I’ve got a set of these on order with Adam at the Downhill Zone, but note that the shipping date has already slipped from August to “late summer” to “this Fall.” That technically could mean “up to Dec. 22,” which I hope isn’t the case as it’d be nice to be able to ride a 2010 product in 2010. But we’ll see.
Some specs to keep in mind: Using military ballistics technology akin to body armor for soldiers in Iraq, they’re unconditionally guaranteed for two years (not lifetime, as initially mistakenly reported). But word from the Easton lads is that they’re next to indestructible. Easton doesn’t even care how you ride ’em. You’re theoretically (wheel)set for life with these hoops. (Realistic? As we like to say, everything is unbreakable until it breaks. But Easton has a lot riding on its claims.)
If these hold up they may pretty much signify the end of conventional wheels, and further accelerate the carbon replacing metal (steel, ti, aluminum) on bikes. I’m noticing more carbon “chains” on bike drivetrains, still no reports of failure. If they live up to their billing (which essentially is they will never break), it will be a green light for carbon to replace a lot of stuff that it has not already.
Expense is still an issue but always declines with wider adoption. Carbon frames, once double the price tag of metal, have come down to comparable and even sub-metal levels.
But look at it this way: Despite the sticker shock these boys are worth it because they’re so dang light you can use them on your race, your XC, your aggro trail bike AND your freeride bike. All you have to do is change the tires!
That’s right, four wheelsets in one, for an average cost of around $600 each. Now that’s CHEAP for quality wheels, as I like to tell my wife.