Easton Havoc Wheels 2011

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  • Easton Havoc Wheels 2011
  • reevil
    Member

    Anyone got/used them?

    Dirty cheap at CRC at the moment, thinking of getting some for my new Mega build, used for trail/mini dh. Some wheels-in-the-air, nothing enormous (25ft tabletop).

    nobbyq
    Member

    heard they are good wheels with crap bearings !

    dirtbiker100
    Member

    Was very very tempted by the havens but not even those dirt cheap prices could persuade me. So many stories about crap bearing design. Not worth it.
    Was considering the havocs instead but the haven problems put me off.

    Now aiming for the Mavic crossmax sx instead.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    I’m too lazy to type my in depth experiences of my Havoc’s but in short over a 6 month period I had 2 wheelsets, both of which fell apart, a subsequent battle both times with a certain shop & the importer & no wheels at all for nearly half of that period.

    This was on an AM/Trail bike too, so not even suffering DH levels of abuse.

    The DT240/Flow wheelset I built to replace them by comparison haven’t been touched.

    They were crap.

    maxtorque
    Member

    So is this ValueForMoney or not:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Kits.aspx?ModelID=85168

    50% off, so just over £1k for a carbon wheelset?

    Persumably there are some 2012 wheels just around the corner so these are getting cleared out??

    geetee1972
    Member

    OK so I have the carbon Havens myself; i’ve had them for about 12 months now. Yes I have had issues with the bearings in the rear. Actually the bearings are not the problem; the problem is that the preload collars don’t stay tight so play can easily develop at which point the bearings get a very hard time.

    The Carbons however, have that two year no questions asked guarantee. So the three times they’ve been back (twice for bearing/cone issues and once for a broken spoke – again all on the rear) they’ve been fixed without question.

    Now, the thing you really need to know is that the wheels are trully excellent. I mean gob smackingly good. They are so stiff in turns you find yourself really hitting turns with so much speed and they track amazingly. Then there is the weight; you really notice this from the first turn of the pedals. It’s not just me that has said this; everyone who’s had a go has made the same comment even some deeply cynical people.

    At £1024 these things are an absolute bargain and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to buy them again at full price let alone at half price.

    But no 20mm axle option on CRC, so not an option on any of my bikes, even if I ahd the cash.

    boxfish
    Member

    GT72

    I’ve been looking at these wheels for a while and the half-price offer looks good value. You say that you’ve run them for 12 months and you’ve already had a bearing issue twice. Do you expect (and accept) that the rear wheel will need replacement bearings/axle/pre-load adjuster twice a year, every year? Once the 2 year guarantee runs out, how much do you expect to pay to maintain them? I just don’t understand how that rate of failure on a £2k wheelset is acceptable!

    Interested to hear your views.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Boxfish – these are really good points and questions. Thanks for asking them.

    I guess there are a number of responses to make. The first is that I’m heavy and reasonable quick down hill so I tend to put a lot more stress through my bike than a lot of other people. A mate of mine is a lot lighter (80kg to my 105kg) and isn’t quite as gung ho going down as me and he’s had his longer and only had one minor issue with the rear hub that was easily fixed (didn’t need sending back).

    I just tend to accept that either my kit will be a lot heavier or a lot more expensive (or sometimes both) and will still end up being not as reliable as my mates’ experiences of the same thing.

    Similarly, having issues with rear hubs just seems to be routine in my experience. I had a Chris King wheelset once and the rear hub on that was pretty lousy. It also never stayed tight, the axle cracked and the freehub shell developed big gouges from the cassette. Hope hubs where just as bad – bearings needed replacing every six months.

    I guess rear hubs are a particular achilies heel on my bike so the fact that the Easton hubs are having issues isn’t really surprising and certainly isn’t unique among expensive hubs.

    The second thing to say is that they have been taken care of very well; the guarantee has always been honoured. I don’t know what will happen after two years, I guess we’ll find out soon!

    But having said all that, the one thing that negates it all is that they really are blindingly, brilliantly, sublimely, paradigm shiftingly goood (OK they’re still just a wheel, they’re round and the oldest machine in human history so maybe they aren’t quite a paradigm shift), but they are so good, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy them again.

    Really they are that good.

    Hope that helps.

    boxfish
    Member

    GT72 – thanks for the response.

    It sounds like you routinely destroy rear hubs then! I’m 90kg myself but am no downhill nutcase. I’ve run a CK rear hub for a few years (steel driveshell) and found it to be pretty solid (although to be fair the initial bedding in did involve tightening the pre-load collar…)

    I suppose the other thing question is the availability of spares. How long did take to turn around your repairs?

    geetee1972
    Member

    To replace the broken spoke took about a week. It was only a few days for the rear hub repair.

    boxfish
    Member
    maxtorque
    Member

    Ok, this is really NOT helping me avoid spending £1k on my bike i don’t really need to spend……… 😉

    wouldnt touch em even at half price for all the hub issues. Odd design that uses a preload collar. Read loads of online (consumer and “professional”) reviews that have highlighted the same issues with bearings dying and rear hubs coming loose. Have mates with Easton wheels on every bike (road and MTB, they get mates rates from Extra UK) and theyve had the ceramic bearings collapse in road wheels, and we’ve had rides ruined with having to try fix the loosening hubs.

    2011 introduced 20mm fronts for the havens, 2010 only had 15mm. The wheels are gorgeous and if it werent for the hub probs I’d have havens tomorrow, but even at half price its a lot of cash to buy into problems.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    Agreed. I’m not stupid enough to believe everything is & can be faultless but there are way too many issues for a wheelset at even a quarter of the RRP.

    goldenwonder
    Member

    I’ve rebuilt a few of them for various reasons, hubs falling to bits, spokes snapping, rims flat spotting more easily than a lightweight DT rim etc.
    Nice in theory, but I’m not a huge fan.

    boxfish
    Member

    Price aside (if you can ignore £1000…), I’m really put off by the reported hub issues. Having had a bad experience with another proprietary wheel set before (Crank Bros), I wonder, how do these products make it through the product testing phase? Or are the tests simply not rigorous enough?

    reevil
    Member

    Thanks guys.

    I think there’s enough bad opinions about the hubs to put me off.

    I reckon I’ll go with my original thoughts of Hopes & Flows.

    geetee1972
    Member

    I think there’s enough bad opinions about the hubs to put me off.

    Strange that the one person on the thread who has a pair is the one person on the thread recommending them without question.

    I need to add though, that the alu rimmed versions wouldn’t get my vote of confidence either. The ONLY reason the hub issues can be granted an exception in my opinion is because of the performance advantages of the carbon rim.

    justatheory
    Member

    I’ve just bought a pair of Havens from CRC, I’m aware of the rear hub issues but for some reason I’ve stupidly convinced myself I’ll be one of the lucky ones. Hopefully I won’t have to, but I’ll report back on any issues I encounter.

    I’ve still got time to change my mind, but they look so nice and promise so much.

    cupid stunt
    Member

    I would rather buy something cheaper that worked and spend the leftover money on butterscotch Angel Delight

    reevil
    Member

    Strange that the one person on the thread who has a pair is the one person on the thread recommending them without question

    Apart from the other person who had 2 sets in 6 months and then there’s someone who has rebuilt several sets & isn’t a huge fan?

    That plus the the fact that you’ve sent them back 3 times in 12 months, plus hearsay & rumours is enough to put me off.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    For both Easton & Crank Bros wheels I’ve read very mixed reviews. Approx 50/50 in favour/against..

    Ive come to the conclusion that with these 2 manufactures the problem doesn’t necessarily always lie with the wheel but also with the rider & how they ride..

    There are too many JRA stories which lump the blame on the wheel for these wheels too be THAT bad! If they were truly made of cheese there is no way they would have got to market, I hope…

    Having said that the original CB’s wheels were pretty poor originally but they seem to have sorted them. I’m not sure what Easton are upto with this pre-load collar, my guess is that in 2013 it will disappear..

    Saying that Hope Hoops, although not the lightest (except their wheels with a weight limit) do appear to be the most reliable.

    But back to the OP’s Q, would I drop £1k on a pair of questionable wheels? No, not a chance. Plenty of other REALLY good XC wheels out there for half that price.

    reevil
    Member

    I need to add though, that the alu rimmed versions wouldn’t get my vote of confidence either. The ONLY reason the hub issues can be granted an exception in my opinion is because of the performance advantages of the carbon rim.

    Missed that bit. Appreciate that opinion too, as the alu ones are the ones I was looking at. Cheers fella.

    justatheory
    Member

    Is there any chance that if Easton re-design the hub and iron out the issues for their 2012 iteration, that they would upgrade/swap hubs for faulty 2011 version? Grasping at straws 😀

    GT, not strange at all. You’ve dropped £2K on a pair of wheels and we could argue that’s a lot of purchase justification. I haven’t bought them as despite being half price previously on merlin, and me being offered the same mates rates, I have witnessed first hand how poor their hubs are.

    You love the carbon rims but accept poor/failing hubs and have rationalized why (you’ve killed other hubs and the rims are superlative). I wouldn’t. Sure I read somewhere that someone re built the rims onto hope hubs, buying the CRC carbons half price and rebuilding them when the hubs die might be a “cheap” way into carbon wheels.

    Edit: naive to think CB and Easton failures are due to rider error. Where are the constant JRA failures for other brands of hub?

    justatheory
    Member

    crashtestmonkey – do you reckon it’s a fundamental design flaw with the hubs that can’t be resolved in the future?

    b r
    Member

    I looked at them originally as my LBS would do me a pair for £1600. But decided that I’d wait to see on their ‘abilities’. In the end I bought 2 pairs of Hope/Crests for less than a 1/3 of the discounted carbons price. One of my better decisions.

    It’s a design flaw on the bearing and the preload collar. My mates replaced their bearings with non-Easton branded to try improve things. The collar seems like an obvious source of issues, only reason I can think to have them is to make up for manufacturing tolerances. I doubt a redesign would be a retro fit or a warranty/goodwill swap (or Hope would be giving away pro 2 Evos to everyone with a 12mm bolt thru….).

    I have haven bar and stem and Easton pedals, I like the brand and think the wheels are gorgeous. I want them to be good, but when I see an 8 stone girly who babies her bike have bearings completely collapse , I am deterred…

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