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.
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.
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.
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.