Enve has today launched two brand new carbon wheels aimed specifically at the growing gravel and adventure bike market. Called the G Series, the range includes 700c and 650b wheels featuring a patent-pending Wide Hookless Bead to make tubeless setup a breeze.
Where better than to launch its new wheels than at the Dirty Kanza, one of the most famous gravel races in the world, and responsible for many clones like our very own Dirty Reiver. We’re not in the US at the launch, much as we’d love to be, but we’ve got the email…
And we can tell you that Enve’s new G23 (700c) and G27 (650b) wheels “meet specific design objectives that represent ENVE’s take on a purpose-built gravel wheel.” What are those objectives you ask? Low weight, wide rims for wide gravel tyres, tubeless compatibility, durability, ride quality and anti-flat technology.
With claimed weights of 320g and 330g, the G27 and G23 rims are certainly very lightweight and build into wheels that weigh less than 1,300g. We’ll take all such claims with a pinch of salt until we get them on the road.cc Scales of Truth of course. It reckons these are the lightest carbon clincher wheels it has ever put on sale, which is very impressive indeed.
Much of the weight saving can apparently be attributed to the new “bell” shaped rim profile that Enve has developed. As well as saving weight, it claims the new rim profile provides more vertical compliance, their words not ours, to provide a rim that provides a smooth ride.
Tubeless is a necessity for off-road riding. You can run lower pressures with less risk of puncturing, and the sealant can usually tackle most holes generated by sharp stones, glass or thorns. To ensure rock-solid tubeless compatibility, Enve has used the Wide Hookless Bead technology it developed for its mountain bike wheels last year.
The rims feature 4.5mm wide rim beads that Enve claims works in tandem with the rim shape and carbon layup to dissipate the energy created when the rim slams into a hole, serving to protect the rim and prevent a pinch flat.
“The inspiration for the Wide Hookless Bead technology comes from sitting on the side of the road or trail fixing flat tires. We understand intimately that nothing puts the damper on a fun ride like a flat tire. In gravel, the problem is exacerbated given that tire volumes and tire pressures are lower than you have in mountain biking, but with gravel, the bikes have little to no suspension. The Wide Hookless Bead technology can eliminate pinch-flats and allows riders to run their perfect tire pressure,” explains ENVE Design Engineer Clint Child.
Wide gravel tyres, with between 35 and 50mm becoming increasingly common, work best with wide rims for extra support, preventing the light bulb effect from fitting a wide tyre to a narrow rim, for more stable and predictable handling. Enve has specced an internal rim width of 23mm on the G23 700c rim, designed or 35 to 45mm tyres, and a massive 27mm internal width on the G27 650b tyres, ideal for up to 2.25in mountain bike tyres.
Durability is a point on which Enve can claim much success, having its mountain bike wheels piloted to multiple victories in world cup downhill racing, arguably the toughest test any bicycle component can be put through. This experience feeds directly into the new G Series wheels to ensure they meet the demands of gravel riding. Each wheelset is backed up by a 5-year warranty which includes impact damage.
We don’t have any UK prices yet, but in dollars, the G23 or G27 rims on DT 240 hubs cost $2,800, and with Chris King R45 hubs the price rises to $2,980.
Claimed weight for the G23 is 1,300g with DT 240 hubs, 1,342g with King hubs. The G27 weighs 1,275g and 1,310g respectively.
We'll try and get our hands on a set for testing. In the meantime, check out https://enve.com/en for more info.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com 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.