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jonz

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Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #1 
Howdy gang,
I've been looking to get some bigger inner diameter wheels for a while now. I was interested in the Clement Ushuaia wheels with a 23mm ID. They got write ups in many sources but trying to find any for sale - not happening.  Those wheels were spec'ed on new bikes but as far as I was concerned, they were a unicorn.  Finally, I decided on Easton EA70 AX wheels to get my 23mm ID I was looking for.  Even buying those wasn't as easy as it should have been.  I got the rear wheel from Jenson but had to order the front directly from Easton (should be here next week). I like the idea of straight pull spokes as in my experience (cough cough I'm old) 90% of my broken spokes have been at the J bend.  I have a set of Shimano XT mountain bike wheels with straight pull spokes and in years of hard use have only broken 1 spoke.  I hope these wheels do as well.  One nice thing was Jenson included 4 extra spokes.  Price was good - right around $250 per wheel.  I want to wait until I have the wheels ready to go as I want to ride my bike with the current wheels (19mm ID) and then swap as quickly as possible to the Eastons with the same 40mm Maxxis Rambler tires and see if I can tell the difference in the ride with wider wheels.  I'm hoping for a significant difference in ride quality. At the least, I want to be able to run the tires at a lower pressure for better shock absorbtion on the Rocky Mountain gravel roads I ride.  The lowest I could run the Ramblers on the 19mm ID wheels was 35psi front/40 psi rear.  Less and those tires wallowed and I got the occasional 'tink' of wheel on rock.  So, I'll report back with my results next week.
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zincongravel

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Reply with quote  #2 
Check out planet x bikes online.
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stevef

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Reply with quote  #3 
I put a set of these Easton wheels on my Renegade a week or two ago-they seem fine so far!  Rear hub is on the noisy side but that's about it.  They popped right up tubeless no problem with Compass Switchback Hill tires, standard casing.  I'm running them in the high 20's/low 30s psi with no trouble and they measure an honest 50  wide on these rims.
32294600_860860987430965_4223964167972847616_n.jpg  32556112_860860967430967_496818082812002304_n.jpg

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jonz

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Reply with quote  #4 
Well, getting those wheels proved to be a little more complicated that I thought it was going to be.  It turns out JensonUSA sent me a really weird size rear wheel - I measured it as best I could with a tape measure and it was a 24" rear wheel. It seems Easton sends the wheels to Jenson already boxed up and this box was marked 700c but certainly wasn't. This was the only time Jenson hasn't given me stellar service as they wanted a picture of the wheel next to a 700 tire before they would give me return shipping and then it took them a few days.  Ok service but not like I'd had in the past.  Jenson had no rear wheel in the correct configuration.  It turns out that Easton didn't either.  According to the sales guy at Jenson, Easton is discontinuing the wheel set.  I found a rear at Blue Sky cycling and finally got the correct set of wheels here and the weather cooperated so I got to try them out today.

A little background - I'm 5'8" and 180-185 lbs and ride a Jamis Renegade Expert that came with Alex ATD470 rims which are 19mm inner diameter. Tires are the Maxxis Rambler 40mm set up tubeless. I tried running those tires on those rims at 30 psi front/35psi rear and found the bike wallowed on off camber and would occasionally 'tink' when hitting rocks.  So I settled on 35f/40r as my riding pressure. But I wanted a better ride so I bought the larger inner diameter Easton wheels in the hopes that would give me a better ride.  

I wanted to have everything set up so I could ride both sets of wheels with varying pressures as close together as possible. There would be a delay between wheel swaps though because I had to change the discs and the rear cassette.  The Alex ATD470 are marketed as tubeless ready but they really aren't. They weren't taped and to get them to seal after taping, I had to run a Stan's rim strip. To their credit. they have stayed true despite the beating I've applied.  The Maxxis Rambler tires (now close to 2 years old) measure 38-39mm at anywhere from 30-40psi on those rims.

I set up the Easton wheels yesterday with new Maxxis Rambler 40 tires. The front was really easy. I mounted the front with no sealant and the bead seated with a blast from the compressor. I popped one bead and added 1-2 ounces of Orange Seal, it re-seated easily and kept pressure.  The rear wheel required a little more work. I couldn't get it to seat and seal even with Orange Seal so had to use a tube to get it to seated. Popped one bead, removed the tube, added sealant, and that worked.  At 30-35 psi, the Ramblers measured 41.5-42mm.  Plenty of clearance on my Jamis.

My test track was a 1.5 mile loop that included a short mole-mound infested single track, an atv trail, a little pavement, and then a gravel road with short standing climb back to my house. First ride was with the old wheels with tires at 35f/40r. The back tire slipped a couple times on the standing climb. Second ride was with the old wheels at 30f/35r.  I could feel the wallow on rutted parts of the atv trail where I had to ride on the slanted sides of the tracks.  Last ride was on the Easton wheels with 30f/35r and the new Maxxis Ramblers. No wallow on the sides of the tracks and no slip on the standing climb. I ended up riding a longer loop and even did a little of the Continental Divide hiking trail single track - gave the new wheels a few good whacks on some exposed roots on that descent and no problems yet. I rode pavement down from Targhee Pass and got up to 41 mph and the ride was comfortable.

So I'm satisfied with the results for just over $500 for those wheels.  Was it an amazing difference? No. But it was a noticeable difference.  Now to put on some more miles and then decide if I want a Leif fork.
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