Enve Introduces All New M-series, Carbon MTB Hoops get Lighter, Stronger and Lose the Hook

M90 ratboy lores

It seems like not all that long ago, carbon rims for mountain bikes were a bit of an oddity. Mountain bikers were just coming to grips with carbon as a frame material, let alone a rim material. Considering how often mountain bike rims receive flat spots from unforgiving rocks, or have to be whacked against a tree to try and regain some semblance of true, it’s easy to think that carbon might not be cut out for the job.

After ENVE introduced their first carbon mountain bike rim in 2007, fast forward to 2012 and the Santa Cruz Syndicate was now racing downhill on ENVE’s carbon wheels. Having invested substantially in their research and development along with advanced testing both in the lab and with pro teams, ENVE’s Carbon technology has grown by leaps and bounds. As a rim material carbon is no longer viewed with skepticism, but as the premium, must have (if money is no object) option.

But just as carbon technology has changed, so too has mountain biking or at least how it is classified. More riders seem to be pushing the limits of what’s possible on bikes and categories have changed. While the standard XC, AM, and DH designations made sense in the past, ENVE felt it left a lot of riders unsure of where they fit when it came to selecting a rim. To address the issue, ENVE created an all new naming system which gave rise to the all new M-Series.

There’s much more than just a new name to the M-Series, read about it next…

Enve M series wheel use chart

M-series is all about percentages, specifically the percentage of your ride where you are riding down hill. This breaks the M-series down into 4 new models, the M50fifty, M60forty, M70thirty, and M90ten. Ride cross country and spend equal time climbing as you do descending? You’ll probably want to go with the M50 (50% climb/50% descend). Downhillers, the M90 (10% climb/90% descend). Obviously this is more of a suggestion than an absolute rule, but most riders will find the identify with one of the categories more than the others.

27M60 29M50

Each M-series wheel is then tuned to offer the best performance for both the terrain and also the likely tire choices of each category. Carbon layups have been optimized for each discipline meaning that the M90 will have more resistance to rock strikes than the M50, yet the M50 will be more compliant for cross country type riding. The wheels are also tailored to each category based on the likely tires size that will be run. As you can see above, each model has a tire size range which specifies the size that the rim shape and profile has been optimized for. By designing the rim for a smaller specific tire size, ENVE states that you can create a more precise and predictable handling wheel system that is ultimately more efficient.

Impact resistance is a big concern with carbon rims, and the M-series are not only stronger than the previous models, but lighter as well. Thanks to a new proprietary rim shape and design, the wheels are said to be more durable and more impact resistance across the board.

 

27M70 26M90

Part of the increased impact resistance is likely due to the elimination of the bead hook – which looks to be the way the industry is headed for most carbon Rims. Specialized, Derby, Ibis, and now ENVE are all spitting out the hook in favor of rims that claim to be more precise and offer greater pinch flat and impact resistance. When hooked rims were first introduced it was heralded as a great improvement so why are we getting rid of them now? That would be the advancement of higher quality tubeless tires which offer better fit thanks to their improved beads. In fact, ENVE claims you can run lower tire pressures with their hookless design due to the improved precision of the tire bed. They had us at reduced pinch flats.

Even with all the talk about improved strength and reduced weight, that doesn’t also mean a reduction in ride quality – at least not according to ENVE. Each wheel uses a specific layup that is said to match the vertical compliance of the rim to the terrain and the tires use. That may sound like a lot of marketing, but if you’ve ridden carbon wheels offroad you should at least have been able to discern a noticeable difference in the ride quality compared to aluminum rims – especially ENVE wheels. We’ll wait until we’ve ridden a set to comment, but our guess is that they’ll be as good as they say.

M50 closeup lores

M50 alex lores

Enve M series m50fifty m60forty specs weight

One small correction to the graphic above, the M50fifty rim weight is 330g, it is 320g without decals.

ENVE will be offering the M-series in all wheel sizes, but not in all models. The M50fifty will only be offered in 29″ and is billed as a full race wheel developed with feedback from the Sho-Air and Cannondale Factory Racing teams. Considered more of a light weight Enduro or Trail wheel, or a burly XC race wheel, the M60forty will appeal to a lot of riders looking for a wheelset that is super light for the climb to the top, but won’t hold you back as you rip back down. The M60forty is offered in 27.5″ as well as 29″ but no 26″.

_WP_6897lores

_WP_6961lores

Enve M series m70thirty m90ten specs weight

To find any 26″ wheels in the line up you’ll have to look to the M70thirty and M90ten. While still designed to pedal, the M70 is built for gnarly big mountain lines in a durable package that will get you back home. Notice the 29er still available here, which with similar dimensions to the DH specific M90, is as close as you’ll get to a DH 29er wheel from ENVE for now. As for the M90, the DH specific carbon rim is being called the strongest and stiffest rim ENVE has ever made. Considering they have built a number of wheels that have found their way atop World Cup podiums with the Santa Cruz Syndicate, that’s saying something. All of the new wheels are tubeless, including the M90.

Enve Colors m system

Enve M series custom colors

In addition to the standard decals, Mseries wheels will be offered with alternative colored decals and even full custom made to order colors. Each option will cost extra, and the Full Custom option comes with a 3-4 week lead time, but if you’re spending this kind of coin on a wheelset it’s nice to have the option to get something you really like.

Just how much will the wheels cost? For starters, all of the wheels and rims carry the same price tag which happens to be $999 per rim. Wheelsets are available with DT Swiss 240 hubs for $2718, Chris King hubs for $2,750, and DT Swiss 180 hubs for $3,298. The 180s will not be offered in the M90ten models however, because well, they’re not a downhill hub.

The M-series is shipping now.

enve.com

 

Comments

Jared Price - 04/08/14 - 9:18am

Hookless rims are a bad idea fir anyone running tubless. A loss of pressure for just about any reason causes a a total loss of beading on both sides of the tyre. If you don’t have Co2 on hand your stuffed. Had it happen on a multiple of bikes in multiple situations. I have given up on tubless for my Hookless rims.

Eastman - 04/08/14 - 9:24am

Looking at the weights of these rims makes me appreciate even more what HED was able to do with their Big Deal rims for fatbikes – 85 mm wide and 450 g. Impressive.

dogboy - 04/08/14 - 9:28am

@Eastman – apples and oranges.

ah - 04/08/14 - 9:51am

M for Money I guess.

SCbike - 04/08/14 - 9:56am

Who wants to sell me their OLD lame Enve XC Wheels?

groghunter - 04/08/14 - 10:14am

25mm max internal width. That’s interesting.

CMZee13 - 04/08/14 - 10:18am

Great! Who wants the two sets I just built up?

hoser - 04/08/14 - 10:27am

For those looking to replace their current AM ENVE rims, it looks like they would have the option of the M60 or M70. The M60 is narrower than the old AM by 1mm, and the 70 is wider by 1mm. Unfortunately if one wants to go 1mm wider, they will be gaining approximately 80 grams of rim weight. I was expecting more impressive numbers. Of course I will be eager to hear how they ride…

tsuful - 04/08/14 - 10:44am

@SCbike – I can sell Youmy AM wheels :)

Mindless - 04/08/14 - 10:50am

And they still will not work ny morereliably than $200 Chinese rims that had been available in wide widths with no bead hook for quite some time. But without color matched “look at me” decals. (That add 10g?)

Gabe - 04/08/14 - 11:03am

Waiting for the “hookless is only to cheapen manufacturing” comments………..Oh wait, this isn’t a Specialized rim, so I’ll be waiting for “Best design idea ever!” comments.

Joseph Clemenzi - 04/08/14 - 11:27am

dont forget about their 5year warranty which is still the best in the business (correct me if this has changed). if you actually ride your awesome bike, the warranty alone = #worthit

Yep - 04/08/14 - 11:28am

Where’s the beef? As in width.

RAMBIS - 04/08/14 - 11:30am

I really like the hookless design. Specialized are not the innovators of the hookless design. I first saw them on LEW wheels, back around 2008.

nunyab - 04/08/14 - 11:41am

What is old….is new again. Hookless is not a new thing, prior to the early 70′s virtually every bicycle rim manufactured was hookless.

tsuful - 04/08/14 - 11:56am

@Joseph – best in the biz ? Hehehe
If you brake them you still have to pay half to get a new ones. Thats 500$ !

RAMBIS - 04/08/14 - 11:56am

Specialized, however does make A great hookless carbon rim.

Mindless - 04/08/14 - 12:21pm

@Joseph: Replacement cost is still more than a new Derby rim (which also comes with warranty, you know, and it is wider, if that is important). Or you can bye a full replacement wheelset, with nice Novatec hubs and carbon rims from LB for the cost of replacement. Which by all accounts work just as well.
It. Just. Does. Not. Make economic sense.

Psi Squared - 04/08/14 - 12:45pm

What Mindless meant to say is that for him. It. Just. Does. Not. Make economic sense. He knows he has no clue what makes economic sense for others and that his opinions aren’t magically transformed into facts.

Apparently some people get confused and think their experience with a product is the universal experience and the absolute measure of a product. Alas, that’s not the case.

K11 - 04/08/14 - 12:57pm

this just seems odd. at the current time, your choices for tires are much more limited. i have a feeling, just guessing, that it has more to do with reducing weight/while strengthening the rim, than anything else.

glade to see that those hideous enve decals are still removable. i will still leave the made in america decal in place(its small), but the rest still has to go. custom decals..dumb.

Mindless - 04/08/14 - 1:47pm

What Psi meant to say is that he does not know the difference between a halo product meant for marketing and a few suckers and what a sane person should buy.

Bob - 04/08/14 - 2:42pm

Hookless rims are stronger. The guys at NOX converted their AM stuff to hookless about a month ago and they tell me it is a dramatic improvement in impact strength. But I think it limits your max pressure. I for one wouldn’t run 60psi in a hookless tubeless application. And occasionally I want to run high pressure for a road/gravel ride.

satisFACTORYrider - 04/08/14 - 3:16pm

gentlemen, the promo edit is worth every penny though! miami bryce in portugal. go watch.

hellbelly - 04/08/14 - 4:31pm

Psi, Mindless, etc…whatever turns you on. I have yet to meet anyone who has personally shelled out $2500 + for a wheelset (even the road geeks Zipps are less) and this is not because they could not afford to do so. Those that I know with them got a bro, shop, team deal on them. I have ridden an ENVE AM wheelset and was duly impressed, but they are not going to improve my mountain biking experience enough to justify that cost. As far as the assorted Chinese rims and other manufacturers options go, just like in every industry someone will find a way to do it less expensive and in many cases with most of the value (ride/durability) intact. The reports over the last couple of years on these has been very good too and at their reduced cost you could go through a couple of sets before you could pay retail for the ENVE’s.

Mindless - 04/08/14 - 5:34pm

Just a day ago there was an article here about Ibis branded carbon rims. Half the price, and I would definitely trust Ibis, and would not mind a set when it is time to buy if street price goes under a grand. When somebody charges double of an equivalent in every functional way product – but with matching sticker kits, you know the target audience. Same folks who buy Kjus or Bogner ski jackets at retail.

joHonny - 04/08/14 - 5:52pm

$1000. per. rim. Sweet baby jeebus…

Jimmy Deaton - 04/08/14 - 6:26pm

Hmmmm, I don’t see any spoke nipples which means they must be internal. Great idea! That’s not a pain at all!! Awesome…

Psi Squared - 04/08/14 - 6:58pm

The expense of these rims and wheels is only a concern if Enve doesn’t sell enough to meet their expectations. That’s that whole economics thing. Mindless is free to shop for what he wants just as everyone else is.

Mindless comments aside, a little critical thinking is in order and tends to be in short supply in comment sections. It is easy to learn about with a simple internet search.

Matt - 04/08/14 - 9:52pm

Just think. With all that money you guys save by not buying Enve products you’ll be able to go out and splurge on correct spelling! And grammar! And even punctuation! It’s like reading a middle school bathroom stall door in here…

thesteve4761 - 04/08/14 - 10:38pm

So, nobody is gonna pick on the naming concept? Regardless of the trail I ride, or how aggressively I do it, if I start and end at the same place 50% of my vertical distance is up, and 50% is down. Or is it percentage of time doing one or the other? If so, it’s even further skewed incorrectly. Or is it actual distance? Again, skewed incorrectly if I like to pedal up reasonable grades and descend steeps. If I pick anything but the 50/50, I’m supposed to shuttle? I guess it draws more attention than just saying “hey we have new XC, AM, Enduro, and DH rims”.

greg - 04/09/14 - 1:14am

still has internal nipples. and adhesive tape to seal them.
if you insist on keeping the nipples internal, please switch the rim tape for a non-adhesive snap-in type like Specialized has.
better yet, move to external nipples. you mold your spoke holes “for higher strength”, right? so you should have strength to spare, make the holes big enough for nipples and save people big headaches for what could be a very easy job….

hellbelly - 04/09/14 - 10:30am

@greg or anyone…Why does ENVE have internal nipples? Does this add strength? It seems an otherwise unnecessary complication making it impossible to true/repair the wheels trail side.

Colin - 04/09/14 - 5:06pm

Handmade in Ogden, UT, USA

/discussion

Aaron - 04/23/14 - 1:37pm

@hellbelly I have a set of Enves over 2 years and are still perfectly through, once these wheels are built properly there’s no need for them to be trued.

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