I have a set of Easton Havens which up until this winter have been pretty smooth running. They have however suffered with a combination of mud, snow and jet washing (I know) and the bearings are about as smooth as I imagine an Ed Miliband chat up line would be.
What I planned on doing was getting a cheapo drift kit from Ebay to add to my tool kit and replacing them myself.
Looking at either getting Easton bearings from Silverfish direct or Enduro bearings which are about the same price and SKF make 3 of the 4 required but are nearly twice the price. So my questions are:
1) Are SKF worth the extra investment – will they last nearly twice as long?
2) What about the other 2 options is either a known issue?
3) Is that tool kit a waste of money and I should get the Easton specified kits/ just go to the LBS?
4) Will I knacker the whole job and end up in A&E and then LBS?
If your handy and have a good place to work then you should have no issues doing the bearings with a set of pin punches and a hammer (all i used on my e-13 wheels.
As for the bearings i would be going for the SKF, buy cheap buy twice is going to the case here, you will find that the SKF will be made to a higher standard under better conditions that the bargain ones (this tends to be the case but i can comment on the easton ones as i have never used them) How long have the stock easton ones lasted?? If your happy with the duration and performance stick with them, if you think its been poor then go for the SKF.
My e-13 bearings lasted under 6 months in my rear wheel to give a comparison