Of all the names in wheels, Enve is up there with the most prestigious, building carbon rims in its factory in Ogden, Utah to a high specification – with a correspondingly high price tag.
Built alongside the more aero SES wheels, the Classic range of 25, 45 and 65mm deep rims in clincher and tubular versions is where things really started for Enve. While road biking has been going through an aero revolution, the Classics stick to a more traditional profile – the 25s being built for climbing and rougher roads. The 22mm rim width isn’t as wide as some, but still gave a decent profile to our 23mm test rubber.
The Classic 25 rim is built from continuous strands of uni-directional carbon, with the rim being left untreated save for a light sanding on the braking surface and the spoke holes formed rather than drilled. We’ve ridden them in a variety of conditions, from dirty, wet slogs to hot, fast climbs and descents.
In the dry, while the braking didn’t blow us away, the Classic 25 rim and SwissStop pads did provide decent levels of stopping power, only squealing when they got hot on prolonged descents – even then, braking power remained consistent. Braking did suffer a little in the wet, but was still on a par with many brands and far from the worst we’ve tried.
The Classics are billed as a climber’s rim and, with a claimed rim weight of 402g, these are in lightweight territory. They’re built around DT Swiss 350 hubs using Sapim CX-Ray spokes, and weigh 1493g per pair. This isn’t spectacularly light, but with most of that weight in the hubs the wheels are still quite sprightly, enjoying longer climbs and accelerations more than long, flat drags, where an aero rim would be advantageous. They are stiff, and there’s no brake rub even when honking out of the saddle.
At this end of the market there are plenty of lightweight wheel options out there, and Enve’s Classic clinchers don’t represent great value for money – but the build quality of both the rims and the wheels is up there with the best.