Regardless of your opinion on the subject, disc brakes are coming to the cyclocross circuit, and Easton will offer at least two compatible products for 2013.
The new EA90 XD wheelset pairs a 25mm-deep, 17.5mm-wide (internal width) tubeless compatible aluminum rim with Easton's own sealed cartridge bearing hubs via Sapim double butted stainless steel spokes. Rear hub spacing is 135mm, claimed weight is 1,620g for the set, and retail price is US$900.
Some might lament Easton's choice of a road-width rim for bigger 'cross tires, especially since we've found that wider hoops lend noticeably better casing support at lower pressures.
However, those who might find themselves operating under UCI guidelines should keep in mind that wider rims would render many current clincher tires illegal - a lot are already on the limit in terms of width.
Matching up to the new wheels is Easton's new EC90 XD disc-only 'cross fork, which boasts all-carbon construction, absolutely massive legs and an extremely wide-set crown that should provide heaps of mud clearance.
Easton's EA90 XD disc 'cross fork is a carbon fiber beast
Easton will also equip the new fork with the company's clever Internal Thread Technology steerer plug system and integrated cable routing. The carbon tabs are sized for 140mm rotors as is – fine for 'cross use but easily upsized to a more road-friendly 160mm with an adapter.
Claimed weight is 460g and the suggested retail price is US$550.
While the EA90 XD wheels will be available in a few weeks, the EC90 XD fork won't be in stores until January 2013 – well after the end of the cyclocross season.
More carbon, comparatively less money
Easton will also expand its range of carbon wheels into lower price points for 2013.
Roadies will get the new EC70 SL wheels, built with alloy rims for surer wet weather braking (not to mention safety for those concerned about rim heat in mountainous areas) and aerodynamic carbon caps for a total depth of 42mm.
Straight-pull Sapim double-butted stainless steel spokes (18 front, 24 rear) and recessed nipples join the rims to Easton's own R4 aluminum hubs, which feature adjustable sealed cartridge bearings, aluminum axles and easily interchangeable freehub bodies for use with Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo drivetrains. Claimed weight is 1,660g for the pair and suggested retail price is US$1,500.
Aluminum clincher rims on the EC70 SL road wheels
Finally, there's the new EC70 Trail wheelset, which brings some of the composite rim technology from Easton's more expensive EC90 and Haven Carbon wheels to a somewhat more attainable price point. Easton claims the full-carbon rims are more impact resistant and stronger than aluminum ones, while also boasting a relatively generous 20mm internal width for use with higher-volume trail tires.
Easton's own in-house M1 hubs feature sealed cartridge bearings and swappable axle configurations compatible with nearly every currently popular setup: 9mm QR or 15mm through-axle front and 10mm QR or 12x135/142mm through-axle rear.
The 26in-wheeled version has a claimed weight of 1,345g and suggested retail price of US$1,800, while the 29ers are slightly heavier and more expensive at 1,460g and US$1,850.