Easton EA 90 SL Wheels: Checkpoint

Easton EA 90 SL Wheels: Checkpoint- by Grannygear

We introduced the Easton EA90SL wheels here in this post and I have had them underway for some time now. Mounting and setup was a cinch. A splash of Orange Seal in there and the well used WTB Resolutes went on with just the right amount of tension. Inflation was a floor pump kind of deal. Very nice.

Grannygear's Lynskey GR250 as seen with the Easton EA 90 SL wheels
Grannygear’s steed set up with the Easton EA 90 SL wheels

I was curious how the slightly narrower inner rim width would affect the tire size. The rims I was coming from were a full 21mm wide.  However the Resolutes, having been as stretched as they were going to get, were only a 1/2mm narrower at 43.5mms, not 44mms.  So that was nice.

Close up of the Easton EA 80 SL wheels with WTB Resolute tires mounted
The narrow internal width of the EA 90 SL’s did not seem to adversely affect the tires.

Rim width in gravel oriented wheels is still ‘in the process’ so it’s hard to say where the ‘ruler’ will settle. I just saw that Enve introduced another all-road wheel that is 25mm internal and made for 28mm-30mm tires. Wow.

Spinning the EA90SLs in the work stand, I noted that the sound of the freehub on-coast was a muted, high frequency ‘bzzzzzz’, not aggro like a Chris King or nausea inducing like an Industry 9. Not like a DT Swiss either.  I like.

So far the wheels have felt snappy and solid.  From coast to drive, these wheels show a rapid engagement, so if that is important to you, that is good.  I have noticed a bit more ‘pop’ forward over the wheels I typically run, a set of FSA MTB wheels from a few years ago.  The EA90SLs are at least 100g lighter so that is part of it I am sure.

I do wonder if I am feeling a good bit of trail impacts up though the wheels?  Maybe it is me. There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not a wheel can ‘ride nicely’ or ‘ride harshly’.  Some say that the vertical deflection in a wheel is not enough to matter.  I am no rocket scientist, so I cannot give you the numbers, but practical experience tells me something is going on there as some wheels are more forgiving or more comfortable or….not sure how to put it.

The Easton EA 90 SL wheels out on a trail

At the end of the time on these I am going to swap back over to the Rolf/Prima wheels I have hanging in the rafters, awaiting a new project bike. Those are still my gold standard until something truly amazing comes along.

So Far….. The EA90SLs are a quick accelerating, solid feeling wheel that rewards a ride looking for speed on fast, multi surface rides. Stay tuned for our “At The Finish” review coming soon.

NOTE: Easton sent over the EA 90 SL wheels for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel. We were not paid, nor bribed for this content and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.



About The Author: Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.


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by Riding Gravel 2014