2012 easton ec90 xc carbon rimmed lightweight cross country mountain bike wheels

As if their Haven Carbon wheels weren’t light enough, Easton has just unveiled their latest and greatest wheelset – The EC90.

First things first: Weights are claimed at an astoundingly light 1,285g for the 26″ pair and 1,416g for 29er.

Yes, there are a few wheelsets out there that are lighter, but with the Easton’s, we suspect you won’t be trading durability for weight. In fact, they say you can run these year ’round for all your XC-type riding. Compared to saving a lightweight wheelset for race days only, it makes the price a little easier to swallow…and we’ll get to that.

They’re UST compatible and completely OK to use with sealant. They’re acoustically tuned like their other wheels, and the rims are made in Easton’s own Tijuana, Mexico, factory. They don’t carry the no-questions-asked warranty of the Haven’s, and Dain Zaffke, Easton’s cycling brand manager says that’s because they didn’t want to give people license to bolt these up to a 160mm travel bike and go nuts. They’re strong, but they’re designed for cross country / trail style riding. To put that into perspective, they’re coming as a stock option on the new 140mm Ibis Mojo SL-R, so they’re definitely built for more than race day. I talked to a few people that rode them and they said the difference between them and a “normal” lightweight wheelset was like going from a 29er to a 26″ bike…they just spool up so quick…which has me very excited to get on a set of the 29ers for a long-term review!

Now, about that price, you’d better hear it straight from Easton. Press release after the break (and some hands-on photos coming later today!)…

SPECS (from Easton):

  • Only 1250 grams per set (26”); 1416 grams per set (29”)
  • Lightest UST-­compatible, carbon rimmed wheelset available
  • EC90 XC rims feature the Armored Ballistic Composite that Easton introduced last season with the Haven Carbon trail/freeride wheel
  • 24.7-­?mm external and 19-­?mm internal rim width for optimal profile
  • Accommodates 2.3” wide tires
  • Available in 26” and 29” sizes
  • Hand-­?built and acoustically tuned at Easton’s EMX facility in Mexico
  • Proprietary Easton hubs featuring a CNC-­?machined hub shell, a 7050 aluminum cassette body, and an oversized 7050 hollow axle with premium grade, double sealed bearings
  • Available Summer 2011
  • Price $2500


In advance of the season opening Sea Otter Classic, Easton has unveiled a game-changing XC racing and trail riding wheel—the new EC90 XC. Designed, engineered and manufactured by Easton in their wholly owned EMX composite factory, the EC90 XC is feather-light and UST compatible, but tough-as-nails thanks to the use of Easton’s proprietary composite and acoustic tensioning and truing system. The EC90XC wheelset will be available in 26- and 29-inch versions that will cost $2500. Availability to consumers is expected in the summer of 2011.

Weighing just 1,285 grams per pair, the EC90 XC is the lightest carbon rimmed, UST compatible cross-country racing wheelset on the market and yet features a wide rim for optimal tire profile. The EC90 XC features a generous, 19-mm internal rim width (and a girthy 24.7-mm external width) that will accommodate tires up to 2.3- inches wide for amazing handling for everything from racing to fast trail riding.

“As with the Carbon Haven wheelset we introduced last year, the EC90 XC is a the first super light, UST compatible, no compromises wheel in its category,” said Easton Cycling Brand Manager Dain Zaffke. “We’ve designed the EC90XC from scratch for competition and high-speed trail riding and, unlike a number of systems on the market, the EC90XC will last for more than a season. There is no question that this wheel is a game-changer.”

EC90 XC rims showcase a number of industry-leading design and engineering features including the Armored Ballistic Composite that Easton introduced last season with the Haven Carbon trail/freeride wheel. Like any composite, ABC’s strength comes from its individual components—a high-end fiber called HMPE™ and a revolutionary resin dubbed MRES-B™. Easton is the only bike company to use MRES-B, chosen for its impactresistant components that enhance the ballistic and blast performance of the finished composite.

The EC90 XC wheel system spins on a set of proprietary Easton hubs featuring a CNC-machined hub shell, a 7050 aluminum cassette body, and an oversized 7050 hollow axle riding on premium grade, double sealed ceramic bearings. These XC-optimized hubs are mated to the carbon rims via sandblast gray Sapim straight-pull spokes threading into Easton’s patented double-threaded nipple system, eliminating the need for spoke holes in the rim bed.

EC90 XC rims are manufactured and tested in Easton’s wholly owned composite production facility, EMX, in Tijuana, Mexico, where cutting-edge technologies are combined with precision craftsmanship. Each EC90 XC wheelset is then built by hand at EMX using Easton’s proprietary acoustic tensioning and truing system.

The EC90 XC wheels will be available through independent bicycle retailers on May 1st, 2011. Retail price $2500.

Editor’s Note: The 29er pair will be $2,600.


  1. I’m all for more carbon wheels b/c more choices/competition drives down the price…eventually. I have to say though, this makes the Specialized Rovals look like a smoke’n deal!

  2. While I am not saying I welcome the ever-escalating price of components, roadies have been paying over 2 grand for years for zipps and other carbon wheels. Why is the standard different? There are still plenty of less expensive options out there, but I welcome the options for mtbers to have really high end stuff. As a mountain biker, if I wanted to drop over $2K on a set of wheels (not that I do), I would rather be able to get them for my mountain bike than my road bike

  3. “They don’t carry the no-questions-asked warranty of the Haven’s,”

    I cannot find any information about this “no-questions-asked” policy for Haven wheels, can you please show me where I can find it?

  4. $2500 is cheap when my buddies are getting $8000 wheels for their roadbikes. MTB bikers are just too used to paying really cheap for wheels… It’s still a better deal than DTSwiss non tubeless carbon wheelset…

    I’m interested in knowing how to get a lighter wheelset that’s only $1250…

  5. Veda,

    Go to your lbs, and order up some Stan crest rims, light hubs (i.e. DT190), and CX-ray spokes, and you got yourself a 1300-1350 gram wheelset, depending on whether you run tubeless.

  6. dunno where everyone is getting 2600$, I just ordered mine from Easton and it was under a grand, not including shipping

What do you think?