First Look: Easton's Wide ARC Rims

Apr 15, 2015
by Mike Levy  
What goes around comes around, right? Those who've been riding for a decade or two will remember when the thing to do to your long-travel bike was to put massive tires on your equally massive rims, and while the technology at the time was rudimentary, the benefits were still pretty obvious: more traction from a larger contact patch and lower air pressure, and hopefully better reliability. The downsides were that these gigantic tires and rims weighed as much as a golden retriever, and reliability actually wasn't that great due to everyone being more concerned with finding the thickest possible downhill tubes to stuff in there rather then thinking about getting rid of the tubes altogether.

ARC


How things have changed. Tire and rim manufacturers are back to offering mega-wide rubber and rim options, but now the weights are extremely competitive, and, in a lot of cases, a proper wide tire and rim combo can be made to be more reliable than a Unimog. The best part, though, is the improved traction that comes from running the right tire on a wide rim and at low pressure. With their new $99 USD ARC rims, Easton is the latest company to jump on the 'wider is better' wagon train, and they're offering the aluminum rim in three different widths to match the differently sized tire options out there. ''Rim width should match tire volume. If you are running a large volume tire, a 30mm internal rim width provides an optimal tire profile,'' Easton says. Not looking to run the big meat? ''For lower volume cross-country and trail tires, 24 and 27mm internal rim widths provide the ideal balance between tire shape and wheel weight.''

Mounting up a massive tire on a skinny rim is going to mean that you're going to suffer from a lot of casing roll, and using a skinnier tire on a wide rim is going to change the shape of the tire so much that it won't work as designed, so Easton offering the ARC in three different widths does make sense. The weights are competitive as well: 425g for the 24mm wide rim in 27.5", 475g for the 27mm wide rim, and 490g for the 30mm wide model. The same three width options are also available in 29" sizes, with them weighing marginally more. The 32 hole, tubeless-ready rims accept standard spokes, and complete tubeless kits with rim strips and valves are sold separately.

ARC


We'll have more information from Sea Otter later this week, as well as a full test at a later date.

www.eastoncycling.com


104 Comments

  • + 113
 No $3000 carbon option? -Said no mountain biker ever
  • + 70
 No 26" option ? I'm not hating on 27.5 and 29 (I own both, and even a fat bike shame on me Smile ) but my downhill rig is still 26" and would like wide rims too.
  • + 14
 Velocity Rims makes several widths in 26" and they are alloy and affordable
  • + 36
 Spank Spike 35
  • + 8
 I meant a lightweight rim which is not the case for Spike 35 (600 g).
And I had issues with Spank components (broken pedals and other things).
I'm interested in DT EX 471 which are light (470 g) but "only" 30 mm wide on the outside.
  • + 6
 Velocity Blunt 559mm (26") 550g 35mm external and 30mm internal width. I have a front 584mm (27.5") and am very happy with it.
  • + 10
 DT EX471 aka Gwin's rims
  • - 13
flag jaame (Apr 15, 2015 at 3:45) (Below Threshold)
 You won't get better than spank. They use the best metals in the business. If you can break a Spank pedal, you can break anything else.
  • + 5
 tried a search for the dt 471, 26" out of stock in uk and europe as far as i can tell,

shame i cant upgrade my existing easton 26" wheels with the new rims though
  • + 3
 Price o' carbon's are coming down. You can get them under $200USD per rim now online.
  • + 11
 soooooooooooo what, ppl apparently have accepted that 26" is pretty much dead for everything except for dj?

that's f*cking hideous, means i probably won't be able to build a urban/mini dh punter. wtf i'm gonna ride then, a 27.5 enduro? all the dj fullies seem to be going to a concentric pivot for ss but this sux for pedaling and square bump eating...


of all the bs mtb industry has done this hurts me the most, new bikes just aren't fun anymore, it's either full on xc or full on dh, i'd be wary of trashing an enduro bike for years on end + i'm not so tall so 27.5 sucks for me if i want to toss it around


guess in the end it's going to be a steel dj hardtail + a 140-160mm fork. oh wait, i already have one.
  • + 15
 ^^ new standards always bring obsolescence, despite manus claiming that theyll still support the old standards. They told us 15mm axles would be in addition to 20mm, but now most trail forks only offer the pussy 15mm. They said 26 will never die, but new stuff doesnt cover 26. And now they say that boost hubs are just another option. Right. Dont believe the hype.
  • - 7
flag deeeight (Apr 15, 2015 at 8:03) (Below Threshold)
 The people spending the money weren't spending it five years ago on the things people here want to complain about the now lack of.
  • + 6
 deeeight you man really need to stfu, get banned or something. ppl spend money on crack too. and i'm not complaining about crack being available.
  • - 8
flag deeeight (Apr 15, 2015 at 8:10) (Below Threshold)
 Hey truth hurts but its still the truth.
  • + 1
 gamma.
  • - 2
 @Bryce... most trail forks today are stiffer/stronger than the trail forks they replaced with 20mm axles and they're generally lighter also. There's more to a fork's stiffness than the axle size.
  • + 6
 that may be true, but the pencil axles are still needlessly inferior.
  • + 9
 I read this and i saw $99 for a new rim, and i was pumped cuz i could replace the tank that i call my front rim (sun mtx 33) and my POS rear (spesh stock, been thru 4 spokes and jumps out of true if you look at it wrong). And then i realized.... no 26.....
  • + 4
 Derby makes wide, cheap (for being carbon) rims. And in all three wheel sizes.
  • + 0
 Mavic 729 is a 29mm internal width rim, and is about $70. It's also strong as f*ck. But it weighs 680g. Win some, lose some i guess
  • + 1
 I'm not too worried about the weight, running da bombs as 6 years, 30mm internal, they stay straight, have blown the odd spoke on 1 n 10 on pleney but they still run true. Bit of rotational weight helps me stay upright.. Halo sas is another option, super strong and wide but again bit on heavy side.
  • + 42
 A wheel related product from Easton that does not include a hub - may actually work! Big Grin No sorry, these look awesome, I mean it, good job Easton, good moment when carbon charm wears out. If I would make 26" ones I may have bought them, it cannot cost much more to roll that extrusion a bit tighter isn't it? Big Grin
  • + 20
 Too sad they are going only 650b and 29'... The 26' is still a lot of riders' choice. Why are they not seeing this?
  • + 16
 They are not seeing this because what they see is tangible sales numbers as well as sales prognosis, numbers may not go on + for 26" wheels at best, at worst the anticipated loss cannot justify such PR move. Honestly these days going 26" for a big company can only be PR. Staying with 26" can happen only at a small company adressing bored rich, lumber sexuals, hipsters and other deviants
  • + 13
 DeviantForLife !
  • + 18
 Deviant, nutter and part-time psychopath here! I like 26" wheels, and put opened banana inside my pants instead of chamois cream.
  • + 0
 But wait isn't this now one of Fox's evil plans to dominate the entire market? Maybe they will unveil the hidden CTD switch that activates an inflation pump strava and the e-bike motor all at once!
  • + 39
 I am glad that you have also seen through Fox evil, as we all have seen it with Specialized. Annually due to horrible stiction that stanchions and pistons of Fox products, our planet warms up by 0,00000002324 Celsius (M.Hardings HV Jan 2013, J.Milestone MIT Apr 2014). RockShox or Marzocchi products stiction is accordingly smaller by 0,000264 and 0,00857 (m/s)xUds, where Uds stands for unforced online retard ratio (Jenkins MIT dec 2013). Owners of RS and MZ claim that Fox requires service intervals every two hours and rebuild every 3 days (Pinkbike science journal 2009-2015) which results in more usage of lubricants and rubber seals, which leads to further warming up of the client and releasing posionous agents int the ground waters through landfill deposit, increasing risk of cancer among children under the year of 2.

As you see Fox is work of the devil aimed at harming new borns and warming of the climate
  • + 2
 ^^^ I see the light now.
  • + 2
 Good citation Big Grin
  • + 28
 no 26?
Apparently there is no huge installed base which may be interested in a wide alloy rim...
  • + 25
 WHAT?????!!!!!!!!!!! NO 26 RIMS?! 26 AIN'T DEAD AND THE MAJORITY OF US RIDE 26. >Frown
  • + 7
 26 is definitely less popular than it used to be, sadly. Stan's said that they are sitting on loads of 26 inch hoops and wheels that they absolutely can not sell! Buy some Stan's Flows!
  • + 6
 Sales of 26" rims and wheels would naturally take a temporary drop when new sizes are introduced. Once the initial wave of 275 and 29 sales levels out, sales of 26" should rebound in comparison.
  • + 5
 Less popular because companies like Easton aren't offering it. Kind of hard to sell them if you don't make them!
  • + 2
 Does Stan's have rims with 24 and 28 holes? Smile
  • + 3
 26" doesn't break as easy, so no need to buy replacements. The amount of tacoed 27.5 I've saw this year is unreal..
  • + 7
 The ISO difference between 26" (559) and 650b (584) is pretty minimal...25mm in diameter isn't enough to justify a claim of breakable vs. indestructible.

The reason why you've seen SO many 650b tacos this year is because there are SO many 650b wheels this year. It's not because 26 is marginally more durable...it's because there is a ton of 650b bikes now.
  • - 4
flag Matt76 (Apr 15, 2015 at 23:15) (Below Threshold)
 26 is dead....well and truly. This argument is 18 months old and it was lost a long time ago. Good luck with going into a shop and trying to buy a 26" bike. That's why they are not producing 26" rim sizes and good on them.
  • + 1
 They are weaker its a fact, never saw 26 wheels bent so easy a few years ago when everyone was on them. And no 26 aint dead as there are still plenty of 26 bikes out there. 26 hasn't taken off for dh the same, will see over next few years if people change or not but atm from last 2 uplift days I done in wales 95% of dh bikes where on 26. Even some of the uk race teams...
  • + 1
 Bat-Fastard, not true, there are still more people on 26 than 27.5 and 29, and so will be buying more parts for 26. Plus it is the most fun out of all. After riding a 27.5 Santa Cruz Nomad CC then a 2014 S-Works Enduro 26, I can say that I detected only the smallest of differences in straight line rolling speed. The 26 is the best and always will have its uses, like in DH, almost all of the WC teams are having more trouble than they should be with their 27.5 bikes, all of the leverage ratios needed to be changed a heap and the actual physics of having such long travel on the bigger wheels.
  • + 0
 Theres still more on 26 here with me too, but the enduro/trail market is changing and that's where theres a lot of bent wheels I see.. They don't have a choice if buying new and have to change even though some still want a new 26..
Maybe its trying to make them as light as the 26 versions as well as the increase in size. All I know is theres still plenty riding 26 and aren't bending wheels...
  • + 1
 Yea
  • + 1
 I guess many people will convert to LB's carbon rims - great strength, lightweight, wide, durable, superb customer survice. The big manufacturers will suffer....
  • + 26
 26?
  • + 22
 26 or nothing !
  • + 2
 Boycott !
  • + 16
 No 26??? Are you made?!?!?!?!?!
  • + 10
 Mike Levy, I think PBrs should all take a collective moment to appreciate how funny you are. I am. Your humor is great -- it sets the right tone. *Thanks.*

e.g. "these gigantic tires and rims weighed as much as a golden retriever"
  • + 10
 I wouldn't mind betting that 26" is, by a large margin, still the most popular MTB wheel size in existence and yet no 26" offering.
  • + 8
 Shame they've moved away from UST - I much prefer it to rim strips. Getting tyres seated and inflated on my Havocs is so much easier than on my Race Face wheels.
  • + 7
 YES! The perfect rim! Alloy, 30mm inner width and reasonable weight!! WHAT no 26"!?.....Nevermind. This just pisses me off royally now.

I am officially anti-every-new-standard regardless.
  • + 6
 '30mm internal rim width provides an optimal tire profile' - hahahe, manufacturers used to say the same when the 19mm internal width rims were first out Smile
Oh bummer! my Arch EX were spot on in 2014, no longer good in 2015 Wink
  • + 5
 Does anyone have any feedback on the DT Swiss EX741? claimed weight is 476g (26in) but does this include the PHR washers? how much do they add to the weight? also do the rims come with aluminium or brass squorx Pro Head® nipples?
yeah i know there are forums for these questions but if Easton realise loads of us still want 26 then they might sort us out.
Thanks
  • - 1
 I replaced a 471 with a WTB KOM 25... Weighs less, similar construction and dimensions, probably costs less... No noticeable difference in performance, i.e. more/less flexy, holding true, etc...

I rebuilt the front afterwards, Hope Pro 2 Evos, KOM 25, DT comps, brass nips, came out to just over 1600g for the set.
  • + 2
 Are the KOM's reinforced in any way around the nipple?
  • + 1
 As in eyelted? No. Few rims are.
  • + 9
 No 26'?
Move along nothing to see here
  • + 8
 Finally Easton sells rims as a stand alone, thanks Easton!
  • + 2
 Ya this is good (fatfingers may have neg propped, sry)
  • + 7
 Wider is better?
Jetome clementz, Fabien Barrel and Jared Graves are running narrow rims.
Draw your own conclusions.
  • + 0
 "the benefits were still pretty obvious: more traction from a larger contact patch and lower air pressure, and hopefully better reliability" Not really. At crawling speeds on hard surfaces, maybe a little grippier. Loose or soft ground, narrower tires are a better option if you are looking for grip.

Super wide rims change the the way your wheels deflect, and not in a good way. They also catch ruts, rocks and roots, but not in a way that you'd want. That said, the 27mm rims look promising.
  • + 1
 Is better for freeride use.
  • + 6
 Jerome has the option to choose carbon or alu rims, wide or narrow from Sram`s offerings yet he chose to run the roam 50 alu narrow rims (21mm internal) at rotorura EWS and won in very slippery conditions where grip was critical
  • + 3
 Jerome's wider carbon option is 23mm internal. Still narrow.
  • - 3
 They also have an unlimited supply of rims and parts when they break. I take more stock in what your average rider is running and thinks than a sponsored pro paid to promote a product.
  • + 4
 lol... that's funny^

Its no secret amongst faster riders that bigger doesn't mean quicker, and in the case of ultra wide rims, this is totally true.
  • + 2
 Very true, maybe is the way narrow setups change direction.
  • + 6
 The problem with wider rims is that the corner knobs will engage and release sooner or at a smaller lean angle in the corners then a narrow rim with lower corner knobs. The pros are probably more concerned about ultimate grip at higher lean angles so they can carry more speed. A narrow rim will translate in higher lean angles. A lot of pros might also prefer the narrow rim as it might track the ground better as it will be less stiff. A rim too stiff will get deflected and reduce traction in certain scenarios.
  • + 4
 ^ totally correct
  • + 6
 Wow that is light! Almost worryingly so
  • + 4
 You break it, you buy another. See where this is going?
  • + 1
 So what happens if you don't buy in the first place, lol.
(yes I am joking)
  • + 3
 I don't see what the big deal about being wider is, I've had 29mm the Mavic D321/EX729 for more than 6 years... The only thing new I can see is the lighter weight, the EX729s are 675g!
  • + 0
 I'm still on D321… with the inside wall drilled out… all the width without the weight ;-)
  • + 2
 I've been running the Ibis 741's and love them, that being said, I just broke my rear wheel. Ibis was gracious enough to offer me a Crash Replacement rim for $250 USD.... I'm back on Aluminium rims, and am stoked for these! Affordable!!!
  • + 1
 They should really make a 26... Lazy/fashionable people with more money than riding ability may buy into the 27.5 stufff but my guess is they are likely to buy pre built wheel sets due to said laziness and ease of spending their cash on off-the shelf items rather than build a custom set with the exact rims hubs and spokes they want.
  • + 2
 If ridden proberly these Rims (Arc 27) are not something i would recommend. 3 Days of proper riding and i have 4 Dents including 1 in the front. Never had that before with my ZTR Flow EX in 3 years. I am dissapointed.
  • + 1
 Been running 650b ARC 27 on hope pro evo 2 built by chain reaction and can't fault them, maxxis high roller 2's went up with a track pump, they don't leak any air, don't burp. If they made 26" ones I'd replace my other bikes old rims with them.
  • + 1
 Update after 6 months or so use and I'm less impressed with these rims. They are still true, they still hold the tyre great and work tubeless brilliantly, however after washing the bike this weekend (I tend to oil or grease bits but avoid washing) found several dents in the rim. I don't remember casing anything or even hitting anything at all badly but sure enough several dents with the bead lock bit pushed in so maybe the light weight does mean they are a bit soft after all.
  • + 3
 I just ordered KOM i25s and now I'm slightly sad. Still lighter than these, but 100 bucks for 515gm 31mm internal ain't bad at all.
  • + 2
 I hope that they make a version that is compatible with the havoc hubs, so I can just lace'm up when I'm done destroying my havoc wheelset
  • + 1
 When 27,5" was introduced everyone was like more choices, more choices! So as the rage about a new "standard" has just faded you are trying to absolutely abandon 26" wheels? I want my choices back
  • + 2
 Only $99 each, that's an amazing deal! I could see a lot of people running these in the future
  • + 3
 I wish I hadn't of just bought a set of KOMS. Well done Easton.
  • + 2
 I feel your pain reading this too, haha
  • + 2
 Not wide enough. It is not worth the investment unless the width exceeds 38mm on a 27.5 rim.
  • + 1
 i was a little bit waiting for an easton carbon rim just to buck the enve trend at the top end
  • + 4
 Carbon roval fatties. For half the price of the enve, you get a wheel with dt Swiss high engagement internals, strong, light, and a company that will actually take care of you if the wheel does die, not offer you a $900 crash replacement like enve does.
  • + 1
 Dont think you can get them in the UK Frown
  • + 1
 You should be able to, maybe not yet but you should be able to.
  • + 3
 No 26" = pffff...
  • + 2
 These look friggen sick - and very good price, good weight
  • + 1
 looks like I might have found the new rims for my next 29'er wheel build
  • - 2
 Check the Velocity Blunt SS
  • + 7
 Or, like he said- these might be what he wants?
  • + 1
 Its easy to get Easton in the UK, Velocity not so easy Frown
  • + 1
 Uni Mog's are reliable!?!?!?
  • + 1
 The Australian army would have a few words to say about them, makes it all the more amusing that they've swapped out Land Rovers for G-Wagons!
  • + 1
 Does anybody else want to bitch about 26 not being an option?
  • + 0
 No 28-spoke hole option banishes my current Easton 2014 wheelset to the garbage once the rims fail. Awesome.
  • + 2
 yeah, me too, I was hoping I use use these to update my ea70 wheels to a decent width, but the spoke count doesn't match...
  • - 2
 Oh cool, you made a WTB Frequency. Good work Easton. At least you weren't trying to play with hubs again.

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