple system, the nipples thread into the eyelets allowing for a sealed rim bed, therefore tubeless. Certified for Road Tubeless even without sealant, the Aero 55 is one of the first carbon tubeless road wheels on the market.

Echo Hub

Along with the rim, big changes have been made to the hubs as well with the introduction of the all new Echo system. While the performance of the previous R4 system wasn’t exactly stellar, the Echo looks to address all of the previous issues with an intriguing design and a host of improvements. The biggest of which would be the positioning of the bearings which resulted in an all new freehub design.

Echo Hub Comparison

On the R4 hubs, the load bearings were located in the center of the hub far from the dropout which created a lot of leverage on them which is bad for bearing life. The Echo system places the load bearings as far apart as possible which should drastically improve bearing life. This design required a new freehub though, so Easton rethought the design and the pawls now reside in the hub body instead of the freehub body. Taking things a step further, the two center bearings are now angular contact bearings as well, further increasing durability. All of the new road wheels are compatible with Campy, Shimano, and Sram 9/10/11.

Part of the cassette body redesign resulted in the engagement increasing from 12 to 7° for improved efficiency especially out of corners. Since the straight pull spoke flanges are separated from the bearing bores, bearing performance can be kept consistent regardless of spoke tension. The hubs also include an improved QR skewer with an internal cam mechanism. If you haven’t caught on, the focus for the new wheels across the line is durability, decreased maintenance, and improved power transfer.

EC90 Aero 55 wheels will be available this fall for $2,400 for the 1330g tubular set and $2,800 for the 1580g tubeless clincher.

EA90_SLX_Wheelset

As mentioned, Echo and Tubeless Road technology also makes their way into the aluminum wheel line like the new EA90 SLX. At 1400g, the tubeless road wheelset looks good with a 22mm external width and 17.5mm internal. Built with the same Echo hubset as the Aero 55s (also found on all other EA90 and EC90 wheels), the EA90 SLX feature 16/20 ft/rr spoking with double butted straight pull spokes. EA90 SLX wheels will retail for $1200.

Currently Echo hubsets and tubeless rims can be found on the EC90 Aero 55 clincher and tubular, and EA90 SLX and SL wheelsets, with another tubeless option in the EA90 XD cross wheelset. Wider rims are found across the board, all the way down to the new 22mm wide EA70 and EA70 SL wheels. For more information check out Easton Cycling.

Comments

Bart - 07/10/13 - 1:31pm

Thank goodness for the new hub design! Looks like this should solve many of the issues I have seen with the previous design. Looks like Easton moving in the right direction, hopefully this also makes it’s way to the mountain side of things.

Larry Falk - 07/10/13 - 2:08pm

I’m glad Easton has committed to Road Tubeless (Starting now and in the future, why would anyone want to buy a $2,500 wheel without being able to utilize all the tire options?). As a former bicycle mechanic, I’ll like to see more picture of the interface between the freehub and hub.

Almon - 07/10/13 - 3:51pm

Anyone believing that these 55mm wheels are faster than deeper 80mm to 90mm wheels has lost their mind!

I think Easton just decided to bring this one decent race wheel to market because they can’t compete with other manufacturers in deeper segments.

I’m going back to Reynolds where the data is at least somewhat believable……

NRKO - 07/10/13 - 5:05pm

I agree with Bart. Hopefully these improvements (if they do prove to be improvements) make their way onto the MTB wheels

akula - 07/10/13 - 5:09pm

Now all they need to do is stop dumping all their wheels online at below wholesale and maybe some bike shops will might actually stock them.

Psi Squared - 07/10/13 - 5:17pm

Well, before anyone loses their mind, they should study some aerodynamics and consider which 80 or 90mm wheels were tested. There’s a lot more to wheel aerodynamics than just rim depth.

I notice that nothing is said about braking with the new wheels. I think if Easton wants to compete with Zipp and Enve, they need to have improved braking to that same level.

I guess with no decals to peel off, people will have to break out the black Sharpies.

Psi Squared - 07/10/13 - 5:28pm

I take that back. In a pdf about the new 55, Easton says that the new 55mm wheels have withstood temps up to 500°F and brake “like aluminum”. If true, that’s impressive.

1580g is also an impressive weight given the performance metrics Easton claims.

HubsGuy - 07/10/13 - 6:52pm

Looks like a knock off from the Alchemy ORC-UL hub IMO. Proven design with a big manufacturer twist. Not new or innovated but a good borrowed design.

HubsGuy - 07/10/13 - 6:57pm

looks like an Alchemy hub to me…

EASTON CYCLING - 07/10/13 - 7:00pm

Almon,

Thank you for bringing up this important point. We believe that our new EC90 Aero 55 is the fastest road wheel on the market, fast enough that it rivals some TT-specific wheels. We have the results to prove that. We never claimed that the EC90 Aero 55 is faster than all 80+ mm deep TT rims. We mentioned in the video that it’s faster than our own EC90 TT (90mm rim), but we don’t consider the Zipp 808 or 1080 (or similar) to be road wheels as much as TT wheels.

Unfortunately we don’t have the data at this time to see how our EC90 Aero 55 compares to the TT wheels on the market. We chose to test against wheels in the road category (testing against 40 variables instead of 80 variables). The fastest TT wheels may well be faster aerodynamically, but given the compromise in those wheels in terms of weight or stiffness or crosswind stability, we believe the EC90 Aero 55 truly is the “one wheel arsenal” that riders want.

With your feedback, Almon, we realize that we really really need to benchmark the top TT wheels against our EC90 Aero 55. We’ll try and schedule time in the wind tunnel and get the results out as soon as possible.

Steven - 07/10/13 - 7:51pm

that video sounds like Mike Ferrentino narrating

Almon - 07/10/13 - 8:03pm

@EASTON CYCLING, while you are benchmarking I’ll be going fast on my new Reynolds Aero 90′s. Good luck compiling that data!!!!

However I own two sets of EC90TT’s and I bet these new wheels aren’t as fast as the one I currently run. Kind of going backwards aren’t we?

Todd - 07/10/13 - 8:22pm

Is there any chance that Easton will do the right thing and release a more durable freehub for their M1-221 series hubs? 3 months per assembly is all I get before it deforms out of shape. I trout Easton was an aluminum expert?

Psi Squared - 07/10/13 - 8:22pm

Backwards in what way, Almon? Are you saying the Aero 55 is a step backwards from the previous EC90? Maybe you have some agenda with your comments?

Ripnshread - 07/10/13 - 8:48pm

I’m pretty sure Mavic has been doing the bearing placement thing for a long time. They called it FTS. That said, this design is different because of where the pawls are placed. Looks really nice though.

So where are the Topolino Technology wheels? :)

Jon - 07/10/13 - 10:34pm

Why is everyone so angry about bike parts all the time… These wheels look awesome. Tubeless carbon clincher, aero, and alchemy like/ improved hubs… Time wil tell if they actually deliver but old ec90tts???

jb - 07/10/13 - 10:47pm

the whitepaper compares against the firecrest tubular and NOT the superior aero of the firecrest clincher models. don’t ask zipp checkout bontrager comparison data. clincher is faster than tubular models. back to you easton..

http://bontrager.com/features/aeolus

compare the clincher data to the tubular…

Almon - 07/10/13 - 11:12pm

@Psi Squared, I do. I’m upset that Easton forgot the Tri/TT community with their wheel release and then pushes data on us that probably is false. Marketing at it’s best. I’m comparing 90mm to 55mm just like Easton and really if your in the know, there is no comparison….

I’ll get my hands on a set of their wheels eventually and show the power data and prove my point on the forums, but by then it will be too late to save anyone from buying into the myth except a bunch of mad people who buy these wheels because their being touted as the next coming and it’s simple marketing really.

Almon - 07/10/13 - 11:16pm

I’ll also add that for road cycling the wheels probably really are great, a medium 55mm depth, wide aero rim with an improved hub is great for road cycling but for us guys who race our time trial bikes on 81 and 90mm front wheels mostly this is a let down. I was ready to spend some money once again with them but as I said in a previous post I’ve had to go in another direction.

Rico - 07/10/13 - 11:29pm

Pretty cool there’s a tubeless version of the 55. That was definitely a good move by Easton. Could it be lighter? 1580G is heavy.

I am well stocked with Zipp tubular and Stan’s tubeless wheels otherwise I’d check out the tubeless 55.

Jdog - 07/11/13 - 6:03am

These are the wheels I have been waiting for.

giantcx - 07/11/13 - 8:59am

hey almon, no one cares. It is pretty clear these wheels are not marketed to TT only weirdos like you. They are road racing wheels. Trying racing against people sometime instead of a clock! Better yet, don’t because you probably can’t turn your bike without crashing out the field.

John - 07/11/13 - 9:06am

I thought the pros were at the TDF this month, they must be on this site with all this data talk…

I think those wheels will look nice on a murdered out bike.

rideifbikes - 07/11/13 - 9:50am

I think the rim width specs in this article are wrong. “Now 21mm wide, and 19mm internally, the rim is 6mm wider than the previous EC90 Aero 56, while 1mm shallower.” From Easton’s site, the new wheels are 28 external, 21 internal (clincher) I believe the old rims were closer to 21 external, 17 internal. The old rim would fit inside the new one…!

campyseatpost - 07/11/13 - 10:47am

Someone is a little butthurt. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, and don’t b***h to everyone else about it. There are some real internet gangsters around here.

Almon - 07/11/13 - 11:57am

@ giantcx I do race a road bike fred. Get with the program!

Dude - 07/11/13 - 12:24pm

Internal rim width is 19mm. These wheels look cool.

Mark - 07/11/13 - 8:23pm

The hub design looks terrific with such wide spaced bearings. Are any others planned that are less than 55? Tubeless full carbon clinchers without mucking about with rim strips to make them tubeless is what I’ve been waiting for. If durability is a priority the freehub would best be made of titanium.

Mark - 07/11/13 - 8:26pm

These wheels seem great. The hub design looks terrific with such wide spaced bearings. Are any others planned that are less than 55? Tubeless full carbon clinchers without mucking about with rim strips to make them tubeless is what I’ve been waiting for. If durability is a priority I hope the freehub is titanium.

Jugi - 07/12/13 - 4:07am

@ Mark: That’s exactly what I’m thinking. I’m currently running Spinergy clinchers with 40mm profiles, set weighs about 1600-1700g. From my experience on MTB tubeless rims I’m really looking forward to making the transition on my road bike.

A bit deeper profiles and still saving some weight on the set + the weight of tubes, getting the ride qualities of tubeless… I have to start saving some cash!

Kelly w/ Energy Lab - 07/14/13 - 1:08am

Internal pawns is a smart idea. I see that this is also the engineering road that Energylab has taken. Did they copy Easotn or was Easton about to information from the Energylab factory? Either way they both will win with smart design and engineering.

Russ - 09/15/13 - 6:40pm

Very exciting wheels to me, and a lot of folks looking to bump upto 11spd this winter. Hubs are similar to the new Alchemy ORC SL, only straight pull, a smart idea in my book. Combining the best parts of the Zipp hubs and the Alchemy hubs. Interesting to see the weight on that rear hub. The rims sound good on paper, the areo and brake claims are high, so no doubt there will be some “haters” demanding the highest level of proof. I think there just will be some doubt at this price point until the early adopters post feedback on the forums. Hopefully Easton will get a few sets out to trusted web reviewers to get some independent feedback quickly before the holidays.

Are these rims suitable for cyclocross?!

Aaron - 11/25/13 - 10:39am

I am just happy the scourge of the R4 hub is almost over. I still have nightmares.

Paolo - 01/09/14 - 4:22am

Hi from Italy
I’m very proud to have ordered today my wheelset of EASTON EC AERO 55 tubular from TECNOBICI – EMPOLI (ITALY)
I would ask you some questions :
1) the weight of 1330 grams for the wheelset is confirmed??
2) I stay in Switzerland so I have many mountains and climbing road..these wheels are competitive for climbing too or only for flat race?
3) the weight of the skewers ? (My previous EASTON wheels had heavy skewers…)
4) the bearings are ceramic like for R4SL?
5) the nillpes are internal or external for tubular version?

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