Easton EA70 AX Disc Wheels: Checkpoint

Easton EA70 AX Disc Wheels: Checkpoint- by Guitar Ted

The last we heard about the Easton EA70 AX wheels was back when we had copious amounts of snow blanketing the roads of the Mid-West where I live. Thankfully Spring has arrived and the riding has been happening in earnest. Throughout the “transition season” the Easton wheel set has been punished and in this post we will see how they have been holding up. Plus, we have an addition to the review as well.

The Easton EA70AX wheels as fitted to Guitar Ted's Black Mountain Cycles MCD bike
Guitar Ted’s Black Mountain Cycles MCD bike fitted with the Easton EA70 AX wheels

Ride Performance: First, I need to add that Easton has also sent over a set of the 650B variant of the EA70 AX wheels. I will make a separate post on this model detailing spec and ride feel which will be coming soon.

The Black Mountain MCD out in the country with the EA70 AX wheels
The EA70 AX wheels out on the gravel.

Okay, with that out of the way, the Easton EA70 AX wheels, as you may remember from the first post, are “trail rated” by Easton. That means that they should be pretty tough wheels. So far, I believe this is the case. I have cased some potholes, banged these sideways off curb hops, and have been sideways on loose, sandy and rutted gravel with no appreciable effects to the wheels. They are as straight and true as they were out of the box.

I also have noted that these wheels are very smooth rollers. the bearings seem to be very nice and I don’t have any unwanted lateral play in them. The free hub body makes what I would term as a medium-loud noise when coasting. Nothing obnoxious, but it is there. The free-play in the hub’s pawl and ratchet system is about par for the course. Nothing spectacular, but it isn’t noticeably poor. All in all, these are wheels I haven’t had to think about while riding, nor worry about when things get rowdy and rough. That’s a good thing.

Easton EA70 AX close up
While the wheels may be a bit on the heavy side, they are point and shoot stable in loose, chunky gravel.

Another great trait of these wheels is how laterally stiff they are. this came home to me as I was riding on some pretty messed up gravel roads. The roads were rutted out from Spring thaws, and dried to a rock hard consistency in many spots. The EA70 AX wheels would sometimes get crossed up in these ruts and instead of bending or flexing, they would send the entire bike snapping sideways or popping over a bit as I rode. A less stiff wheel would not have acted in this manner. But the real tale was told when I hit some very deep, fresh gravel patches which are commonplace in Springtime. Unlike other wheels I have tested which I could see flexing and vibrating in these sorts of conditions, the EA70 AX tracked very true and calmly through the rough stuff. So, while they may be heavier than many other pre-built wheels, the way these wheels track through sketchy gravel and looser dirt/sand is a welcome thing.

So Far….. The Easton EA70 AX wheels are aimed at gravel/adventure riders looking for a durable, easy to get along with wheel set. What I’ve seen so far points to such a wheel here. They are not light, but they are not expensive either. Plus, they track true through the rougher stuff and have been rock solid in terms of durability and for remaining true. Look for the final “At The Finish” review on this wheel set and the 650B version in a few weeks. Also, there will be a separate post specifically looking at the 650B versions.

Note: Easton sent over the EA70 AX wheels for test and review at no charge to RidingGravel.com. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

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2 Responses to Easton EA70 AX Disc Wheels: Checkpoint

  1. KM April 15, 2019 at 6:50 am #

    First of all – thanks for giving these and honest look. It’s been so hard to find anything but industry filler on them. I’ve been very interested in these wheels.

    The posts keep mentioning their weight as a downside. This perplexed me. These are far lighter than most stock wheel sets that come on most gravel bikes (500g lighter than my stock). They also come with a healthy number of spokes which is good given these wheels will get beat up in rough usage. Light comes at a price – durability, cost, or both. I don’t see their weight as a downside – I’m more curious on their durability given that they are that much lighter than most stock wheel sets and that seems to be good so far on your test. How are the spike holes holding up?

    In fact, the Boyd Jocasse wheels I am lucky to have weigh 1590g. I’ve been looking at these due to the cost and relative weight. Compared to these it’s a 1/3 the price for only ~100-150g. Not a bad trade off for a second set of wheels for when I want to go narrower.

    Definitely don’t hold a light to some of the carbon options out there for 700c, but they do seem to be fairly competitive and a decent trade off for 150g or so.

    • Guitar Ted April 15, 2019 at 3:06 pm #

      @KM- It seems that you have a good grasp on what a little weight difference is versus price and for the durability factor which is pretty much top of the list in importance when you talk about wheels. It doesn’t matter how light your wheels are, or how much they cost, if they let you down in the middle of nowhere.

      I haven’t been kind to these wheels, and so far I haven’t noticed one issue with the spoke holes. But I’ll take another look later and see how things look at the end of this review.

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by Riding Gravel 2014