Stuart Kernaghan and Dan Austin have just started riding two of Easton's AM/FR wheelset offerings, so they've tag teamed this piece. Stuart had to swap the rear axle on his wheels from through axle to QR, and he has included a how-to with photos of the process.
_We are introducing a new structure for gear articles to better indicate which stage in the review process we are at with a particular product. These categories include The First Date, The Honeymoon, and the Long Term Review.
The First Date is a brief overview of a product's specifications, as well as our initial impressions both on paper and in-field. It also covers how the marketers and engineers have pitched the product and how they intend to see it used plus how we intend to test it, where it is being tested, and how long we expect to be testing it for. This is not a full review of the product yet but provides the background for a forthcoming review and allows reader feedback perhaps there is something specific that readers want to find out about this product and the further review stages can address that.
The Honeymoon is where a product has been used at least ten times over a short period of time. By this stage it gives the reviewer a chance to formulate a fair idea of the product's performance, but not enough to consider its long term reliability. This review may act as the final stage in some cases; if so, it is clearly stated in the review that the product's long-term performance was not fully tested.
The Long Term Review is the full test period, generally lasting 4 months plus or a full season of abuse. In this period the product has been through a variety of trail conditions in various weather. Our testers ride regularly and hard. In the test period they have put the product through the limits of what any product can fairly be expected to deal with in its lifetime. By this stage in the review process, the tester has a very clear idea of the product's performance, its long term reliability and more so, has perhaps uncovered experiences with the product that some consumers may be faced with, such as servicing procedures and customer service standards in the event of warranty claims. There is no stone left unturned in the Long Term Review._