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December 16, 2017
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  • gpop87

    Did you have more or less fun riding the loop on those wheels? I’ve ridden canal paths on 23mm road and 33mm cx tires and find that the bigger tires just roll through everything and kill the fun of having to pick your line through mud, rock, grass, etc…

    • James Huang

      Way, way more fun. No question. Keep in mind that this is comparing to more traditional road wheel and tire setups. On the bike I used for testing, I had already been running 22-wide rims (internal width) with 31mm-wide tires (actual width) at 60psi. I forget how glorious it is until I have to ride something less progressive.

      • gpop87

        I guess I enjoy the thrill of skittering on the edge :)

        • James Huang

          Don’t get me wrong; I definitely still enjoy riding a regular road bike in places that aren’t meant for them, but I like being able to go faster everywhere ;)

      • cthenn

        Wait, so you are riding 60psi?! That seems crazy low for a road tire…I can’t see how that rolls faster than a typical setup.

        • James Huang
          • cthenn

            Thanks, I’ll give it a listen, but if you can just quickly answer…for a more typical narrow rim/tire setup (+/-20mm inner width / 25mm tire), what kind of pressure would you run? You are talking here and in the podcast about 28 or 30mm tire, but that’s not what the majority of roadies are running. Would you still run 60psi at that narrower width (23 or 25mm tire)? Is the pressure independent of the width of the rim/tire or do these really low pressures only work well with super wide rims/tires?

            • James Huang

              For reference, I weigh 70kg and typically run around 80psi when riding on ~20mm (internal width) rims and 25mm (marked width) tires. On a more traditional setup with 15-17mm rims and 23mm tires, I’m closer to 100psi, if only to avoid pinch flats.

              • Il_falcone

                Now, I’m starting to understand why you see so big differences when riding those Enve wheels compared to others. Because 80 psi (=5,5 bar) is certainly much more than the optimum for a rider of your weight if you ride 25 mm marked tires on a rim with 20 mm inner width. Especially if much of your riding incorporates roads with less than perfect surfaces.
                Those 25 mm tires (Schwalbe Pro ONE as well as Conti GP 4000 S) measure 28 mm when installed on rims with 20 mm inner width. I’m 6’3″ and weigh between 80 to 82 kg and I would run those at 60 psi max. in front and 75 psi max in the rear. Those are the max. values for rides on predominantly smooth German tarmac. When I ride in France where there’s still a lot of chip seal I lower the pressure to 45 front / 60 rear (on 20 mm rims)
                I certainly don’t want to criticize you, James, as I really like your detailed and reasoned reviews. But I’m having a hard time to comprehend your preference for wider and then even wider rims for road tires based on my own experiences.
                From my own experiences I conclude that you could reach the same sure-footed traction in those turns on coarse tarmac you’re referring to when riding those Enve wheels also on narrower rims after fine-tuning the tire pressure. As you might have already found out, the wider the rim gets the smaller the changes in tire pressure that make a perceptible difference especially in turns. 0.25 bar is the difference I can reliably detect when riding typical contemporary road tire widths which makes it necessary to use a calibrated manometer rather than those in floor pumps when comparing different tire and rim setups and judging their performances.

                • James Huang

                  Keep in mind that my everyday riding isn’t limited to asphalt, and most of my regular routes incorporate at least some dirt. Those pressures may not be the theoretically optimum values based solely on the dimensional changes, but it’s what I’ve found to be practical to prevent pinch flats. I also don’t like the casing squirm that often comes with running much lower pressures on narrower rims.

                  • Il_falcone

                    So you have experienced pinch flats when trying even lower pressures with tubeless road tyres? I also incorporate the occasional “gravel” road into my road rides and as a former mountain bike racer I kind of automatically pick up speed when riding my road bike on dirt for the fun of it but I have yet to experience my first pinch flat on a TL road tire in … ten (?) years.
                    When picking up gravel biking some years ago I had a bunch of catastrophic tire failures when I was experimenting with different tires (tube-types used w/o tube), tire widths and of course pressures and learned some tough lessons through long walks home then ;-), but on the road? Your roads must be much worse than ours.

                    • James Huang

                      Not with tubeless, no, but most of the bikes I ride are test bikes are equipped with tubes. And as I said, my standard routes rarely comprise solely paved surfaces. Wider tires and rims allow me to retain the speed I want on smoother roads, but without the need to be overly cautious (or compromise on my ideal pressures) elsewhere.

                      To provide a little more context, my preferred setup on mountain bikes is a 30-35mm rim and 2.3-2.5″ tubeless tires inflated to 19-21psi.

                    • tim b

                      I’l buy into those number as well. 25psi here at 77kg. Lower than that and the tyre sqirms too much making handling really sketchy. Moral of the story is there has to be sufficient pressure to support the load during cornering and suspension movement not just to prevent pinch flats.

                  • ZigaK

                    I started experimenting with tire pressure and width when I read Jan Heine’s blog about this topic. What I found is that lower pressure is better except for pinch flats. As I have a stretch of gravel on my regular route, to prevent pinch flatting I’m on 6/7 bars. 90kg rider, 23/25mm tires, old school rims.

              • cthenn

                I’ve been at 90/85 on my 18mm internal rims, and I weigh the exact same as you. I’ll try lowering a bit see what it translates to the road. Interesting discussion!

              • tim b

                I’l buy into those numbers. 77kg and 90 psi front and 05psi rear conti gp4000 IIs on Corima

            • Il_falcone

              The ideal tire pressure is highly dependent on the inner width of the rim. As a rule of thumb you should lower the pressure by 15 to 20 psi with each 2 mm you increase the rim’s inner width when starting from a rim with 15 mm inner width which was kind of the standard width some years ago. If you don’t lower the pressure on a wider rim you effectively negate nearly all of the advantages wider rims have.

          • tim b

            I listened but its not all the bed of roses claimed to be. Any tyre is designed to operate at a minimum pressure. Below this pressure the casing is working harder at supporting the load of the rider and the bike whilst not deforming out of control. This working of the tyre casing creates internal friction in the tyre plies which manifests as what we call rolling resistance. So unless the tyre is designed to be operated at 60psi I’d say its not going to be delivering less rolling resistance, nor will the tyre last nearly as long as intended

            • James Huang

              That is highly dependent on the casing, and it’s a big reason why tires with super supple casings roll so much better. Stiffer and less resilient casings will be more suspectible to higher rolling resistance with descreasing pressure, but thinner and more flexible ones will exhibit less hysteresis, and can be run at lower pressures without significant rolling resistance consequences.

      • pamountainbiker

        James, I ride almost exclusively tarmac with some some chip and seal. I’ve debated these wheels because I’m not sure in my scenario that a 31c tire makes a lot of sense. I’m more thinking Enve’s 5.6 with a 25C tire that measures out to 27 is probably more practical, practical being combination of aero, rolling resistance and weight. Thoughts?

        • James Huang

          What bike would these be used on?

          • pamountainbiker

            A custom ti road bike with enough clearance. I currently run calipers but am going disc in 2017. So actually i’d like to go Specialized CLX 50 if/when they get released later in 2017. Lightweight, probably about 1450 grams, “new” wide, centerlock, etc. But not as wide as the Enve 4.5, which according to Enve, you should not run with 25c tires.

            • James Huang

              The arguments against going wider than 25mm have always been aerodynamics and weight, but with these, those mostly go away (aside from the extra weight of the 28mm tires). It’d be hard to argue with any of the choices you’ve just described, to be honest. But if you want to shave every gram, I’d probably go with the 5.6 (assuming crosswinds aren’t a huge problem for you). However, if only to keep you from wondering down the road, I’d at least see if you know someone who can loan you some bigger tires (ideally ones with a supple, high-TPI casing) to try for a few days.

              • dllm

                The fork on my frame probably won’t take the 4.5 AR front rim.

                What would it be to combine the front of 5.6 and the rear of 4.5 AR? will the crosswind affect too much?

  • alexvalentine

    Great review, I wonder if Mavic’s acquisition of Enve has had any negative impact on their manufacturing or QC. I love my Enve 3.4’s.

    While there was a lot of talk about cosmetic blemishes, one thing this review failed to mention is Enve’s 5 year warranty. People often compare Enve to Zipp, and end up going with Zipp a lot of times because they are cheaper without thinking about the warranty. Zipp warranties their wheels for only 2 years! If you’re going to spend that amount of money on wheels, you are better of picking a company that stands by their products.

    My next frame will be probably be an aero road bike, but it probably won’t be a disc bike. I don’t see the point in adding a less aero/heavier braking system to a road bike. For cross, mountain, commute, or wet/B-bike discs make sense.

    • Jordan Hukee

      The warranty is a good point Alex. I have taken advantage of Enve’s warranty twice with MTB wheels – no questions asked, new wheel on my bike in about ten days. Both incidents were due to impacts, not manufacturing problems. I have ridden and damaged a few different carbon wheels from other manufacturers without the same support, so this policy makes Enve a good option for me.

    • James Huang

      Thanks for bringing that up. I’ll try to remember to consider that more carefully moving forward.

  • ktula

    I bought a pair of Enve 6.7 rims a few months ago. They have the blemishes you described.

    • dllm

      same for my 3.4 disc, about 2 X’mas ago.

  • cthenn

    It should be a little more than disconcerting that a test set sent to a product reviewer such as yourself had any sort of imperfection. Not only should imperfect wheels probably not go out to anyone, at all, but I’m shocked they didn’t even check what was being sent out to someone planning on scrutinizing them with as much detail as you do. Huge turn off.

  • Bärlach

    So not stiff enough?

  • Dave

    I find it difficult to see how a wheelset over $4,000 can be given a score over 7.5 with those quality issues. It can be as comfortable and wide as you like, but quality issues lead to failures. Expensive failure this one…..

    • James Huang

      The question is how much those inconsistencies affect the structural integrity and performance of the wheel. Unquestionably, this wheelset would have scored higher if those defects hadn’t been present. The assumption I have made here (which, hopefully, isn’t incorrect) is that the wheels I tested weren’t unsafe. As such, it’s more of a cosmetic issue than a functional one, but as I mentioned in the review, it’s unacceptable regardless in the context of the price tag. Going on that assumption, the problem for me is that a customer will have no guarantee that what they’re getting is what they *should* be getting.

      • Donald Semken

        Hi James. I have a pair of 4.5’s with one wheel having peeling carbon from around the spoke hole. I have been assured that it is cosmetic, but it kind of grinds my gears that one spends so much money, for something that should be addressed during a QA process from factory. They are brilliant wheels though, but it’s kind of like buying a Porsche and not minding that is has a scratch on the door, or the bonnet, etc.

        • Dave

          Peeling carbon? I’d be demanding a warranty exchange if I were you. It may be cosmetic but it’s not “right” and the more people who bring this to their attention, the more they’ll need to improve quality control. You are entitled to flawless wheels for that kind of money.

          • Stewie Griffin

            Checkout Luescher Teknik on youtube, he has dissected an enve wheels vs a chinese carbon wheel. The Enve wheel was not bonded well and had structural flaws, the cheap chinese carbon wheel was better made and had no flaws. It’s not purely cosmetic, the asking price is not justified.

            • Dave

              Seen that video, the guy is a carbon guru. I totally agree that it’s really not just cosmetic, but some people are ok with that explanation from the manufacturer. What it really is, is the manufacturer shying away from a potentially dangerous situation caused by their lack of care and diligence in their processes. I wouldn’t be riding any carbon part, especially wheels, with any visible defects.

  • Tyler Ramer

    To be clear, if these are hookless rims, they should not be tubeless *compatible* as much as tubeless *required* correct? While you should be able to run a tubeless designed clincher with an inner tube on these, they will not be permitted to run standard, non-tubeless tires, correct?

    • James Huang

      There is no such requirement as far as I’m aware, and as far as bicycle rim-tire fitments are concerned, it’s essentially the Wild West right now. “Standards” are all over the place at the moment, although it sounds like there is some consensus on the horizon in terms of what everyone thinks is safe to use.

      On a somewhat related note, hookless rims are very common in mountain bike wheels these days, and it seems that people have figured what’s required dimensionally for a secure fit, be it tubed or tubeless.

      • Tyler Ramer

        As I understand, hookless rims work for MTB especially well because pressures are low. But they were originally necessary because of the concern that the tire bead would stretch and blow off the rim. With lower pressure MTB tires this isn’t an issue, and road tubeless rims, a carbon bead was strictly required – without an inner tube to force the tire into the bead lock, any time that interface shifted could cause the tire to blow off the rim.

        These wheels definitely fit somewhere in the middle of pressure between skinny rim road sets and MTB rims, but I would expect that that requirement for either low pressure or carbon bead is still there… Or it seems like it should be.

        Incidentally, the Clement MPX tires pre-tubeless compatible suffered this issue at cyclocross tire pressure – 30 psi. Initially they would seat pretty well, but as the bead stretched they became increasingly prone to burp or go off the rim without an inner tube.

        The point of this in particular, although perhaps mute with wheels this costly, is that in addition to needing a new bike for disk wheels, you would be required to buy new and possibly more expensive tires as well, should they be tubeless/carbon bead tire required.

        • Il_falcone

          You’re right, Tyler. Ask Conti or Michelin guys whether they approve those rims for use with their folding tube-type clinchers and they will certainly say “No” because of the missing hook.
          As a rim designer you can of course deviate from the ETRTO norm and increase the (ITC) diameter at the bead shelf by so much that the bead core material in a tube-type clincher is already stretched by so much when the tire finally seats onto the rim after inflating it to a very high pressure. That will most probably keep the tire from popping off the rim even when people go crazy high with their pressures but it will also make installing and seating the tire much more difficult. And if you have to use very high pressures already during the installation you tend to risk damaging the rim since the wider the rim bed the bigger the force the same pressure will create onto that bed.

          • More to this point: tubeless tyres fit so tightly that they produce a very minor reduction in the diameter of the rim and a drop in spoke tension (~30%, typically). Standard clinchers also have the same kind of effect, but the tension drop isn’t so great (~15%). I’ve found that the fit of the tyre has a greater effect than the pressures used to inflate the tyre, but higher pressures will add to the tension drop.

            For more information on this phenomenon, and what it means for the wheel, see Ric’s recent posts at Wheel Fanatyk: http://www.wheelfanatyk.com/blog/kgf-vs-psi-part-3/

            • Il_falcone

              The guys at Schwalbe I regularly work for / with ran experiments trying to find out the real source for that increased (and really significant) drop in spoke tension when using tubeless tires compared to tube-type tires. They came to the conclusion that the reason is not the tight fitting bead – which somewhat compresses the rim – but the compressed air pressing onto the whole rim bed – even under the beads ! – whereas with a tube-type tire the tube restricts the pressure-affected area of the tire to the space in-between the beads.
              Whatever the actual reason is that spoke tension drop is so significant that you have to take care of it by increasing the spoke tension when using tubeless tires on most rims. Otherwise spoke tension might become so low that you’ll quickly see fatigue-induced spoke failures, hear noises (especially with disc brakes) because there will be too much movement in-between spokes and wheels might even feel squishy.

        • James Huang

          Funny, my experience with earlier Clement cyclocross tires converted to tubeless is quite different from yours. Admittedly, I had the best success when pairing those with NoTubes rims, which (as Il_falcone noted) use a effective diameter slightly larger than typical ETRTO standards for a tighter fit. I ran two seasons on several different Clement clinchers at 20-22psi with no burping whatsoever.

          • Eddie Stanky

            You guys think this wheelset would be okay-good for use on in CX bike and for racing? Looking for a versatile wheelset to be used on a future disc equipped road bike and my current CX bike. Thanks

            • James Huang

              In terms of dimensions, sure. But to be perfectly honest, I’m personally leery of using carbon clinchers for CX. The pressures are so low that the chances of damage are pretty high. I prefer lightweight alloy rims for ‘cross.

              • Il_falcone

                In fact there are already more than a few hookless carbon rims for mountain bikes out there that have proven to have MUCH stronger sidewalls than any aluminum rim ever made. I can’t speak for those ENVE wheels but we have done our own tests on some rims before using them as OE-equipment and we were amazed how hard of an impact those could take without showing the slightest damage. Surely absolutely no problem to use those for CX with tubeless tires even if you regularly bottom them.
                The tires also seemed to benefit vastly from the broader hookless “horns” of the rims as we could squeeze them harder and more often between rim and rock before they failed.

      • TBN Treasurer

        For the 4.5ARs, ENVE do NOT recommend non-tubeless clincher tires – only use of tubeless tires meet ENVE specs..

  • Robert Merkel

    They sound like really nice wheels…but geez, for 4000 AUD they’d want to be.

    Are we going to start seeing aero bikes that can accommodate them? It seems crazy to spend four grand on an aero wheelset and then fit them to a frame with no aero shaping.

  • Choppy

    Enve are the worst brand to deal with when you have an issue with their products (which inevitably occurs)…. Never again….

    • Stewie Griffin

      BMC are on that list too. Wrinkles, bending frames and no warranty given

  • AllanBarr

    James, I really like your wheel reviews. You really seem to have the list of what people want from a wheelset dialled-in with your write-ups. I must say I’m loving the trend for these wide internal/external, aero disc wheelsets. I know you commented before you have a set of the new Roval CLX 32s in your test quiver. Are you any closer to pulling together a write-up for them? They seem to have a lot going for them and are super light at 1,350 grams, but I seem to remember reading that they’re only have a 20mm internal rim width. That’s giving me some pause for thought. (Btw, I’m sure you’re starting to make Matt sweat with your product shots #SnowWheels)

  • Noah Sears

    Two comments (from an self-admitted ENVE fanboy)…

    The internal nipple thing to me is a moot point. I’ve ridden ENVE mountain wheels exclusively for a few years and I very very very very rarely have to do any truing. I’ve had/have ten sets in my household and have, in total, sat down to tweak spokes on maybe five occasions? Haven’t ridden their road wheels though (but ARs are on the way), my experience is only with MTB wheels.

    Regarding the cosmetic blems – wheels seem to get more scrutiny than frames when it comes to irregularities. I’ve never seen a raw (or clear coated) frame that didn’t have obvious folds or voids. For instance, many UD-finished top tubes have an almost marbled finish, many with a seam down the middle. Could it be that ENVE’s rims are so otherwise uniform that it makes any irregularity stick out more?

    But nonetheless, well written and informative review. Two thumbs up.

  • Peter Moline

    I’m curious James – why do you choose to photograph disc wheels without disc rotors?

    • James Huang

      I’ve always tried to photograph product without any other bits attached, the idea being that it distracts from the product being reviewed. With wheels,for example, I never include the cassette and usually only show tires if it’s part of the story (or if it helps hold them upright…).

      I see your point about disc wheels, though. Might not be a bad idea.

      • Peter Moline

        I generally agree about the “distraction factor” of extraneous bits. And I think you do an excellent job composing and framing your photos – it is a credit to this website.
        But having spent a *LOT* of time researching on the net before buying a set of new wheels for my disc road bike recently, might I suggest that the headline image at least should highlight the difference between these and traditional rim brake wheels

  • dllm

    Pantone wrote to me in an email, when asked to address the blemishes. “This issue has generated a healthy conversation… If, by chance, they did, we would replace it immediately.”

    Hey my SES 3.4 Disc has those blemishes too. Probably bad QC. Would they send me a new pair of 3.4?

    I thought it’s by design and unavoidable… now I see “QC problem”…

  • NY’er

    “Game changing” James? Seriously? You’ve failed to convince me how these have changed the game. No new technologies, slightly wider but with serious quality issues. Now that sounds like marketing hyperbole to me.

  • Panos

    coping from your intro:
    “but still want to go as fast as possible”

    So can you please cut the philosophical blah blah blah and do a comparison test with some basic aero wheelset,
    and tell us, keeping all the other constants the same (as possible), how much faster will we go if we buy this wheelset ?

    If you (and the other reviewers) don’t do that, your article is no better than an promotional brochure.

    • cthenn

      no one wants to find out their $3000 wheelset performs the same as some $500 Chinese made wheelset of a similar profile you can find on eBay or Aliexpress! (And please spare me the “b-b-but Chinese wheels assplode” nonsense).

      Edit: I know there is no comparable wheel to this particular model, but in general, paying these kinds of prices for wheels seems a bit foolhardy, unless you have the disposable income!

  • Finx

    I researched these rims for a new bicycle I was considering building. I ran into some concerns that I could not over come. My use case is rough roads, asphalt, chipseal, and light gravel/rail trail, etc… Pretty much what the marketing material describes for these wheels. The problems I ran into are the limited tire selection, and the non-standard ERD dimensions making it nearly impossible to service (pull/install a tire) in the field. The places I ride are mostly out of cell service, so uber is not an option. If I cut a sidewall, I’m hoofing it out of the woods, which could be many many miles. Enve’s support site says that you cannot run a beaded tire. Specifically it says “Non-beaded tubeless tires only”. The lack of a bead seat on the rim flange, which is wider/taller that a standard clincher rim is the culprit here. I called Enve, and they ‘recommended’ Schwalbe Pro Ones (“That’s what we all run in the office”). Not exactly a tire known for it’s durability, and definitely not ideal for anyroad/gravel applications. I had tried these tires on other rims, with and without tubes, and suffered multiple sidewall cuts, that ended the tires life prematurely. I’m not willing to risk running this tire on a wheel intended to be ridden in rough road environments. I would love to own a set of these, but I’m not going to buy them until there is a better selection of quality, durable non-beaded tubeless tires to run on them (that can be installed and removed by hand in less than ideal conditions).

    • Il_falcone


      you can safely use Schwalbe S-One TL tires on those rims. They will not pop off those rims even if you go for their maximum pressure rating. Which would be silly on those wide rims. The S-One features a puncture protection belt under the tread. That belt is about 12 mm wide.
      If you want even more protection and your frame and fork offers enough clearance for those I would recommend the Specilazed Trigger Pro in the 38 mm version. That tires puncture protection is amanzing thanks to its bead-to-bead protection belt, both with regards to punctures and pinch flats. I did not manage to damage them even when I tried by lowering the tire pressure in small increments to find out how strong a certain carbon rim was we were planning to use for some bike. It came to the point where I had many impacts per ride where the tire was pinched hard between a rock and the rim.
      It also rides amazingly well on the road. Unless you’re trying to win a TT or a criterium on it by lapping the competition you will certainly not find reason to complain about its speed especially on the terrain you’re predominantly riding.
      Just don’t go for the 33 mm version thinking that this is the same tire just smaller and lighter. It is not. It has no puncture protection belt and gets damaged rather easily.

      • Finx


      • Finx

        I thought I had replied to this earlier, but I don’t see my post. Let me give it another try.

        I’m not at all concerned about a tire ‘popping off’. In fact, my concern is the exact opposite. Not being able to get the things off when the sidewalls get cut or torn. The rims don’t have a bead seat. To compensate they made the flanges taller. These taller flanges make installing a tire with your hands nigh on impossible. Even with levers it takes a LOT of force to get them on or off. Trying to remove/repair these in inclement weather conditions would be extremely difficult.

        As far as clearance, I would have been using them on a BMC RM-01, which can clear a 30mm tire easily. Some 32mm will fit, but they are a bit close.

        I’ll consider giving these a try when there is a selection of tires that are reliable, durable, and safe from sidewall cuts that can be installed relatively easily by hand in cold, wet weather. Until then I’ll stick with what I have now.

  • ShelT

    Great review James. Thank you for such a detailed and unbiased discussion – this is the info that a customer desires prior to dropping this kind of coin. One big question I have left is: How easy/difficult was mounting the tires? As a customer using tubeless tires on- and off-road, one of the biggest problems (and complete loss of sanity) is mounting the tires. I have had immense success with Stan’s NoTubes rims, being able to mount tires with a pump most of the time and may occasionally require a compressor. I have also experienced complete failure to be able to mount or unmount a tire from SRAM wheel sets. I won’t detail the complete nightmare but needless to say this was an absolute waste of money on a (not quite as expensive) set of wheels. I’d gladly pay a little more for wheels if setup and tire removal is easy.

    • James Huang

      I had no issues with either the Specialized or Schwalbe tires I used for the review: easily mounted without levers, easily removed with a single lever, and readily seated with a good high-volume floor pump (my personal favorite is the Topeak Joe Blow Ace. Definitely no compressor required!

  • Kevin

    Thanks again for an informative review. I’m tired of glowing and only positive reviews from other sources, especially from publishers whose incentive is promote their partnerships with companies or consumers who feel the need to justify their purchases.

    For the purposes of transparency, I haven’t been much of a fanboy of any cycling brand in the past except ENVE. I felt ENVE engineered their products and reputation with durability as the utmost important goal for the company. This was my deciding factor when I purchased one of their wheelsets over competitors such as Campagnolo or Zipp.

    In light of this article and readers’ comments, I am disappointed in the possible fact that this may no longer be the distinguishing attribute of the brand. If this continues, I firmly believe they will lose market share to smaller companies selling at a lower price point and larger companies who are able to adapt quicker to trends and evolve with more resources. With the multitudes of carbon component manufacturer choices and disruptive competitors, maintaining a brand’s integrity is key.

    • James Huang

      I absolutely agree, and conveyed that same sentiment to Enve. Time will tell how this will play out.

      • Chris Korus

        Couldn’t agree more. I personally own a set of 3.4 disc and 4.5 with the new brake track. Both sets have the blemishes mentioned in the article as well as being roughly 70g over the listed weight. On both sets the rear wheels were out of true from the box. Overall decent wheels but I would never purchase another set from them again given the excessive cost and lack luster quality…

  • Guillem

    Hi James, I’m looking for upgrading the wheels of my new canyon endurace (great bike btw), and It seems that these new wide deep carbon wheels will be the trend to come. DT swiss have announced the new ERC 1100 db, do you have plans to review it? Seems quite similar in concept to the enves.

    • James Huang

      I don’t have anything set up, but I’d certainly consider bringing a set in.

  • GhostRoc

    How do these wheels compare to the Stan’s Notubes Avion Disc Pro? That’s currently on the top of my wish list, and you helped put them there James, so I’d very much like to know what you think in a direct comparison.

    • James Huang

      Ha, good question (and one I asked myself). Ignoring the QC issues, the Enves are definitely nicer in terms of the hub options offered, and the general aesthetics. From an aerodynamic perspective, the Enves should also be better than the Avions when used with tires measuring around 30mm or so (which most tires marked as 28mm will inflate to on rims of those widths). If all-out speed is very high on your priority list, the Enves would probably be my choice. But otherwise, the Avions are tough to beat, especially when you consider the substantially lower asking price.

  • Eugene Chan

    My SES 5.6 Disc front rim had porosity issues close to the bead hooks. After less than two months, a seam/crack started forming. Tiny bits of the top layer would flake off around the crack. Mostly aesthetic, sure, but I sent the rim back to ENVE just in case. The QC questions raised in this article were reassuring…I wasn’t sure if I was being nitpicky at first.

  • Fred

    I’ve ordered a ti frame with a set of the 4.5 AR but im not sure if they are the right choice.
    I could change the order to the 3.4 or the 5.6.
    The depth of the wheel looks perfect but im not sure if i like the look of the width.
    It’s a “racy” ti road frame and it should not look like a light version of a cx bike.

    Any thoughts?

  • Finx

    How could you NOT mention that they can ONLY be used with Tubeless Tires (no folding kevlar beaded tires that are NOT tubeless compatible – per their own website), and the fact that they are not standard ETRTO, and changing a tire on them, especially in adverse conditions (cold, wet, dirty hands, etc..) is almost impossible.

    • Finx

      Anyone considering these wheels should read these notices on Enve’s site

      This wheel is not ETRTO standards compliant, and Enve thinks the standard should be changed. Think about what these would mean for trying to figure out which tire works with which wheel. When I was considering buying this wheel, I called Enve and asked for a list of recommended tires. This was a few months ago (about the time this article was written). The list consisted one singular tire – the Schwalbe Pro One – (which I had terrible sidewall cut issues with). I’m sure there are other tubeless only tires out there that will work, and not be fragile, but the selection is very limited, and.. you can’t cut bait and go back to tubes – see the graphics on this article.

      “Folding NON-Tubeless Beaded Tire with Innertubes “NOT RECOMMENDED” . If you don’t want to run road tubeless, or would at least like to the option to fall back to tubes to improve tire selection, I would suggest skipping this wheel.

  • Phil

    How do they compare with Stans avion given Stans are significantly cheaper?

  • DMc

    Hey James,
    If you were looking for some good all-round fast wheels for a new disc-brake roadie (eg. Domane SLR or Scott Addict), would you spend your own cash on these? Or Notubes Avions? Or stick with the OEM supplied wheels? or what?
    (Trying to find your review of the Avions)

December 16, 2017
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