ENVE Smart System Adds Clinchers, More Aerodynamic Than Tubular Versions

ENVE Smart System 3-4 clincher aero road bike wheelset

The new Smart ENVE System just got better with the availability of the 3.4 clincher model. Shallower than the 6.7 or 8.9 sets, the 3.4s are aimed at the average cyclist, designed as a multi-purpose wheelset -climbing, training, racing- and open the Smart System up to average roadies that aren’t going to commit to tubulars.

The Smart ENVE System wheels are designed and tested inside frames from various bike brands to optimize the interface between the frame surfaces and the wheels, creating an integrated system that works well in conjunction with a bike, not just on their own in a wind tunnel. They’re designed by Simon Smart, an aerodynamicist that’s done work for Mercedes, Formula One as well as Scott and Giant. More tech info on the SES rims here.

The front rim is 26mm wide and 35mm deep while the rear is 24mm wide and 45mm deep. ENVE says the 3.4 wheel system is capable of producing very low drag numbers similar to other company’s 50-60mm deep wheels, while creating a higher stability index given its shallower depth. Ronnie Points, ENVE national sales manager, told us they’re actually more aerodynamic than the tubulars, something we’ll have more info on when we visit their factory in a couple weeks.

ENVE Smart System 3-4 clincher aero road bike wheelset

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

Key Features:

  • Fastest in class when installed in a bike with mannequin
  • Shape allows for predictable response to transient cross winds
  • Extensive wind tunnel and ride testing
  • Molded Spoke Hole Technology allows for higher spoke tensions and more durable wheel builds
  • Molded in braking surface for optimal braking power and modulation
  • Best Strength and Stiffness to Weight in Class
ENVE Smart System 3-4 clincher aero road bike wheelset

Smart ENVE System 3.4 Clincher Rim Technical Specs:

  • Hole Count: 20 front / 24 rear
  • Width: 26mm front / 24mm rear
  • Depth: 35mm front / 45mm rear
  • Weight: 435g front / 450g rear
  • ERD: 584 front / 564 rear (includes internal nipple)
  • Nipples: Pillar Internal 3/16” Hex
  • Spokes: DT Aerolite

Rims will retail for $975 each, and complete wheel options include Chris King hubs ($3,050 – 1,411g), DT Swiss 180 hubs ($3,475 – 1,379g) and DT Swiss 240 hubs ($2,900 – 1,426g). Available now.

Comments

Meta - 03/29/12 - 12:06am

We need to see heat testing numbers. Otherwise these are just for riding on flat roads. Rides like Levi’s GranFondo discourage and warn people from riding carbon clincher.

Ernst - 03/29/12 - 5:15am

A thousand bucks and they cant even properly align the stickers on the rims:p? Great looking rims though, I hope performance is likewise.

Armando McGillacuddy - 03/29/12 - 5:56am

“the 3.4s are aimed at the average cyclist”…

+

Rims will retail for $975 each, and complete wheel options include Chris King hubs ($3,050 – 1,411g), DT Swiss 180 hubs ($3,475 – 1,379g) and DT Swiss 240 hubs ($2,900 – 1,426g).

Not sure how average one would have to be to drop nearly $3k+ on a wheelset. These have massive Fred appeal though.

craigsj - 03/29/12 - 7:27am

Disc brake options with 20/24H?

Yeahaaa!!!_ - 03/29/12 - 7:46am

Yeah, they’re pretty nice.

Jesus CHRISTO - 03/29/12 - 8:05am

WITHOUT BRAKE TRACK HEAT DISSIPATION NUMBERS OR GRAPHS OR SOME CHERRY PICKED INFO, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY USELESS. ENVE DOES IT RIGHT TYPICALLY THOUGH.

ENVE > ZIPP

ZIPPS ROAD HUBS > ENVES STUPID KING HUBS

Jesus CHRISTO - 03/29/12 - 8:08am

OH YEAH LETS NOT FORGET REYNOLDS….THEY’RE THE CABOOSE OF CARBON WHEELS

“REGULAR CYCLIST”

Chip - 03/29/12 - 9:15am

Stupid King Hubs?

Expound.

Tyler (Editor) - 03/29/12 - 9:18am

craigsj – you can get just the rims and build them up to any hubs you like, disc or otherwise.

Rich - 03/29/12 - 9:41am

Damn these are wide and expensive!!
I see a lot of people needing to upgrade their pre 2012 Sram red brakes or sand their pads to the limit line!

zombieweekly - 03/29/12 - 10:16am

@Ernst

Yeah, I was surprised to see the stickers misaligned when I got my pair. 2grand wheel set and messed up stickers? Please…

Other than misaligned stickers, very solid wheel set. Feels two gears lighter compared to my Racing Zero.

Brian - 03/29/12 - 2:36pm

For gods sake, can we just ban internet comment sections. It’s a cesspool of ill-informed j********s spreading flatulating their troll-e gospel. I’m looking at you JESUS-CHRIST and META.

@Meta So, a charity century ride discourages your use of a product, and this is somehow a relevant or informed as to weather or not the product is suitable for use? Very keen sir. Having done that ride, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it on carbon clinchers – even in the rain last year.

Brad - 03/29/12 - 3:37pm

It’s my understanding that Enve have moved the majority of their parts manufacturing to Asia, a move which precipitated the name change so as not to conflict with existing Taiwanese parts makers. Does anyone know any better? This is hearsay for my part.

craigsj - 03/29/12 - 7:19pm

I know, Tyler, but how many 20/24H hubs are out there that support disc? none. Disc brake + 20H probably not happening…

Of course, hub manufacturers could solve this problem soon, but more spokes means more options on the disc brake front.

meta - 03/29/12 - 9:18pm

@Brian stay classy! By the same token you need to be banned from the internet ;) Carbon clinchers are known to have issues. All I’m saying I need to see numbers of how they have dealt with heat. Have you seen what happens to carbon clinchers on descends when ridden by the average cyclist? I bet you haven’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t be foaming at the mouth.

I repeat, carbon clinchers generate massive heat, around 315F degrees. Now Enve, what you have done to mitigate carbon delamination?

stefan - 03/30/12 - 2:56am

When these Wheels are as good as the tubular i think ENVE have done a good job.

But the temprature problem of clincher wheels is still existend.

What have ENVE done against delamination?

WannaBeSTi - 03/30/12 - 8:49am

I have a number of customers riding carbon clinchers and none, no, not one have had an issue with braking. The downhills around S.E. Tennessee and N. E. Georgia are usually steep and fast with only a hand-full of turns needing brakes. When the brakes are used, they’re used hard and usually require a little trail braking (at least for me).

I already have my name on the list for a set of these rims and look forward to building them up. Few carbon rim companies give me the confidence like ZIPP and Enve. ZIPP, Enve, Reynolds, and HED make great wheels, but in the light weight CC rim department, IMO, the other three can’t touch Enve.

@Ernst
How are the stickers misaligned? If you’re talking about the stickers not going all of the way out to the edge of the rim…the stickers have to be below the brake track.
Also, with rims of differing depths, they’ll look different.

scissorhands - 03/30/12 - 3:03pm

Sorry WannaBeSTi…..but ENVE rims hardly brake as good as Zipp rims….not even close. I own both. I too like many would like to know how Enve is addressing rim delamanation and that the heat that carbon rims generate.

Gyro2 - 04/22/12 - 1:03am

Carbon clinchers, the greatest, greatest classic Fred, poserville component. LOL

Ken roscoe - 01/17/14 - 5:12am

Hi There,

Thought I would join in on this one, I purchased a new set of Enve 3.4 clinchers SES in early December 2013 in Bundaburg QLD Australia I rode around 500km mostly on flats until I got to brisbane and the Gold Coast. I did a ride up Tamberine Mountain its a 18% climb over 4.5 km on the way down you are hitting high speeds of over 80 kmh, braking is hard not to mention the air temp is 35 deg c. By the time I got home the rear wheel braking surface had bubbled in numerous places and a bulge had also appeared it was on one side only of the rim, the front wheel was not as bad but still suffered from delamination so I can tell you all first hand there is a problem with heat here. The rims have been sent back to Monza through Velo cycles who is an Enve dealer so let’s see how good there warranty is and what they say about this not happening again

VladT - 01/21/14 - 7:48am

Hey Ken,

The very same thing happened to me few weeks ago with a brand new set of Enve 3.4 clinchers. So far I’ve done approximately 500kms over undulating terrain. However I did ride up Mt Baw Baw which is anywhere from 15-22% climb over ~7kms. On the way down you also hit high speeds. The day was quite hot (over 30C) and I had to do some heavy breaking on the way down. Over the next few days I’ve noticed that the front brake was pulsating. Closer inspection showed few spots on the front wheel where epoxy has bubbled. Bike shop found few more spots where wheel has delaminated. It’s not over to Monza to set this straight. I am however puzzled that my previous research (before I bought the wheels) did not uncover any such cases.

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