ENVE showed off three new rims at this year’s Sea Otter Classic: a lightweight, low-profile clincher for the road, a deep-section clincher for triathlons and time trials, and a burly downhill model that may hint at a number of soon-to-be released 650b (27.5in) downhill bikes.
The Classic 25 clincher follows in the footsteps of the 1.25 tubular rim that has been in the company’s line since 2008. The 1.25 tubular has become popular with hill climbers, cyclocross racers and those who prefer the ride of a box section rim to deep section carbon rims. As the name implies, the new 25mm carbon clincher is 25mm deep. It has an internal width of 17.9mm and a claimed weight of 400g per rim. (Compare that to ENVE's tubular 25 rim at 250g or Mavic's aluminum Open Pro rim at 430g.)
Like ENVE’s other rims, the Classic 25 can be purchased as a rim or a complete wheelset laced to Chris King or DT Swiss hubs. For those looking for a high-end wheelset that's just a bit less expensive than ENVE's typical fair, the Classic 25 with DT Swiss 350 hubs and bladed spokes is $2,050 (£1,343).
The Classic 25 rim has a traditional box section design in modern carbon construction
Smart ENVE System 8.9
On the opposite end of the spectrum, ENVE also introduced a clincher version of its wind-cheating SES 8.9 rim. The clincher rims share the same front- and rear-specific profiles as their tubular counterparts.
The SES 8.9 rims are now available in a clincher version
The front rim is 26mm wide and 85mm deep, while the rear rim is 24mm wide and 95mm deep. This, according to ENVE, is done to allow 8.9 to function as a complete wheel system — the front rim is designed to maximize stability across many wind angles, and the deeper, narrower rear rim profile of the rear rim allows to the minimize drag by reducing trailing edge turbulence.
The front rim is claimed to weigh 610g and is drilled for 16-hole hubs; the rear rim weighs a claimed 620g and is drilled for 20-hole hubs.
ENVE DH rim now available for 650b (27.5in) wheels
Middle wheels were everywhere at Sea Otter and ENVE was no exception. Like the 26in model, the 27.5 DH rim has an external width of 30mm and an internal width of 21mm. The 650b version weighs 540g, which is 65g heavier than the 26 DH.
Is this the year of the 650b downhill bike?
This wheelset may hint at things to come from ENVE’s sponsored teams, specifically, the Santa Cruz Syndicate. Will we see Peaty, Minnaar and the rest of the team take flight on V10 Carbons with 650b wheels? We’ll know soon enough.
The 27.5 DH Rims retail for $999 per rim and $2,750 as complete wheelset when built using DT Swiss 240 or Chris King hubs.
All three rims are made in ENVE’s headquarters in Ogden, Utah, and are available now.