When companies launch new bikes, wheelsets and other components, they often claim they have developed faster equipment than their previous iterations (or the products of their competitors). And often, if you read about how the parts have been tested, it's a little disappointing, because the tests are performed in a wind tunnel of at least 40kph.
American manufacturer Enve, however, is committed to testing its products in the real world and at speeds that all of us pedal most of the time – 20mph (32kph).These are the core values behind Enve's SES line (Smart Enve System), which has been at the centre of Enve's offer for over a decade and is now at its fourth iteration. The new 2022 lineup, which still follows its 'Real World Fast' mantra, is no exception – but Enve itself says the wind tunnel also remains a crucial tool for testing and development.
The models are still conceived and developed for performance-driven cyclists and triathletes. Among the new developments, though, Enve states it has reduced the wheelset's weight through refined carbon laminate, a hookless bead design to improve the performances of tubeless tyres, and – last but not least – it has simplified the model lineup (often a rough sea to navigate). At the same time, all the new wheels will be available as disc brake models only, with Enve announcing it will no longer produce rims with brake tracks (but will provide warranty support and service for two more years). For the new wheels, on the other hand, Enve is offering a five-year warranty against manufacturer defects, which can be extended to secondhand owners as well.
In terms of graphics, at least at first glance, the new line is classic Enve: simple yet fast-looking.
To achieve better aerodynamics and improve stability and handling, Enve has shaped its front and rear rims differently. They opted for a broader and shallower front wheel to maximise stability and handling, while a narrower and deeper rear rim (with a sharper spoke face) reduces drag and maximises power transmission.
As an almost standard feature these days, the new Enve line will also accommodate big tyres (27-32mm) to allow a smoother riding experience and improved rolling resistance over the harsh road conditions we often encounter.
To allow these sizes of tyres, the rim of these wheels had to be adapted to compensate for the potential aero losses that come with additional volume. And that's why Enve suggests an optimal fit if you ride the wheels with its SES 27 tyre (it also offers 25, 19 and 31mm tires). At the same time, another reason to develop and suggest its own tyres is to maximise the benefits of riding tubeless. The new Enve rims are designed hookless (see the picture below to get a complete explanation), providing a better fit and, ultimately, air retention between tubeless tyres and rims.
However, not all tyres would match the design, so Enve suggests its model or refers to this list of compatible ones. Its patented Wide Hookless Bead, says Enve, can also reduce the likelihood of pinch-flatting from potholes, railroad tracks, and cobblestones.
The new Enve line includes four different wheels: one for climbs and hills (SES 2.3; at 1.2 kg for the pair and 21 mm internal rim width), a versatile all-rounder and the gravel wheel of choice for many (SES 3.4; featuring 25 mm internal width), an aero model for mixed terrains (SES 4.5; at 1.4 kg), and an out-and-out aero model (6.7).
These models – the 2.3 and 6.7 are the brand new ones – all feature the hookless design but are scaled according to their application and come with different rim widths. And they're all compliant with the current ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) tubeless rim with a straight-sidewall dimensional standard.
The all-new SESTM collection retails for USD $2850 and is now available through your local ENVE retailer, distributor, ENVE Ride Centers, and ENVE.com.