Enve Composites from PressCamp 2011

Now shipping Smart wheels, plus new compact road bar

We’ve already introduced Enve’s Smart Enve System, which represent Enve’s first wind tunnel designed line of wheels. The line is made up of three wheelsets — 3.4, 6.7, and 8.9 —but the Smart Enve System 6.7 is the first to production and available for sale now.

The Smart Enve System was co-developed with help from Simon Smart, the now famed ex-F1 aerodynamicist who has worked as a consultant for the HTC-Highroad outfit and previously helped both Giant (Trinity) and Scott (Plasma 3) design professional level time trial bikes.

Jason Schiers from Enve said that the Smart Enve System 3.4 wheelset would be ready for sale "soon", while the deep 8.9 model is a bit further off. The wheelsets are punctuated with asymetric rim designs from front to rear; in addition to varying the depths of the sets — 35mm/45mm, 60mm/70mm, and 85mm/95mm — of each pair differs by way of profile and width from front to rear. The rims measure 26mm wide in the front and 24mm in the rear.

Simon Smart with his Enve rim

“The front and rear wheels were developed independently,” said Smart. “We also wanted to try to understand what improved wheel stability so we developed a process and measured the steering torque you feel through the wheel [in crosswinds] to understand what makes that better or worse and that became one of our development metrics.”

All three wheel sets, built with Sapim CX-ray spokes and DT Swiss 240s hubs, cost US$2,900 a set; upgrading to Chris King hubs bumps the price to $3,050.

In addition the new wheels, Enve announced a new ‘compact’ bend (127mm drop, 79mn reach) for their road bar, which will soon be in production for sale in the fall and sell along side the currently available standard model.

Kevin Nelson presents Enve's new compact road bar

The compact carbon road bar will cost $350, which is slightly less than current road bar, and is expected to weigh around 200g — a final weight depends on size.

Kevin Nelson, Enve’s carbon engineer, was quick to point out that the only round surfaces of the bar are in the stem and shifter clamping areas. The bar is designed to best fit a rider’s hands with the aim of offering comfort in multiple positions and it’s also longer through the drop to eliminate the forearm interference found with some compact bars.

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