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Easton's EA70 wheelset is a staple for mid-range bikes off the shelf and a popular upgrade from heavier hoops. They're resonably light and nice and smooth, though we have our doubts about how long the Aluminium freehub body will last if you're not careful.
Like all of Easton’s wheels, the EA70s are handbuilt and the spoke tension was spot-on straight out of the box – and it’s stayed that way throughout testing without any jiggery-pokery in the workshop. The 26mm-deep rims are black anodized and have a machined braking surface, the forged alloy hubs are black anodized too, and you get double-butted, straight-pull Sapim spokes. The 24 at the front are radially laced, the 28 at the rear are radial on the non-driveside and 2-cross on the driveside.
We’ve heard gripes that fitting tyres on these is difficult but we had no trouble with any of the sets we tried. They’re tight, but we managed it without any levers once we’d pushed the bead into the centre. We think some people just need to man up a bit.
Our pair weighed in at 1704g (742g front, 962g rear – plus, you have to factor in 120g for the QR skewers) – not quite as feathery as the manufacturer’s claimed weight but still decent for the money, although they're giving away 200g to Pro-Lite's similarly priced Braccianos. That’s reflected in the swift acceleration you get from these hoops, and they climb really well with a definite spring in their step. They’re reasonably stiff too although, in our case, the rear wheel was much more prone to flex than the front one when we slapped the bike in top gear and jumped hard on the pedals – nothing disconcerting, but we could certainly feel it when we leaned the bike over hard.
The cartridge bearings run smoothly and they’re pretty well sealed so we wouldn’t expect any particular problems there, while the three-pawl freehub works just fine. The splines of the alloy freehub body did start to dent from the cassette early on though – it was noticeable within the first couple of hundred miles – so that’s a more likely source of future problems. Make sure you fit your cassette nice and tight to minimise the damage.
Lightweight and smooth everyday wheels – but early wear on the freehub body makes us worry about the long-term durability
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Make and model: Easton EA70 wheelset
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, they're quick wheels
Would you consider buying the product? The durability of the freehub bodies seems suspect. Still, you can replace it if necessary
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above
Age: 36 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.