PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Easton Components: Pez Gets A Few Nano Treats

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Easton Components: Pez Gets A Few Nano Treats
Pez get hands and booty on Easton’s new EC-90 and HOT WINGS EC-70 bars, the new (not yet released) EC-70 stem and new Zero Setback Seat post. Hooah!

We’ve had great luck with Easton gear in the past. That is due, in no small part, to the fact that this US based company just wants to make things that are safe and secure. After all, having the lightest watchamacallit on earth has been the cause of INSTANT buyer’s remorse for more than a few of us…

Like the huge amount of products from Easton (baseball, hockey, archery etc…), the bike gear gets the same attention to detail that Easton put in the hands of folks like Sammy Sosa, Luis Gonzalez, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and Peter Forsberg. And while I realize these guys get a check from Easton, I might add that a while back, there were a couple of hundred pro’s in hockey alone using Easton gear without and endorsement deal… That’s pretty much never the case in cycling, but it’s a great testament to the quality that has followed the Easton name around since the 1920’s and it’s especially nice when it relates to critical stress parts like these…




The first gear we had from Easton were the Equip Pro bars.



Nice lever hangers with modern materials molded in an Old-school shape. A very traditional round bend that also features a short drop (130mm) and very short reach (just 75mm).




That’s a nice feature that several bar manufacturers seem to be going for these days, as they find that some people would rather not go from being comfortable on the tops to almost grabbing the front wheel QR’s as the go into the drops.

Something else that’s nice about these bars is the design that lets cables run across a flat section on the front of the bar. This lets Easton avoid forming complex cable routing channels and also avoid punching holes in the bars.



Easton indicate that holes can make the bar weaker, and that some of the complex channeling can increase weight and also increase the possibility of voids in the carbon lay up (also creating weak spots). While I have never had a problem with bars that do feature cable routing or preformed holes or channels, I can say that the cables sit pretty easily in the flat spot up front (even double Campy cables) on the Easton’s.

Easton’s NanoTech (CNT) are a feature of both the Equipe bars and Easton’s new EC-70’s.



Lots could be written about Nano-tubes here, but to shorten up most of the techno-talk (find it here) it’s basically adding material to the carbon / resin combination that creates and stronger overall unit once combined. That would show itself in a better strength to weight ratio, and could be applied to either make things stiffer / stronger (if using the same amount of material) or make things lighter while theoretically as stiff and strong as something without the Nano-tubes…

There’s lots of talk of manufacturers simply adding just enough of a “special” new material to hype it, and lots of competitors question how Easton could keep their parts so affordable if they were using enough Nanostuff to make a difference (as it’s extremely expensive)…

Without knowing the specific formula, I can only say that in the case of both the EC-90 and new EC-70 bars, the weight is plenty light and Easton bars are strong enough to allow for Easton’s Aero extensions to be clamped on for TT and Tri use. As some Carbon manufacturers run for the hills when Aero Clamping is mentioned, that would make me think the Easton bars might have a bit more muscle. I would defer to someone like EFBE.DE for some failure tests before passing final “lighter stiffer stronger” judgment, but as the Equip pro’s are 185 grams, take aero extensions and are a stiff bar, I’m thinking that there’s something to this CNT tech…

The new wing bars have a pretty neutral flat (wing) part and also feature the “no holes / channels” cable routing. The finish is a raw, prepreg, carbon that goes well with the tube set on the latest test bike at Pez…(another jaw dropping, bank account busting custom). And the shape is more conservative than the old Easton EC-XX’s with shorter reach, less drop and less drastic top bends.



Something else I like on the EC-90 and EC-70 is that Easton have dialed up the vibration damping a bit. The bars are still stiff when you’re pulling for power, but they seem to be better at soaking up road Buzz than the older Easton bars. This is a nice feature that should present itself more and more in the market as manufacturers start to use a better combination of higher quality materials and lay-up patterns that allow carbon to perform to more of it’s potential. The days of not trusting Carbon (and so, overbuilding it) are going away…

There’s also a new Hot Wings Promo on these btw…



Easton’s latest stem, the Prepreg Carbon EC-70 is another example of Carbon getting better. It’s also a CNT part, but I like it best for the combination of looks and functional design.

Easton go with a two bolt front clamp and I agree completely, as their desgin does a great job of spreading the load over a wider area and reducing the “pinching” force in today’s lighter bars (carbon AND aluminum…). Some companies offer at least one 4-bolt stem that does spread load well while taking the time to finish the inside edges well enough to avoid problems, but Easton uses the two bolt system across their entire road range, so it’s a nice default brand…



Easton also feature a great stress reliever in their seat posts (including the new Zero setback EC90)…



Easton needed an alternative to their standard seat post as it had a fairly pronounced setback. Not all of us are able to use a setback post though, and because fit is the most important thing in part selection, the zero setback post is a needed option.



It features carbon on carbon design, using prepreg (no “checkerboard” top layer of carbon) clamp pieces with a nice large clamping surface. This makes for a firm grip on the seat rails without creating focused pressure points that might not be the best thing for today’s rather slight saddle rails.

The EC90 also features the same stress relieving shape that helps to prevent ham fisted mechanics (and me) from permanent marking your seat post by thinking they are experienced enough to “feel” an exact torque spec.



All of this gear works like you want carbon parts to work…

You’ll either like or not like the bar shapes, so telling you I like em is pointless, but I do… The reach to the levers while in the drops on the Equipe Pro’s is great. As I said above, they also soak up vibes better than past years’ models. The new Hot-Wings are also good on the vibe side (something some oversized carbon bars don’t do well…) and the shape is pretty conservative for being, um, non conservative. Both do a good job of resisting twist when mated to the EA stem, and again, these are no Sissy-bars, as you can mate Easton’s TT extensions to them…

Easton’s new stem looks sweet, simple as that. It’s also a very basic design with the two bolt front and another Easton stress reliever in that the fork clamp features in-set metal braces that help spread the force between the bolts that squeeze your fork tube. A nice beefy design, and they make a bit of a stipple surface inside the bar clamp to hold things in place, so you’re not as tempted to over-tighten.

Take a stop over to EASTON Website Site for more on this gear and also check out Easton’s wheels… Buying Velomax was a good thing, and that Velomax hub mated to an extremely popular carbon Rim is a winner…



Where To Get ‘Em:
• CBike.com




Note: If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

Send your comments to: manager@pezcyclingnews.com

 

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