Easton Haven AM Wheels - Preview

Mar 5, 2010 at 10:57
by Mike Levy  

Inside we'll take a closer look at Easton's dazzling Haven wheelset. Built using only 24 spokes per wheel and weighing in at a svelte 1650 grams, the Havens look to be a top contender for the all-mountain dream wheelset crown. In this preview we'll take a look at the Haven and some of the details that set them apart.

Read on...

Easton Haven wheels
Easton Haven wheels

Easton's striking Haven wheelset is aimed squarely at the trail and all-mountain crowd who like to be able to do everything and anything on their machines. Bikes and components designed for this sort of riding used to have to strike a compromise between stiffness, strength, and weight, much more so than parts that are constructed to excel at a single task. But as the all-mountain and trail bike ideals continue to grow we've started to see a lot more emphasis on these sorts of components. Parts like the Haven wheels are the result.

Impressively light at 1650 grams, the Havens have a wide 21 mm internal rim width that is designed to take advantage of today's high volume 2.3"-2.5" tires. The rim's width keeps the wider tire's casing roll in check and allows you to take advantage of lower pressures than you would comfortably run with a skinnier bead seat. If you've ridden a set of wide and tacky tires at low pressure then you know how much of a blast it can be. The Havens are laced with 24 double butted DT spokes per wheel and use alloy nipple to keep rotating mass at the outer edge low. Spoke tension is quite high and Easton actually uses acoustics to determine the correct amount.

The Havens feature 24 spokes per wheel and ship with a tubeless valve stem
The Havens feature 24 spokes per wheel and ship with a tubeless valve stem

Easton Haven Details

• Intended for all-mountain riding
• Available in both 26" and 29" sizes
• 1650 gram total weight (26" wheel weight)
• Tubeless rim - no rim strip needed!
• 24 straight pull spokes per wheel (front and rear)
• 21 mm internal rim width (great for 2.3 - 2.5" tires)
• Front wheel can use both 9 mm QR or the newer 15 mm thru-axle
• Rear wheel 10/135 QR
• MSRP $850 USD

The fully sealed rim bed does not require a rim strip for use with tubes or tubeless conversions
The fully sealed rim bed does not require a rim strip for use with tubes or tubeless conversions

A big plus to the Haven wheels is the lack of any drilled holes in the rim bed that would need to be covered with either a standard rim strip for a tubed setup, or some sort of tubeless rim tape if you chose to go that route. The UST compatible rim should make for pain free tubeless conversions. Easton is able to do this by employing a nipple that is threaded both internally (for the spoke) and externally to thread into an insert within the rim.

The Haven front hub is compatible with both 9 mm QR and the newer 15 mm axle
The Haven front hub is compatible with both 9 mm QR and the newer 15 mm axle

Included with the Haven wheels is a set of adapters that make it possible to easily convert the front wheel from a standard 9 mm QR to accept the latest 15 mm trail bike fork options. This is a nice touch as at some point down the road we'll start to see a lot less of the traditional quick release on proper trail bikes. A few common tools are needed to make the swap but I much prefer this system to a simple set of O-rings holding in the axle caps. If you've ever had one drop out and roll away while your wheel is out of the fork then you know exactly what I'm talking about. The Havens spin on sealed bearings but also use an adjustable ring that allows you to adjust bearing tension on both the front and rear wheels if play develops down the road. Very small adjustments are all that should ever be needed as it wouldn't take much to over tighten the bearings and causing premature wear. When the time does come to perform some maintenance, two 5 mm allen keys in each axle cap will allow access to the freehub mechanism for cleaning and lubing, no need to even remove the cassette.

The rear hub features an aluminum freehub body
The rear hub features an aluminum freehub body

It is still early days for the Haven wheels as I only have a handful of hard rides on them, but they do look quite promising. There is more to a wheelset than numbers and looks though, so I'll withhold any judgments until further down the road. In the future you'll be able to read about how the Havens held up to a hard Spring season as they get used and abused on a number of all-mountain test machines.

Are you a fan of Easton's Haven wheelset? If you already have some trail time on these stunning wheels then tell us about it below!

Visit Eastonbike.com to see their entire lineup of parts and accessories.
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50 Comments

  • + 16
 Those are some of the nicest product photos I have seen on pinkbike. Nice work.
  • + 4
 the photos are clean, but against a black background the lettering on them really pops. These wheels are super hot which ever way you slice it though.
  • + 2
 What do you guys use for your lighting rig? You're right, very high quality. Camera setup?

On another note, wheels are damn hot. Love the tubeless rims and sealed bearings
  • + 1
 Terrafire, Were using 4 1000W hot lights, and a Canon 7D with a 50mm 1.8 lens.
  • + 3
 they look amazing! kinda wish they offered the front in a 20mm though
  • + 1
 No kidding. They encouraged me to clean my monitor to oogle at them even more.
  • + 5
 It's dumb how there's no 20mm option on the front; I suspect that will deter a number of potential buyers as not everyone has converted to the new 15mm standard yet.
  • + 2
 I second that. Blame Shimano I guess? :p
  • + 2
 I got these in November and have put hundreds of miles on them in sedona AZ and have raced them in the super-d in fontana and they have held up great. I have them on a new covert with a fox 32 150 with the 15mm axle and they are pretty stiff for 1600g. I have put them on the truing stand 3 times and they have never been more than 1mm out of true even after cased jumps and aggressive riding. Engagement isn't the best but I don't care. I'm running them tubeless with non-ust ardents with help from stan at 28psi and i've had no problems. I would buy them again.
  • + 1
 I read a short review of these wheels in the latest Bike magazine buying guides issue. After they were done praising the wheel they went on to mention that a dropped chain managed to grind enough material to almost expose a nipple in the rear hub. It would be a shame to have to use one of those ugly plastic guards to keep the hub from any damage. Nice looking wheelset though, but I think I'll wait for the price to drop 1st before I even consider buying these wheels.
  • + 1
 I wrote an Email fall 2009 @ the official Easton web site with a question for a 20 mm version for the front. At this time i had get a info that a version for 20 mm will appear during or after the Sea Otter Classic festival 2010.
So , that had it in the pipeline for a longer time @ the Easton brainery... Ride On folks , ah yeah, a nice wheelset, hopefully soon for a better in 20mm version to run my All Mountain fork Rock Shox Revelation Team Solo Air ( 1720 gr. ) ;-))
  • + 1
 I agree that 15mm axles are BUNK. No more questionable "standards" PLEASE. What we have works. If you can improve on something SIGNIFICANTLY then go ahead. Untill then don't force perfectly good stuff into obsolescence. Not only is it a pain in the ass,but it's an environmental crime. Think about it.
Compatibility is good, remember?
  • + 11
 I think one thing that needs to be clear is that the 15 mm axle option is not out there to replace the current 20 mm standard. The idea is to have something that is nearly as light as a QR setup on a XC/trail bike, but that is far more secure and stiffer. A 15 mm thru-axle is stiffer and more secure than a regular QR. Down the road I think we'll see this 15 mm system entirely replace QR's, even on light weight XC race forks. As of right now the 15 mm system is not as light, but it could be a lot closer in the future.

I do agree with some readers though. I've had a few good rides on the Havens and I'm sure they are very capable as an aggressive AM wheelset so it would be nice to see a 20 mm option.
  • + 1
 Has anyone experienced the hubs locking up? I heard there were some issues but they have been resolved! Do these flex a lot I weigh 220lbs so trying to figure out if these wheels are right for me. My local bike shop has them for $740.00
  • + 1
 I have the old Havoc AM wheelset with 28 spokes per wheel. The hubs are good but the rims dented really easily but most noteworthy is the flex you get with the low spoke count. People always bang on about flex in the frame's but a lot of the time what they are feeling is wheel flex. I would be concerned about this with now an ever lower spoke count.
  • + 1
 I have been riding the 24 spoke AM Havoc wheels on my DH rig for over 18 months and apart from a couple of spoke nipple's coming loose they are fantastic. These should also be good for lighter work.
  • + 1
 Great looking wheels but I agree with a bunch of you they need to offer in a 20mm front option. That's one of the great things about my Havoc's, but it'd be great to lose some more rotational mass and keep a durable wheel.
  • + 4
 I still don't understand why Easton didn't made these 20mm compatible.
  • + 7
 I agree.. Screw 15mm. 20mm axles are not much heavier, and it isn't rotating mass, so it's whatever. My Easton Havoc AM's convert to all three....why take away a vital feature on a new design?
  • + 2
 I remember seeing the interbike video, that they do intend to bring out a 20mm version eventually. I'm a little confused as to how the spokes connect to the rim, are they like shimanos with proprietary nipples that thread directly into the rim? What's the engagement? Also, what's the freehub body material?
  • + 3
 'The rear hub features an aluminum freehub body' Would be interesting to see the pawls etc, the other mtb and road fhb's use an ok system, but can freeze up without regular maintenance, I heard a 20mm version is in the pipeline too
  • + 3
 yes, it's uber stupid I believe, not to release a 20mm option from the beginning. It also must be so that Haven hub is nearly the same weight as havoc, what simply means, if they would use the same bullocks, both wheelsets would become cheaper, perhaps 10 bucks, but still...
  • + 11
 The freehub body uses a 3 pawl and spring system not unlike what is common in a lot of sealed bearing hubs. We'll some good pictures of the internals in the review.
  • + 3
 Whew, they're only $850 USD, for a second there I thought they were going to be expensive...
  • + 3
 For $850 they're definitely teh last wheels I'd ever buy... as in I'd never buy them
  • + 1
 Yeah, better get CB wheels instead...they cost a bit more but they're way better crafted.
  • + 1
 CBs are far more expensive in maintenance. I'm pretty sure one CB spoke broken by stupid random branch is worth at least half of spokes in the Easton wheel. Mavic Crossmax SX and thy shall have no Gods above it!
  • + 1
 I would say build up whatever rims you like on Hope hubs - half the money and great reliability, maybe only a bit heavier but stiffer when using 32 spokes.
  • + 1
 Oh no it's you again with those Hope Shmubs! Everytime PB society is talking factory wheels there you are with the Hope hoops! Big Grin Booooring!

PS. I do believe that buying factory wheels at the price exceeding hope hubs with ex721s or equal, is an overkill: that's why my Xts are cheaper Big Grin
  • + 1
 haha... ok, I will shut up for a while Smile but hey, we both agree Smile
Do not know how much did you spend on your XTs, but I remember end of 2008 season and one UK store giving away the M776's for £180 set!
  • + 1
 Well I spent 276 on CRC which came just 10 quid cheaper than Hope pro2+ ex721+ dt comp. no wonder they were selling for 180 2008 models with issueable freehubs. Im not sure though whether I shoudl believe CRC that mine are 2009, but well that's life, and they never lied to me Smile
  • + 1
 I had some mavic crosslines who's internal rim width was 21mm and they were definitely too narrow for aggressive all-mountain riding. Even w/ high PSI, DH tubes, and 2.4" tires i was flatting ALL the time.
  • + 1
 Because for many AM is riding fire roads, which for some "better informed" falls into XC marathon category (a pretty light marathon). And because industry makes products for many not for few better informed,they put AM sticker on aggro Xc / trail wheels, forks, frames etc. i.e Merida AM frame is a laugh...

2.4" and lots of flats smells like Continental Tyre Systems Big Grin
  • + 2
 Looks like they tried to copykat shimano's XT wheelset but their hubs look much better.
  • + 2
 and they don't suck. Don't forget that part. Sealed bearings = good hubs.
  • + 5
 XT AM wheelset is actualy AM/FR wheelset with much stronger rims, but obviously at the same time heavier. Regarding Shimano's sealing well, you just need to service it and learn how to adjust them properly, and they will be with you forever. If you are just lazy fine, but don't say that Shimano hubs suck. And a small detail: they are half price of these...
  • - 3
 professional bike mechanic's advice: XT bearings, races and FHB's blow. I didn't get 5 rides out of my last one.
  • + 1
 Depends which year models you mean. They fixed that for 2009 (at least FHBs)
  • + 1
 XT isn't for FR IMO. It's for AM/LIGHT FR/DJ (no problem when you land into slopes)
  • + 1
 dunno yet, I will be able to say something after the summer, but at the rim weight of over 600g I assume they promise quite good durability. It also depends what do we mean by FR and AM, I don't want to discuss that Smile where disc burners dent double wides and Deemaxes guys like Rene Wildhaber ride crossmaxes SLR, not even scratching them
  • + 2
 Love these wheels, Good looking!!
  • + 1
 Any idea how you would access the nipples or valve stem for replacement if you damaged one?
  • + 1
 a maxle / 135 rear hub would be nice...
  • + 1
 I'm about to buy a '10 Reign 0 and these would be a perfect fit. hmm....
  • + 1
 really really beautiful hubs
  • + 1
 ooooo verryyy niceee. i would rip those if i rode all mountain haha
  • + 1
 woow those hub's looks niceee
  • - 1
 Look like they're gonna be some ill rims and hubs. Make em 24's and i'll get em ^.^ 3 my dual 24's
  • + 1
 Stunning
  • + 1
 looks dope man!!!

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