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Enve embraces disc brakes with new SES 4.5 AR Disc Carbon road wheelset

Disc-specific tubeless wheels designed for 28 and 30mm wide tyres

Enve has this week launched its new SES 4.5 AR Disc Carbon road wheelset, a disc-specific carbon fibre rim available in tubular or tubeless clincher versions, and designed for 28-30mm tyres. It’s aiming these new wheels at the popular endurance bike category, with bikes such as the Cannondale Synapse and Giant Defy.

We already knew this new wheelset was coming. Back in April the company put the new rims, albeit in rim brake guise, through the ringer with the Dimension Data team at Paris-Roubaix. But it was always the intention to launch these new rims for disc road bikes, with a clear focus on the growing number of disc-equipped road bikes designed to accommodate wide tyres.

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“The introduction of road frames with disc brakes and increased tire clearance has allowed us to take an unconventional approach to wheel design. The result is a wheel that brings new levels of confidence and performance to the road cycling experience,” says the company. 

It’s a proper disc-specific rim. It has used expertise it has gained from producing disc carbon rims for mountain bikes over the years, and tested in the toughest and most demanding races, to develop these new rims, so it’s not just a case of sticking decals over the brake track as some wheel brands could be accused of doing.

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The new rims are available in clincher or tubular versions. The former is optimised for 28mm tyres, the latter for 30mm tyres. The clincher rim is tubeless compatible and uses the hookless bead profile from their mountain bike rims to lock the tyre bead securely into place.

The rims are designed as a wheelset with different profiles for the front and rear wheels. The front is wider and shallower, the idea to provide maximum stability and handling benefits, while the rear is narrower and deeper to reduce drag. 

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The front rim measures 49mm deep by 31mm wide, with a 25mm internal width and weighs 440g. The rear rim is 55mm deep and 30.5mm across, with the same 25mm internal width and weight is 450g.

Wheelset weight with DT 240 hubs is 1,508g, and 1,583g with Chris King R45 hubs. The tubular wheels drop the weight down to 1,382g and 1,420g respectively. 

enve new wheels .jpg

The width of the rims means a tyre will actually measure wider, with a 28mm tyre coming out closer to 30 or 32mm. In testing, Enve found the rims with Continental GP 4000 28mm tyres reduced rolling resistance by 2-3 watts compared to the same tyres on its current SES 4.5 rims. They have also been tested in the Mercedes-Petronas F1 wind-tunnel.

Price and availability details are yet to be confirmed. More info soon…

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Rapha Nadal | 7 years ago

Was Froome running ENVE wheels whilst riding yesterday's Vuelta stage?

rjfrussell | 7 years ago

Enve already have disc specific wheels.  I have them on my bike.

joules1975 | 7 years ago

And so it begins - the change in wheel design that is allowed by not having to worry about a rim brake. This is the next phase of the disc brake revolution, where disc wheels become more aero than rim brake wheels. It won't be long before the difference completely overides any aero disadvantage from the hubs and rotors, and so in a couple of years (maybe less) disc bikes will soon be more aero than rim brake bikes.

Carton | 7 years ago

Great to see these coming out. A little out of my price range, though.

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