Initial Review: Easton ARC 30 – Wide rim love!

Easton ARC 30

The Easton ARC 30 showed up surprisingly on a new bike I had expected to have Stan’s Arch rims on.  My first thought was shit, my bike came with some skinny ass xc rims.  Then I looked closer and noticed their width.   Wow, those things look pretty wide.  Tricia, I asked, will you look up the Easton ARC Rims rims on the www (since I was busy bike building and drooling?)    Yep, she confirmed those are 30mm’s wide internally!

Nice….well maybe.  How much do these things weigh?!  Whoa, the claimed weight is 535 grams for the 29″ rims.  That’s not bad since there are much narrower rims out there that weigh more, including the Stan’s Flow EX (if advertised rim weights are correct).

Set up was fairly simple and I was able to air up Schwalbe tires with a compressor easily.  I did try with a normal floor pump and was unable to get tires inflated by pushing as hard and fast as I could on the floor pump (wish I had video to share as this was pretty comical).

The Ride:

We now have a few hundred miles on a couple sets of these rims.  Ever since I started riding the Ibis 741 rims (35mm wide internally), I have been a huge fan of the wide rims due to the increased tire contact patch and ability to run lower tire pressures.   Similar to the Ibis rims, I am riding about 5 psi lower pressures than I normally did with 24mm wide (internal) rims.  The lower pressures feel better in nearly every situation since both traction and shock absorption is increased.   I especially noticed this riding on the east coast during a resent trip where heavy leaves were down over rocky terrain.  I felt like I was able to maintain traction a bit better in these tough conditions that I normally slide around more on.

Easton Arc 30

I have bottomed out the rim several times on rocks and roots with no reported damage to the rim or burping of the tire.  The tire seat seems to do a great job of preventing the unwanted release of air when hitting things hard enough to compresses that tire bead in between rock/root and rim.

How stiff are they?  I’m not a great judge of this as I am sub 155lbs ready to ride, but the rims seem plenty stiff for me.  The combination of the lower pressure and wider rim don’t let the tire fold over like you may think and I notice no increase in wheel deflection when rolling through rock gardens despite the rims lighter weight.

These rims are also available prebuilt from Easton as the Heist Wheelset.

Bottom Line:

I’m very impressed with the Easton ARC 30 rim and happy they showed up on bike my rather than the narrower rims I was expecting.  If I were building a wheelset for myself for trail/enduro riding, these would be my first pick due to the value/performance ratio.  The rims carry an MSRP of $99, so should you damage a rim in a spectacular crash and burn the replacement cost isn’t too bad.  I highly recommend the ARC 30 to anyone looking to gain the benefits of the larger footprint from a wide rim.

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