This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Carbon component specialist ENVE has released its Smart ENVE System (SES) Rear Disc Wheel — the Utah-based company’s first full disc rear wheel for time trialling and triathlon.
ENVE says the wheel was developed with "no expense spared" using "state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics" and prototypes were tested at the Mercedes GP-Petronas Formula 1 team’s wind tunnel in the United Kingdom.
The wheel uses a one-piece moulded construction, with only the hub shell featuring any bonding. This results in a strong and relatively light wheel, although the claimed weights are around 200g heavier than a PRO Textreme Disc rear wheel.
Priced at $2,700 / €2,875, the wheel is optimised for speeds above 27mph / 43kph and targeted at professionals and elite amateur cyclists.
The carbon wheel is tubeless ready and available in both rim or disc brake options, and the hub is compatible with Shimano or Campagnolo 11-speed.
ENVE SES Rear Disc Wheel key features
- One-piece moulded carbon construction
- Internal rim width 19mm
- External rim width 27mm
- Tubeless compatible
- Optimised for 25mm tyres
- Rim/disc brake version available
- Carbon and alloy ENVE hub
- 5-year ENVE warranty
- 1,225g (claimed)
- $2,700 / €2,875
Aero advantages but only if you’re fast enough…
ENVE says the SES Disc Rear Wheel "is the outright fastest wheel available", but only beyond speeds of 27mph / 43kph, so unless you can complete your local 25-mile time trial in 55:30 or less, ENVE says you’re better off with its SES 7.8 wheelset.
In a press release from ENVE, VP of product and consumer experience Jake Pantone said: "It is true that our SES 7.8 wheel is a faster/better solution versus a solid rear disc for most athletes. It really comes down to the course profile, their level of experience and the average speeds the rider will achieve.
"For riders that will average over 27mph / 43kph, a rear disc will prove a faster solution on certain courses. If you’re riding under those speeds, the SES 7.8 will be a faster solution as it was developed and optimised for the lower average speeds."
As with all of ENVE's SES wheels, the new Disc wheel is tubeless compatible.
However, when developing the wheel, ENVE found that the bead stiffness on a tubeless-compatible road tyre was putting enough pressure onto the rim that the wheel moved out of dish.
ENVE has eliminated this problem using a combination of 'laminate design and tooling offset', meaning that when the tyre is installed and inflated, the wheel moves into dish. Whether or not different tyre pressures could affect the wheel dish is unclear.
Disc/Disc or Rim/Disc
The disc brake and rim brake versions of the wheel are brake type-specific designs. A moulded-in, textured carbon rim brake track allows for a claimed 30 percent less braking force to be applied on a non-textured rim brake track and ENVE says performance is "near equal" in wet and dry conditions.
A hybrid carbon/alloy hub is used on the disc brake version of the wheel and is suitable for Centre Lock rotors.
The rim brake version of the ENVE SES Disc Rear wheel will begin shipping at the end of October and the disc version will begin shipping a month later.