PARK CITY, Utah (VN) — Utah-based carbon component manufacturer Enve Composites has always been on the cutting edge of carbon wheel construction. This year marked Enve’s first foray onto the WorldTour, with its sponsorship of MTN-Qhubeka, which will race the Tour de France next month. Along with a WorldTour team comes the responsibility of outfitting them with every wheel riders could ever need. One option missing from the Enve arsenal has been a lightweight climbing wheel.
Enter the Enve SES 2.2 tubular wheels. Weighing in at a scant 1,112 grams, the SES 2.2 tubulars were designed with the help of aerodynamics guru Simon Smart, so they go through the wind as well as they go uphill. However, unlike other wheelsets in the Smart-branded SES line, the SES 2.2s share the same 281-gram rim on the front and rear wheel while all other SES wheelsets have a deeper and narrower rear wheel paired with a shallower and wider front wheel.
The SES 2.2 wheels have been designed around a 25mm tire, unlike the other SES models (apart from the SES 4.5), which are designed around a 23mm tire. We surmise that the 25mm tire will be the go-to size for Enve moving forward. Measuring at a width of 27mm, the SES 2.2s are 2mm wider than they are deep.
The SES 2.2 wheelset is also the only SES wheelset available in tubular only. All other SES wheelsets can be purchased in either a tubular or clincher model.
The most striking aspect of the new SES 2.2 wheels is the new “next gen” molded brake track. Enve developed this with the MTN-Qhubeka team in mind, as its riders have to ride up and down mountains, often in less-than-ideal weather. The brake track looks and feels like a very fine file, which is said to give 30 percent better braking. So, riders can purportedly pull the brake lever 30 percent easier while getting the same amount of stopping power at the rim. Enve also claims that the new brake track has improved modulation and that these wheels will stop “virtually as well in the wet as they do in the dry.”
Enve has also developed a new, stiffer brake pad to work in conjunction with the aggressive brake track.
These are some bold braking claims from Enve, but we’ll wait to pass judgment after the wheels have landed at the VeloNews office later this summer.
The SES 2.2 wheels will retail for the same price as the current SES 3.4, 4.5, and 6.7 wheelsets, which start at $2,575 for wheelsets with DT Swiss 350 hubs.