This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
ENVE is introducing, for the first time, its own top-line carbon hubs, designed to sit above premium options from Chris King and DT Swiss. The ENVE Carbon Road hubs add even more lust factor to the brand's high-end wheels.
ENVE Carbon Road hubs
That's an impressive weight for a hub claiming such durability and that still accepts standard spokes
The new carbon-shelled road hubs save 60g compared with a pair of premium DT Swiss 180 hubs. We weighed the display front and rear hubs at 72g and 159g respectively.
Strength dosn't appear to be an issue, with the flanges rated to take 800-900 ft/lbs of tension. (ENVE isn't sure just how much tension these hubs can take as the spokes tend to snap at about 800 ft/lbs of tension.) This impressive figure is achieved via a similar technique to that used on ENVE's rims, where the hub spoke holes are moulded as one with the shell, meaning there's no drilling to weaken the structure.
Designed with the star ratchet hub mechanism from DT Swiss' 180 hubs and bearings from CeramicSpeed, these items are premium beyond the US-made carbon shell. The use of DT's star ratchet mechanism also means they're available in either Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo variants.
A pair of hubs will set you back $1,350 (UK and Australian pricing was unavailable at the time of writing – we'll add as soon as we have it). Expect to pay $3,500 to have these new hubs included in an ENVE SES wheelset – that's just $25 more than choosing the DT 180 hub set.
The Carbon Road hubs are available in 20 hole front, and 24 hole rear only. The hubs hold a five-year warranty, with an impressive four-year warranty on the bearings.
While only rim brake options will be available initially, we're told ENVE is working closely with the MTN-Qhubeka team on some Centerlock-compatible disc hubs. Stay tuned for details on this as we get them.
New brake track
The new SES 2.2 tubular offers a sign of things to come
ENVE also has a new 'moulded' textured brake track, is currently only found in the new superlight SES 2.2 tubular wheelset. It's said this improves braking performance by 30 percent over the previous brake track design – and it's claimed to offer equal performance wet or dry.
While there's no official word on when we'll see this new brake surface make it to ENVE's other rims, it's likely to happen at some point.
M60 and M70 gain 'High Volume' options
Wide rims are here to stay, but ENVE believe there is a limit
Joining ENVE's mountain bike rim range are the new M60 HV and H70 HV 'High Volume' models, bumping the internal rim widths to 26 and 30mm respectively. Designed for the new wave of high volume 2.3 to 2.5in rubber, the new HV models are not a replacement for the standard M60 and M70, but rather an addition to the line-up to fit a growing demand for wider rims.
Perhaps a little slow to the wide-rim party, ENVE says it's been busy with research to find the ideal rim width. It claims there are diminishing returns as rim widths get too big, and so settled on its chosen dimensions based on a balance of weight vs actual increased tyre casing width and sidewall deflection.
As rim widths expand, a seemingly ignored design consideration is how well they can handle a single-sided impact at the sidewall – something ENVE claims to have tested extensively on its rims. To overcome such an issue on ultra-wide rims, ENVE states that plenty of material (weight) would need to have been added.
Using a hookless bead design, the new HV models are available in 27.5 and 29in options with 28 or 32 hole counts. We currently don't have weighs for the M70, but the M60 HV 27.5in rim weighs 422g, with the 29er version at 458g
Cross Disc fork
The new Cross Disc fork
First seen at NAHBS, ENVE has released its new Cross Disc fork with a 12mm thru-axle. Designed to fit upto a 45mm width 700c tyre (29x1.9in) or up to a 2.0in rubber if running a 27.5 wheel.
Like ENVE's other forks, this is constructed in a single moulding process for a seamless join from dropout to the top of steerer. A feature particularly of note is the brake hose routing, which uses a thin carbon 'spring' that snaps in place to securely hold the hose.
Along with the new road-standard 12mm thru-axle, there's a 140/160mm post mount. Available with a tapered steerer only, the fork features a 395mm axle-to-crown height. Expect to pay US$542 for this 466g fork.