22 October 2009


Okay, I've gotten some schwag in the past few weeks and I feel the need to share it with you. Mind you, it's not as cool as the bike stuff that Bond has acquired (cough...Di2...cough...), so take that for what it's worth!
First- Easton EA70X tubular wheels. These are marketed by Easton as cyclocross/crit wheels, but I can tell you that the vast majority of folks who buy these hoops glue knobbies on them and rock them through the fall and winter fun that is cross season. This was my intention as well.
The good- Semi-aero rims laced to Easton's C3 hubset using Sapim DB, straight pull spokes. They were dead true and round out of the box. The wheels are handbuilt at Easton and even feature a small touch usually reserved for custom builds...alu NDS and brass DS nips on the rear wheel. You can actually see marks on the nipples where they received their final touch-up before shipping!
I decided that the subtleties of a $100+, cotton cased Challenge, Dugust or FMB tires would be lost of me, so I went with a set of 220 tpi Vittoria Evo XGs. Three thin coats of Conti tubular glue on the hoops, and two on the tires, the setup was ready to rock.
I did my initial shakedown at Owens Field and was impressed. The wheels roll extremely well and are VERY stiff, yet not at all harsh. The tires are handle very predictably, have plenty of give, and even though I was riding them with a bit too much pressure, they gripped the wet grass to the point that I could HEAR the grass tearing while I turned.
Cost for the whole setup? Less than $500!!!
The bad- Easton slams waaaay too much grease in the freehub. It seemed to be dragging when I gave them their first, out of the box tickle. Fortunately, the freehub is VERY easy to remove/service. I cleaned out about 75% of the sticky, Shimano-like grease and SHAZAM, the freehub spun smoothly! I'm quite sure they'll get even better once the break in a little.

I raced the Easton/Vittoria setup last weekend in Greenville and was dutifully satisfied with it's performance. The course was ROUGH and I crashed the living shit out of them, yet they are still arrow true! I like them alot!
They will be my main cross race wheels for the season, and will be under me in Augusta on Saturday...unless it's REALLY shitty and muddy...
I'll probably slap some nice Vittoria Evo CX road tubs on them in the spring and race them on the road as well. I may do a little spoke upgrade though...maybe some straight-pull CX-Rays...hmmm...

For the money, they're pretty hard to beat. Sure, you can buy lighter, fancier, more expensive wheels, but are they necessary? NOPE! Maybe I'll sell out and race some carbon tubs if I ever get super-fit and start kicking ass, but for now, these will be just fine!

Up next week...the Magicshine 900 LED light....

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