This is the first of ENVE’s latest generation wheels to hit the market, co-developed with aero guru Simon Smart. A lot of work has gone into making these suitable for all-round use, and we think Enve have nailed it. The set consists of a 60mm-deep front and 70mm rear built with 20 front and 24 rear Sapim CX Ray spokes on DT Swiss 240s hubs.
The front rim is 26mm wide, the rear is 24mm, the differing widths designed to improve airflow around the front and rear of the bike.The rim profile has been designed to give a linear, predictable response in crosswinds, meaning you’re always in control. They live up to this claim and seem to perform better the faster you go. And they like going fast, believe us.
We tested them mainly on a road bike and loved them; our average speeds measurably increased and we appreciated how little effort it took to go at ‘normal’ speed. In strong crosswinds we felt sideways movement but it was predictable and controllable. We found the wheels stiff enough both for accelerating fast and for not rubbing against the brake blocks, and despite this they’re not harsh on rough roads and you get a smooth, almost stealthy ride quality.
Braking is excellent, even in the wet – especially with ENVE brake pads. There was none of that ‘squeeze, clean water off rim, squeeze again to brake’ you often get with carbon rims. When it comes to climbing, they suffer slightly on weight (1415g a pair, claimed) compared with pure climbing wheelsets, but make up for that with their superior aero and handling properties. At £2100 they’re high end but not overpriced for what is a fantastic all-round wheelset.