Accessibility Widget: On | Off

Photo

A couple of weeks ago at Sea Otter, Easton launched a new MTB rim. Available in 3 different widths, the aluminum ARC rim caters to a wide range of riding styles and conditions. As of today, the same rim is featured on the all-new Heist wheelset, a competitively priced set of hoops aimed at anything "from XC to aggressive all-mountain" - with particular focus on the latter category. The Heist is also suitable for Enduro racing, although Easton feels its flagship Haven wheelset may be the go-to choice for many riders there. We've been rocking a pair of these new wheels for a few weeks now, and we're here to let you know how we've been getting along. A long-term review will follow once we rack up the required miles too.

Easton Heist 30 Wheelset Highlights

  • WHEEL SIZE: 27.5” or 29"
  • WHEELSET WEIGHT (27.5"): 1650g / 1750g / 1790g
  • WHEELSET WEIGHT (29"): 1730g / 1840g / 1880g
  • FINISH: BRUSHED BLACK ANODIZE / VINYL DECALS
  • TYPE: TUBELESS READY CLINCHER
  • RIM MATERIAL: WELDED ALUMINUM
  • RIM DEPTH: 20mm
  • INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 24mm / 27mm / 30mm
  • EXTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 28mm / 31mm / 34mm
  • SPOKES: DOUBLE-BUTTED BLACK
  • FRONT SPOKE PATTERN: 3x
  • REAR SPOKE PATTERN: 3x
  • NIPPLE TYPE: SILVER BRASS
  • BRAKE INTERFACE: 6-BOLT DISC
  • FRONT HUB TYPE: X5, 9x100QR or 15x100
  • REAR HUB TYPE: X5, 10x135QR or 12x142 REAR
  • MSRP: USD $700 / EUR €650 / UK £449.98

Easton X5 Hub Highlights

  • HUB SHELL MATERIAL (F/R): ALUMINUM
  • AXLE MATERIAL (F/R): ALLOY
  • AXLE TYPE (front): 15X100 THRU-AXLE OR 9X100 QR (STEEL KNURL RINGS ON QR ENDCAPS)
  • AXLE TYPE (rear): 12X142 THRU-AXLE OR 10X135 QR (STEEL KNURL RINGS ON QR ENDCAPS)
  • AXLE DIAMETER (front): 17MM
  • AXLE DIAMETER (rear): 15MM
  • WEIGHT (front) 135G (15X100)
  • WEIGHT (rear) 285G (12X142 SHIMANO)

Rims have been getting wider over the last couple of years or so, but rather than go all in at the wider-is-better table, Easton offers the new wheelset in 3 different configurations from 24- to 30-mm internal width. The objective here is to allow the rider to match up the rim width to his or her tire size and riding style, among other. Although if you are riding a 26" bike you are out of luck, as the Heist is only offered in 27.5" and 29". No word as yet on whether Easton are planning a Boost compatible version.

Photo

Wanting to test the new wheelset at the more aggressive end of the scale, we took delivery of a pair of the 30-mm internal width version a few weeks ago. The Heist wheel delivers an understated but purposeful look out of the box, with subtle graphics and straight-pull spokes. You will be able to get different colored decals once these start shipping in June as well.

Photo

The Heist arrives tubeless ready from the factory, with rim strip and valve already pre-installed and ready to go.

Photo

As previously mentioned, the Heist wheel uses the ARC rim released a couple of weeks ago, although instead of the standard ARC's 32 spoke holes, the version featured on the Heist offers 28. Other than that, the vinyl graphics are the only difference. The rims are laced to the all-new X5 hubs using straight-pull, double-butted spokes. Our set weighed in at 1829-grams (with XD-driver), 39-grams above the advertised target weight.

Photo

The Heist wheel is delivered with a set of replacement end-caps to make swapping between standards easy, and 5 spare spokes are also included in the box. A welcome design feature, the spokes are all of the same length for the whole wheelset. The Heist keeps it real with a traditional spoke nipple interface, not as sexy as the threaded eyelet on Easton's premium Haven wheel but also probably easier to find replacement parts for out in the bush.

Photo

The X5 hub is completely new, although it builds on Easton's previous hub designs. The front hub has been optimized for 15x100 with larger bearings than previously, and the endcaps can be swapped without tools. The rear hub features a classic 3-pawl freehub design with a 21-tooth, reinforced drive ring for 17º engagement. The rear hub also features larger hub shell load bearings than Easton's M1 hub. The non-drive side cap can be swapped without tools, while the drive side cap requires a 17-mm wrench and 12-mm hex to remove. Bearing preload is set at the factory and is non-adjustable - hopefully the end of the bearing issues that plagued Easton's hub a couple of generations ago.

Photo

On The Trail

We paired up the Heists with the Maxxis High Roller 2 tire with a 2.4" casing. The tires were (very!) easy to mount tubeless with a simple floor pump and some sealant, and have been trouble free so far in terms of holding air. The extra width of the rim provides a good base for bigger tires, and gives them a notably squarer profile - most visible when comparing the sidewall shape.

Photo

The Heist was drag-free out of the box, spinning easily and rolling well. The wheel also feels very solid on the trail, offering just the right combination of stiffness and comfort. We have been riding the wheel without holding back for a good couple of weeks already, and while it is of course too soon to offer any conclusive evidence, nothing at this point would suggest that the Heist isn't up for some serious shenanigans.

Photo

The tubeless, wide-rim combo provides a very confidence inspiring ride. We've really been enjoying the increased amount of lateral grip on offer, and the wheels hold their line without being overly harsh. Banging into rocks or setting the bike down sideways is devoid of drama, and even after some pretty hefty, spoke-twanging hits the wheels are still perfectly true. Easton uses acoustic spoke tuning and after a couple of weeks of abuse, the Heist song still sounds good.

Photo

Both hubs roll extremely well, and have so far been completely free of any play. The rear hub offers a fairly pedestrian 17-degrees of engagement, and while this is in line with some competitive offerings in this wheel category, it is the only point we feel could benefit from some improvement. At $700 USD, there are good options out there, and while Easton have packed some impressive features into the Heist, quicker engagement would push it close to the top. As it stands, the 17-degree engagement won't hold you back, but we would certainly welcome a double-time engagement option even if it added $50 to the price...

Photo

There is a lot of choice in the current wheel market. Easton's new Heist follows the wide-rim trend but also gives you the opportunity to match your rim width to your riding style, tire size, and riding conditions, a definite plus in our books. The single spoke-length design and the straight-pull hubs give the Heist a premium touch, and the understated but aesthetically pleasing graphics complement any build. Furthermore, the wheel rolls well, holds a line, and seems to be more than ready to take the abuse dished out by modern trail bikes. Improved rear hub engagement would give the Heist an even snappier feel, but as it stands, Easton has put out an exciting new option for those wanting to get into the wide-rim game.

More information at www.eastoncycling.com.

Feature by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord, Nils Hjord, and Oliver Kniffki

Related:
Create New Tag
2 comments
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment