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...and the price has been slashed on these proper high end US hoops

Enve’s UK distributors Saddleback have cut the price of a pair of 45 wheels from £2,100 to £1,650, so if you’re after some high-end carbon hoops, now would be a good time to check them out.

We’ve not covered Enve (pronounced ‘envy’) all that much on road.cc but we have a set of these 45s in right now so we’ll get a complete review to you shortly... Well, as soon as we've clocked up some big miles. They’re designed to be versatile all rounders. We have the clincher models which are priced at £775 (front) and £975 (rear). The tubular versions are £725 and £925 - so £1,650 for the pair.

Enve is a US brand that makes forks, bars, stems and seatposts, although they’re best known for their rims. Everything is designed and manufactured in the States. The 45, not surprisingly, has a medium 45mm rim depth and this clincher rim weighs 440g. That's the official weight, anyway.

Saddleback have begun to team up the rims with Chris King hubs although the models that you can get at the cheaper prices are built around DT Swiss 240s. That's fine with us; 240s are lightweight, fast-spinning and reliable. They’re high quality all round.

The wheels are handbuilt with Sapim’s most excellent CX-Ray spokes – 20 at the front, 24 at the rear. Our pair hit the scales at 660g (front) and 780g (rear); that’s… de-dum-dum-dum… 1,440g in total (without the QR skewers or rim tape).

We’ll let you know how we get on with them out on the road. In the meantime, check out www.enve.com and www.saddleback.co.uk.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

12 comments

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mikroos [257 posts] 4 years ago
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Wow, how cheap!  13 This is getting ridiculous. It's true what they say: cycling's become the new golf.

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wakou [80 posts] 4 years ago
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mikroos wrote:

Wow, how cheap!  13 This is getting ridiculous. It's true what they say: cycling's become the new golf.

+1 Mikroos, Do any normal, sane people (ie those not committed or sectioned to a mental health care institution) actually pay £2,000 for wheels?

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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These aren't the ones developed with Simon Smart in the UK, are they?

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kaptnkrunch [57 posts] 4 years ago
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*scratches head*. Where's the advantage in these over some cosmics say, which are massively cheaper (though still crazy expensive).

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seanieh66 [196 posts] 4 years ago
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 16

Would I buy these? if I had a spare $3,100??? Hmmmm

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Scottyroyal [19 posts] 4 years ago
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wakou wrote:
mikroos wrote:

Wow, how cheap!  13 This is getting ridiculous. It's true what they say: cycling's become the new golf.

+1 Mikroos, Do any normal, sane people (ie those not committed or sectioned to a mental health care institution) actually pay £2,000 for wheels?

Yes they do, get yourself down to any road race, crit or TT and the majority will be on carbon wheels, that's at everything from chipper 3/4cat race all the way up to elite...or big sportive for that matter, plenty there too.

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Scottyroyal [19 posts] 4 years ago
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kaptnkrunch wrote:

*scratches head*. Where's the advantage in these over some cosmics say, which are massively cheaper (though still crazy expensive).

....about 3/4lbs in weight and Chris King/DT Swiss reliability

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RichTheRoadie [67 posts] 4 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

These aren't the ones developed with Simon Smart in the UK, are they?

No. Those are £2300, and only available in tubular format at the moment.

The 6.7s have a 60mm front wheel and 70mm rear, and the 3.4s have a 30mm front and 40mm rear. Both are coming in clincher format, but not yet.

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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wakou wrote:
mikroos wrote:

Wow, how cheap!  13 This is getting ridiculous. It's true what they say: cycling's become the new golf.

+1 Mikroos, Do any normal, sane people (ie those not committed or sectioned to a mental health care institution) actually pay £2,000 for wheels?

Well, wheels have a huge effect on ride quality - almost as much effect as the frame and fork. So if someone is prepared to spend thousands on a bike (and plenty are - just look around) then spending a big chunk of the budget on wheels makes a lot of sense.

No-one is saying you need to spend £2k to get a good pair of wheels. But what's the issue with someone spending that if they want to?

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Winton [67 posts] 4 years ago
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I've actually ridden these wheels but with the Chris King R45 hubs and they are beautiful to ride on. Comfy, hubs are like butter and over 35kph, they hold their speed fantastically well.

For me the question mark is over carbon and it's long term viability as a clincher material for the private buyer.

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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Winton wrote:

I've actually ridden these wheels but with the Chris King R45 hubs and they are beautiful to ride on. Comfy, hubs are like butter and over 35kph, they hold their speed fantastically well.

For me the question mark is over carbon and it's long term viability as a clincher material for the private buyer.

Depends on the 'private buyer' I reckon. I have some 50mm carbon clinchers (nothing anywhere near as exotic as these - just some badged up generics) and they've done great so far. They are light and climb very nicely , they hold speed more easily than my shallow alloy wheels, the braking performance is solid in the dry and they don't seem to be wearing badly at all (two seasons worth of use and around 5000 miles, and I reckon they've easily got the same again before the rims wear out and need replacing). I wouldnt use them through the winter (but then I don't really use my carbon bike much in the winter anyway, despite having swapped over to alloy wheels) and the wet braking performance isn't fantastic, but they are excellent wheels for the right conditions (which is most of the summer and chunks of autumn and spring). Incidentally, I've ridden them for two week long holidays in the mountains and never had a problem with overheating on long descents - if you are confident with braking rather than dragging the brakes, they perform perfectly well.

If you need a single pair of wheels for all round use, carbon isn't likely the way to go. But if you've got more than one bike or just more than one wheelset, then carbon clinchers are definitely a viable option.

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Mat Brett [624 posts] 4 years ago
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Lots of sense from step-hent.