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TECH NEWS

Enve introduces Melee, its first non-custom race bike

Although race-focused, the new design takes tyres up to 35mm wide

Enve, the US brand best known for its carbon wheels, is introducing its first off-the-shelf chassis (frameset plus headset, handlebar, stem, and seatpost) in the shape of the new Melee, a road race option that, unusually, can take tyres up to 35mm wide.

2023 Enve Melee  - 1.jpeg

The Melee joins the Custom Road bike in Enve’s lineup, but whereas that initial offering is fully customisable and built in the US (all of Enve’s rims are made in the US too), the Melee is offered in seven stock frame sizes (47cm to 60cm) and made overseas.

Enve heads into new territory with Custom Road bike 

2023 Enve Melee  - 2 (1).jpeg

So what are you getting here?

“The Melee is a no holds barred modern race bike built specifically to meet the performance demands of the discipline,” says Enve’s Jake Pantone.

“The Custom Road, while capable of racing at the highest level, prioritises customisation and personalisation over specific race performance metrics such as weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics. The Melee features a monocoque construction which allowed us to refine the tube shapes, reduce weight, and increase the overall efficiency.”

Enve claims a frame weight of 850g (+/-2%, 56cm, painted, no hardware).

2023 Enve Melee  - 6.jpeg

Enve says that the Melee’s geometry (below) and handling are optimised for tyres from 27mm to 32mm wide, although it’ll take up to 35mm. That suggests more versatility than most other road race bikes.

2023 Enve Melee geometry chart - 1

“The Melee features all the aerodynamic trappings expected to achieve top-of-class efficiency – minimal frontal area, Kamm-tailed tube shapes, and full front-end integration,” says Enve.

2023 Enve Melee  - 8.jpeg

Enve says it has designed the Melee’s tube shapes to complement it’s SES (Smart Enve System) rim profiles. SES is the name that Enve gives to its higher-end road wheels.

Enve says that the Melee is made using various forms of unidirectional carbon fibre and is available in seven frame sizes, with five unique fork rakes “to ensure that riders of all sizes will have the same responsive handling”. 

2023 Enve Melee  - 7.jpeg

An Enve Melee is available as a ‘chassis only’ which means the frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem, and seatpost. As well as the frame, you can order the bar, stem, fork and seatpost in the size you want.

Enve has created what it calls a ‘Best-Fit Calculator’ to help with the fitting process.

“The calculator functions simply by pairing a rider’s fit stack, fit reach, and saddle position numbers with a frame geometry, stem length, stem rise, spacer stack, and saddle offset,” says Enve. “The output provides several frames and component configuration options that the rider, along with their fitter, can analyse to determine the rider’s ‘best-fit’ option,” says Enve.

You can then select an Enve SES or Foundation wheelset and work with a retailer to choose the drivetrain and accessories.

The Melee is available in one colour, called Damascus, although you have the option of designing your own decal kit.

The Enve Melee chassis (frame, fork, headset, stem, handlebar, and seatpost) retails for £5,300.

Enve’s UK distributor is Saddleback.

www.enve.com

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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20 comments

Avatar
allanp82 | 1 year ago
1 like

What a bland, boring bike! Not even a hint of colour to lift it out of drabness.

Avatar
themuffle | 1 year ago
7 likes

Just crazy money. People need to wake up and start complaining. How can £5,300 (for just the frame) be justified? How can a road bike cost the same as a brand new Ducati or Triumph motorbike? We are being ripped off big time and no one seems to care. This is my sport that I have loved all my life and I hate it.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
4 likes

themuffle wrote:

People need to wake up and start complaining.

I was just going to not buy it.

Avatar
themuffle replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
0 likes

Yeah, but it's not just this overpriced frame that's the problem. For example, we all know the new 105 is £1,700 whereas the old mechanical was availble for I think £600. Everything is getting out of reach for the majority of people. My Canyon was £1,400 and is a great bike but I now want to hand that down to my son but to get the equivalent is almost twice as much now and it's only a few years old. My son is a keen racer but thankfully mainly on the track where bikes are a lot more reasonable but he still needs a road bike but how is he supposed to afford one?

I've started this conversation before and my comment mysteriously disappeared so I will keep and eye on this one (although to be fair it wasn't on road.cc).

 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

themuffle wrote:

Yeah, but it's not just this overpriced frame that's the problem. For example, we all know the new 105 is £1,700 whereas the old mechanical was availble for I think £600.

The new 105 7020 mechanical groupset costs around £799 (if you can find a supplier), so a substantial rise but not the trebling you imply. Yes the new Di2 costs £1700, but then you're comparing apples and oranges.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

The new 105 7020 mechanical groupset costs around £799 (if you can find a supplier), so a substantial rise but not the trebling you imply. Yes the new Di2 costs £1700, but then you're comparing apples and oranges.

Yep, £699 with most combinations in stock at Merlin Cycles... I hope these remain available until Tiagra goes 11 speed, I have this on the winter sh*tter.

https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano-105-r7020-disc-groupset-119887.html

 

Avatar
themuffle replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

Do you really think that 105 Di2  costs that much more to manufacture than mechanical? Electronic components are cheap as chips. Yes, there are development costs but c'mon. Also, it looks like 105 mech. has gone for good.

That was just one example. Everything road cycling is such a rip off at the moment.  

Avatar
mdavidford replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

themuffle wrote:

Electronic components are cheap as chips.

Erm, you must have missed the news recently. On both counts.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
1 like

mdavidford wrote:

themuffle wrote:

Electronic components are cheap as chips.

Erm, you must have missed the news recently. On both counts.

I find it interesting that we're really tightening the screw on Putin by stopping Russian fish imports. Meanwhile, all the Panama Papers uncovering of dark money being funnelled towards Putin and the various world "leaders" that evade taxes and accountability, has had barely any reaction. It's almost like the politicians don't want to stop the dark money flowing.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/jul/22/panama-papers-whistleblower-speaks-out-politicians-must-act-now

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

It's almost like the politicians don't want to stop the dark money flowing.

Stopping it is a good sentiment - but just tell me who's going to pay for that?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

It's almost like the politicians don't want to stop the dark money flowing.

Stopping it is a good sentiment - but just tell me who's going to pay for that?

Just dip into the pile of money we got from Brexit

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

themuffle wrote:

Also, it looks like 105 mech. has gone for good.

No it hasn't, it is still being manufactured and no plans have been announced to cease production. It may be that it will switch to Di2-only in a few years, by which time Tiagra will be at least 11-speed and as good as 105 is now (which it pretty much is already, to be honest), so the only people it will affect are those who care about what decals are on their groupset.

The cost of producing something isn't, as you surely know, the only factor in pricing. Shimano will have spent a huge amount in R&D to produce Di2 and they recoup that through the price. If you don't like that, don't buy - I have one Di2 bike and three at various levels of mechanical and Di2 is completely unnecessary for anyone but a high-level racer, it's a fabulous luxury but it's not really essential. 

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
1 like

The cost to make a product or it's value is mostly irrelevant to it's retail price, apart from the need to make a profit obviously. A company will price a product based on what consumers are willing to spend. 

If clever advertising, new 'must have' features or just good looks convince enough people to buy it they will make a profit and keep the price high.

Avatar
peted76 replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
2 likes

themuffle wrote:

Just crazy money. People need to wake up and start complaining. How can £5,300 (for just the frame) be justified? How can a road bike cost the same as a brand new Ducati or Triumph motorbike? We are being ripped off big time and no one seems to care. This is my sport that I have loved all my life and I hate it.

As the rich get richer, 'aspirational' brands such as enve can charge what they like for what looks to be to be a nice but mediocre bike frame. The problem is that some people will pay £5300. While most people have struggled through the past few years, others have reaped the rewards.

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

You can't hate the sport because there are other people willing to pay silly amounts for kit to take part in it.

One of the issues is that Enve are charging what they think they can get away with because other companies like Specialized and Trek have been charging it to keep their shareholders pockets full of cash.

My fix to this is buying last years frames or ones without the big names on. 

Check out the Seka Exceed RDC, Windpsace 1500D, frames from VeloBuild etc. 

Avatar
themuffle replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
0 likes

I dont hate the sport, far from it - it's been my one constant love in my life. I hate that we are being well and truly ripped off. I saved up for my road bike when I was 16 from a Saturday job. My son won't be able to do that.  

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

I get the point but... there were some good quality racing machines available 2nd (OK, maybe 4th...) hand, ready to go, working condition from my local BikeStation last week - 350 - 450 quid.  Yes, you can only choose from what comes in and no doubt it would lead to abuse from schoolmates.  (I suffered from "hand-me-down" kit at school too...)

Point is though - if you can lay your hands on enough money for even a cheap new groupset you can get a 2nd hand bike - and a surprising range of them.  As always it's "how much do you want it?" and the really keen will always find a way.

Internet can be even cheaper but I understand that a) no guarantees b) scammers and c) there's apparently a brisk trade in other people's bikes sold without their permission.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
1 like

themuffle wrote:

I dont hate the sport, far from it - it's been my one constant love in my life. I hate that we are being well and truly ripped off. I saved up for my road bike when I was 16 from a Saturday job. My son won't be able to do that.  

Why not? There are superb road bikes available now in the £500-£750 range and if you go secondhand you can pick up the most amazing bargains on eBay, I sometimes buy bikes at the request of friends and you can pick up an immaculate Triban 500 for around £160 which is a perfect bike for a starter and way beyond. Yes the highest end bikes are stupid money, but nobody really needs them.

Avatar
srchar replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
0 likes

themuffle wrote:

I hate that we are being well and truly ripped off.

Did I miss the passage in the article where it says that everyone has to buy this frame or they get lined up against a wall and shot?

Avatar
sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
4 likes

£5300? For something so, "samey" looking.

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