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.
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.
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).
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.
“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.
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”.
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.
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.