Easton EA90 RT wheelset review
Easton’s EA90 RTs (Road Tubeless) use their well-proven R4 hub but differ at the rim. Following current wisdom that a wider rim creates a rounder tyre profile that improves feel and cornering, the EA90’s rim has been widened to 22mm.
The wheelset has 20 front and 24 rear double-butted spokes and 24.5mm deep rims. The rim bed is undrilled and airtight (save for the valve hole), which increases strength and rigidity. Ours weighed 1,580g without skewers, or 1,720g with, which is reasonable for wheels of this spec – and they don’t require rim tape or inner tubes.
Initial riding impressions are good. The taut spokes and stronger rim bed mean the wheels respond sharply and climb competently, while the silky-smooth sealed cartridge bearings are no hindrance to speed.
The greater all-round stability and increased cornering confidence that comes from the wider and more rounded tyre profile, plus a more supple tubeless tyre feel, certainly resulted in improved average speeds.
Tyre fitting is straightforward, but the supplied tubeless valve has a one-piece core, making it impossible to add a sealant that requires the valve core to be removed. Other valves are available, of course, or you can add sealant directly into the uninflated tyre, but it seems like an oversight.
You shouldn’t need to open up your brake callipers much, if at all, to accept the EA90 RTs and they can also be used with normal clinchers, comfortably taking 28mm. The main limiting factor in going tubeless is still lack of tyre choice.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.