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Easton EC90 XC Bearings and Hubs

Brent R writes:

Hi Lloyd,

I just wanted to send my comments about the Easton 26" wheels you reviewed. I too bought the wheel and found it performed incredibly well for a period of 2 weeks. They became sluggish though and I took them to my shop and found that both the front and rear hub bearings had already worn out and the adjustment nut had been either self loosening or tightening.

The shop was aware of this problem as others with Easton hubs had been in for the exact problems I had encountered. One of my buddies decided to test the warranty, so he sent the wheels in. Easton did the required replacement of bearings and sent the wheel back. The round trip was 3 weeks.

I was told by my shop that they could not perform warrantee replacements on Easton wheels and that if I didn't want to pay for the replacement parts I would have to do without my wheels for 3 weeks during peak riding season. I say again this was after the first 2 weeks of riding!

Others I know got even less time on their new bearings before they failed.
I coughed up the 80 bucks for new bearings, but went for non ceramic, hoping this would increase the lifespan.

3 weeks went by and the free hub bearings had shattered inside the hub turning all the internals to hamburger. This time I took the warrantee route. One month has passed and still no wheel. There is now snow at the higher elevations and I fear I won't be riding those wheels again this season.

Easton has a hub design problem. They also have a prohibitive warrantee that will discourage redemption.

If your hub hasn't failed already either you are lucky, or need to ride more, as I know of 5 people who have done wholesale bearing replacements on their new Easton hubs twice or more in this season.

WindInMyFace: I have some suspicions about the bearings in the EC90 XC wheels, and I will have them inspected soon. There seems to be some noise that has developed, and I’m wondering why unscrewing the front 15QR skewer is causing the hub to spin, and to not unscrew easily— a real nuisance in removing the skewer. I have been forced to grab the nut on the outer part of the hub in order to unscrew the front skewer. This was not true with new wheels, and they are not particularly dirty.

There are plenty of miles on them though— at least several hundred. However, it’s premature for me to make a conclusion on my wheelset until I check the bearings.

I consider a 3-week warranty fix totally unacceptable. No one should have to stop biking 3 weeks, that is patently offensive and unacceptable for a multi-thousand-dollar wheelset. A 1-week turnaround is the longest I would consider acceptable for such a wheelset, and even that is unfair: one just cannot ride for a week?! I suppose it’s not so bad if the problem occurs only once, and never again.

Note that I have both the 26" Easton EC 90 XC wheels and the 29" Easton EC90 XC wheels, and that one of the 29" wheels failed out of the box.

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