Wheels: What Not To Buy

Some of you know the drama I have had with my Easton EA90 XC wheels over the past two years, some may not. For those who are unfamiliar with the saga, let me give you an update. I switched to the Eastons after a variety of issues with a variety of Stan’s rims; cracks, separating welds seems, etc., etc., My one shop had an extra pair of Easton’s that had been hanging around for a few months, so based on the fact that a buddy of mine had a set, liked them and was even thinking about a 2nd pair, I plunked down my debit card for them.

Worst. Decision. Ever.

First thing to happen was a burped tire  which resulted in the rim taco-ing. To be honest I don’t know if I bent the rim and burped the tire or burped the tire and bent the rim. OK, that could happen to anyone and to any tubeless wheel. I took it to the shop to get a new rim. Um… well… Easton won’t send out a rim for your LBS to build up, they ask that your LBS send them the wheel to build and then return it (which is not free of course, there MAY have been a discount involved though, I can’t remember). I paid up and moved on, shit happens when your ride and race mountain bikes.

After that my rear wheel issues started: breaking spokes about every two months. If it was from crashes, sticks, etc., I would have been OK with it and would have just wrote it off as my typical bad luck. But every time it happened I was powering up a climb PING! CLANG! Spoke be gone. Again, not THAT big of a deal until you need a nipple too. Then you need “special” Easton nipples and if your shop doesn’t have any in stock (which they probably won’t)… well then you are without your wheel for a week or two until they come in.


Goodbye Easton wheels… you will find a place on my full rigid, crap weather, dirt road mountain bike. Hello Velocity Blunt SL Comps


I won’t have a chance to really ride them ’till maybe Friday, but right now I am digging how they look and feel. Not to mention, they’ll feel a hell of a lot better when I get finally get that SRAM 950 boat anchor of a cassette off the rear too. I put it on last year when I didn’t want to wait for a better one to come in and it’s time to ditch it.

Having said all that above, I know me, I know my luck and I know that I will most likely break SOMETHING on these wheels sooner rather than later… but I sure as hell hope not.

While I can’t yet say I recommend the Velocity wheels, I CAN now say I recommend NOT buying the Easton wheels.


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