Easton ARC 30 27.5” Rims
Stated weight: 490 g
Internal width: 30 mm
External width: 34 mm
ERD: 558++ (“++” indicates the need to add nipple head height when calculating spoke length, which ensures improved accuracy when building a wheel)
- 32-hole: DT Competition J-bend Spokes, DT 350 hubs, 3-cross
Mounted on BMC Speedfox Trailcrew 02 for 6 months
- 28-hole: Double-butted straightpull spokes, Easton X5 hubs, 3-cross
Mounted on Evil Insurgent for 1 week
Reviewer: 5’11” 155 lbs
Test Locations: Bozeman, MT and surrounding area; Moab, UT; Silver Mountain, ID
Test Duration: 6 months
Easton has been making some really nice wheelsets over the past few years — everything from XC to DH wheels — so it’s exciting to see Easton offering the new ARC line of rim-only options.
Initially, ARC rims came in three different internal widths — 24 mm, 27 mm, and 30 mm, each made to befit the needs of XC, Trail, and AM/Enduro riders, respectively.
Soon after, Easton added 35 mm, 40 mm, and 45 mm internal width options to accommodate for plus-sized and fatbike wheelsets.
In the interest of trying a rim that is representative of the entire ARC family, I chose the 30 mm version since it sits in the middle of the size range. I also chose these because I wanted to test a rim in the ever-growing category of wide(r) rims, like the ENVE M70 HV, Spank Spike Race 33, and Stan’s Flow MK3.
The ARC rims are available in both 27.5” and 29” diameters (sorry 26” crew). They’re made of top-notch Easton aluminum, and feature a welded seam. Easton also makes the OEM-only AR rim, which features a sleeved joint, but is the same as the ARC in all other respects.
A raised channel along the inside of the bead keeps the tire in place and helps prevent burping with tubeless setups. A hookless bead matches the modern trend in in high-end rims, and makes mounting tires and setting them up tubeless a breeze. I’ve set these rims up with flimsy XC tires, AM/Enduro tires, even beefy wire-bead DH tires, and I’ve had a 100% success rate setting them up tubeless using just my floor pump. And with a 20 mm rim depth, short tubeless valves fit just fine.
The rim is symmetrical and is non-eyeleted, but it features angled spoke holes that make each nipple head sit in full contact with the rim to strengthen the wheel. These rims ship with gray vinyl decals that are easy and clean to peel off if you want a stealth look, but Easton has nine different colored decals (sold separately) to choose from if you fancy matching your bike or kit.
The ARC 30 rims laced up beautifully. In fact, they’re among a small number of aluminum rims whose manufacturing tolerances seem to be exact enough that after I laced my spokes and began adding tension, I had little work to do in truing and dishing the wheel. All that was left to do was add tension, then mount them on my bike.
The rims were laced up to DT Swiss 350 hubs and DT Swiss Competition 2.0/1.8 double-butted, J-bend spokes. For you wheel builders out there, I ended up with close to 120 kgf on the drive side of the rear wheel, and about the same on the non-drive side of the front wheel.
Most of us are more weight conscious about our bikes than we’re ready to admit, and the ARC 30 doesn’t disappoint. At a stated 490 g, they’re 40 g lighter than the Stan’s Flow EX, and only 30 g heavier than the ENVE M70 rim — and that’s with 5 mm more internal width. Stan’s, however, has stayed mighty competitive in this bracket with the new Flow MK3 rim, which has a stated weight of 480 g and an internal width of 29 mm.
Performance, Durability, Etc.