Easton EA50SL Review

EA50SLset 1 Easton EA50SL Review

The Easton EA50 SL wheelset is a nifty entry level wheelset, designed to bring a few improvements on the very basic EA50 wheelset, mainly a few grams less weight. They’ve got the same toughness as the EA50, but with lighter stainless-steel spokes. The best part is all of Easton’s wheels are hand built, service that is hard to find at this $375 price tag. And, at 1697 grams, they compete nicely with other wheelsets in this price range.

Easton doesn’t try to pass the EA50 SL wheelset off as an entry level race wheel – unlike other manufacturers, they know they are too heavy to attract anyone who plans to set up at the strat line. What they do claim this wheelset to be is a good quality, good value training wheelset.

Road Test

Out on the road, the Easton EA50SL wheelset rides like a decent training wheelset. Sure, it’s heavy, and feels a little sluggish on a long climb or when the group ride sprints for the next streetlight. They do roll sweetly though, and they are just aero enough that when it’s your turn in front you don’t feel like you’re riding through molasses.

These wheels held up well under the strain of my 200 plus pound frame, holding the corners on descents, and they rolled over bumps without any shudder. I did start to question the quality when I got out of the saddle and really put the pressure on – there was a noticeable flex in the front wheel that I wouldn’t expect from a wheel advertising itself as a sturdy, stiff training wheel.

All this left me asking how Easton can hand-build wheelsets at this price – they have to cut corners somewhere. Those corners are cut with the hubs. The freehubs on the Easton EA50SL wheelset have a reputation for unreliability, and if they are going to let you down you’ll find out quickly. Even out of the box they don’t feel- or sound – like they can take the beating of high mileage training.

Conclusion

The Easton A50SL wheelset is one of the lighter wheelsets in its price bracket, and so they’ll attract people looking for a light training wheelset. The hand-built aspect sounds great too, but frankly, if you are going to hit 4-figure mileage in your training, these wheels probably don’t have the durability in the hubs that you need. If you ride less, but want a light hill-friendly wheelset for a low price, then the Easton EA50SL wheelset might just work for you.

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