Top Ten 29″er Products Of ’09: Easton XC One Single Speed Wheels

Editors Note: Yeah, yeah…..another year end review! Tis the season! So, here are my favorite things that have passed through the Twenty Nine Inches review process during the past year. I want to point out a few parameters that I used for what I chose here.

1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2008 through to the end of November 2009. Reviews that are currently in process I did not include and will be eligible for my 2010 Top Ten list.

2. They had to be products or bicycles that I personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twenty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for my list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but me, Guitar Ted.

3. The reviewed products were provided to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for review. I was not paid or bribed for this review. I will give/gave my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

That said, let’s get on with this

Number 9: Easton XC One Single Speed Wheels: We got these Easton single speed specific wheels late in 2008 to check out. The XC One was also available in a geared version, but this was a cassette style freehub for single speeds only. The test was split up between Captain Bob and I, but since the Final Review, I have consistently been riding the wheels on one of my personal rigs.

Why They Made The List: Easton gets kudos for doing an XC One in geared and single speed versions. We were immediately impressed with Easton’s silky smooth bearings and forgiving ride. These wheels were perfect for the rigid bikes we were testing them on. The weird feeling was that of consistent flex that made the wheels very springy and yet predictable in corners. I have still yet to see these wheels come out of true, which makes this all the more amazing. The weight, while not feather light, is respectable for 29″ers.

My Two Cents: While these wheels had a flex that was noticeable, it was a “good” kind of flex that old school roadies might remember. I never felt that the spingy nature of these wheels was a detriment, just comfortable, and well…..weird! The bearings were silky smooth throughout, and seemed to allow the coasting to go on for longer than any other wheels I have ridden. Had Easton busted out their upcoming Haven tubeless system on these, the XC One single speed wheels would have scored far higher. I also wanted the rims to be a bit wider for general purpose riding, but as a racing wheel set, they were fine in that regard. While Captain Bob experienced a couple instances of weird popping noises from the free hub, I never really had that happen. Some folks report loose bearing caps with these. Again, we never had that happen with our set. For myself, these are a super smooth rolling, springy comfortable, and decently light wheel set for a dedicated single speeder. Unfortunately, they won’t be back for 2010, but Easton is doing a tubeless ready wheel line for 29″ers in their upcoming Haven wheels. Perhaps some of the reported issues will be sussed out. That said, the Easton XC One single speed wheels grab the #9 spot for 2009.

Coming up next, the #8 pick for the Top Ten 29″er Products of 2009.

Don’t forget to add your pick for the 2009 Reader’s Choice Award! See the post here to vote.