Not the first set of carbon mountain bike wheels to ever hit the market, but the new Haven Carbon wheels from Easton are the first UST wheels specifically designed for the rigors of trail and all mountain riding. These feather-light and tough as nails carbon wheels will give you unparalleled stiffness and impact resistance over any terrain.
The carbon wheels come in 26" and 29" versions with a variety of axle configurations. Weighing just 1450 grams per set, the Haven Carbon wheels feature a full UST tire bead and a 21 mm internal rim width which can accommodate tires up to 2.4 inches wide.
Mountain bike wheel manufacturers have generally shied away from carbon, as though it is lighter and stiffer than aluminum, it does not handle impact very well. In order to give the carbon better impact resistance, Easton's carbon wheels are fortified with their proprietary ABC (Armored Ballistic Composite) material which includes Spectra or Dyneema.
Dyneema is a HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene) that has an extremely high impact strength and is the material of choice for everything from skis and snowboards to climbing slings and military body armor. Further proprietary resins are used to provide the ABC composite with even more impact strength.
The force required to damage a carbon wheel rim is generally much higher than needed to bend an aluminum one. Carbon rims have a unique quality in that they don't bend. As long as the wheel is properly built, a carbon rim will flex and return to its original shape without ever going out of true, something you can't really say for aluminum.
The Haven Carbon rims are manufactured and tested in Easton's wholly owned composite production facility in Tijuana, Mexico. Each Haven Carbon wheelset is then built by hand at the facility using Easton acoustic tensioning and truing system.
Available late this summer, The Easton Haven Carbon wheels will cost you $2300 but come with a 2-year, no questions asked insurance policy. The warranty alone is reason to give these carbon wheels a try and see if they can stand up to all you can dish out on the mountain bike trails.