ENVE has joined the road bike disc brake movement with new SES 3.4 wheels with your choice of DT Swiss or Chris King hubs.
The rims were tweaked from the original Smart System wheels because they’re thinking road discs will initially lean towards the gravel and adventure rider. So, they borrowed heavily from their mountain bike layup and resin knowledge bank during development.
They’ve also released their full carbon direct mount stem and some more new aero cockpit parts for the road…
They’re disc specific, so there’s no brake track. That let them drop a whopping 60g per rim! Rim weights are 400g for the front, 415g for the rear. Clinchers only for now, but tubulars are likely to follow.
The resin and layup are able to more closely mirror what’s in the XC MTB rims since they don’t need to manage heat at the brake track. This gave them more control over the ride characteristics, and they should super durable. In other words, perfect for gravel roads and cyclocross.
They use a normal road profile, so they’re not designed with tubeless in mind. It could be done, but it’s not optimized for it. They looked at using the bead seat profile of their 29er XC rims, but said when those are run with road tires and tubes, they’re more prone to pinch flats. So, for now, road tubeless ENVE rims are still in a holding pattern until the market for them develops a bit more and they can justify the R&D.
They’re molded with 24 holes on both. They tested a 20 hole front, but with brake load and impact, they’d snap spokes. The same test, which applied rotational torque similar to what would be experienced during hard braking, passed fine with 24 spokes.
Retail is $2,950 with DT Swiss 240, which will ship with a 6-bolt rotor adapter. Chris King hubs add $50. Weights end up pretty close to the standard 3.4 wheels since the disc hubs are a bit heavier. Available in January.
The new Smart System aero road bike handlebar is their second SES component that takes advantage of their relationship with Simon Smart.
It gets a UCI approved flat teardrop shape across the top. The drops share the same basic shape as their standard compact bars with two exceptions. Reach is a bit shorter at 77mm, and they flare outward. So, the width is measured at the ends, but the top section ends up being a bit narrower as an aero advantage. They recommend ordering a size wider than normal if you typically ride on the hoods.
It’s more performance oriented than their round bars, meaning its stiffer, aimed at racers looking for every little edge. Retail is $400, weight is 250g and it’ll come in 40/42/44 widths.
It’s the first handlebar they’ve made with internally hidden cable routing.
The Smart System TT bar is in production and passed testing. It’ll be available in November for $1,300. Everything you need to get the full range of adjustment comes in the box and can be done with a single 4mm Allen wrench. For more details, check our coverage from DealerCamp.
The new Direct Mount Stem is the first all-carbon DM downhill stem. Like everything else, they looked at what layup to optimize the performance for the given application. And, of course, to feel really good with their own DH handlebars.
It’ll be offered in 50mm (20mm rise) and 60mm (15mm rise) lengths. The shorter stem needed the extra rise to clear the other parts on the bike. Weights are 117g and 112g respectively. Yes, the 50mm is slightly heavier because it uses an expanding foam inside the body. The 60mm had room for bladder molding, so there’s more empty space inside.
They tested all the strongest stems on the market to set benchmarks. Once they had that, they built up samples and put them in their machines. They ended up breaking and bending handlebars before the stem would fail. So, you’re going to break your bar before you’ll break the stem. What they ended up with is a stem that’s as light as the trickest 2-piece alloy stems, but is way stiffer. And it’s way lighter than comparably strong 1-piece alloy stems.
The threaded inserts are actually a bridge that connects the left and right holes to each other and prevents them from getting pulled out.
Retail is $325, available in November is all goes to plan. It’s 100% made in Ogden, UT, too, making it their first non-wheel component that won’t see any production in Asia.