ENVE is reshaping speed, and it starts with the new SES wheel line. The fourth generation of ENVE SES (Smart-ENVE-System) wheels are getting different front, and rear shapes, and real-world-fast — the wheels cover a wide range of disciplines, purpose-built for each application.

ENVE SES 3.4 action

The ENVE SES system is all about “real-world fast,” looking past the wind tunnel data (still essential, though) and designing for what the riders will face on the road and beyond. By carefully evaluating how wheels, frame, and rider interact with the air in the wind tunnel and on the open road. ENVE claims to have drilled down on what each wheel needs to make it perform outstanding in its field.

ENVE SES 6.7 action

The updated ENVE SES line features four models, the SES 2.3, SES 3.4, SES 4.5, and SES 6.7, with the SES 2.3 and SES 6.7 being completely new additions to the line (ENVE had an SES 6.7 previously, but a completely different non-tubeless rim brake model).

What makes the ENVE SES 4th Gen wheels faster?

The design team at ENVE knows how to create a fast wheel, but for the SES fourth edition, they looked for more real-world for data and less from the computer screen. They studied the airflow that riders will face for each intended rim depth and how that will affect the rim’s shape. The new SES lineup features a rim depth and profile purpose-built to dominate its intended purpose. For example, the front wheels are shallower than the rear (crit mullet style) and feature a rounded profile. The rear features a deeper, sharper rim for power transfer and reduced drag like many other ultra-modern wheelsets we’ve seen released this year.

ENVE SES 4.5 action

The wind tunnel still matters

ENVE wouldn’t do away with the wind tunnel testing completely, so don’t even think about it. The new SES line received much time in the tube. The “real world fast” mantra helped guide the testing for the fourth generation of the SES. ENVE explains: “Nearly all wind tunnel testing is performed at 48 kph/30 mph. However, very few riders spend much time at or above that speed. While important for elite-level racers, developing wheels outside the range of speeds that most riders spend their time within leaves performance on the table.”

The ENVE SES team ran the fourth-gen wheels through testing at both 48 kph/30 mph and 32 kph/20 mph, resulting in rim shapes that perform well at both.

ENVE SES tires for testing at HQ

Efficiency Factor — Tires

If you’re a data nerd, you know EF (Efficiency Factor), and you know efficiency matters, aerobically and all around. One of the most significant forces affecting efficiency is tires; yes — overall aerodynamics is a huge deal, but we’re talking wheels and tires here. The tire and pressure choice can adversely affect your performance, whether a flat tire or too much pressure to rail a corner confidently — you’re not rolling fast.

The new ENVE SES wheels dipped into the real world again, trying to strike a balance of aerodynamics, rolling resistance, durability, and hookless bead compatibility. They landed upon a new tubeless-ready, hookless-compatible ENVE tire available in four sizes – 25, 27, 29, and 31mm. ENVE states, “The new SES lineup was optimized around the SES 27mm tire, which strikes a near-perfect balance of high-volume rolling efficiency, weight, and aero efficiency.”

ENVE SES hookless vs hooked rims

ENVE SES — Tubeless and Hookless

For ENVE, tubeless represents the pinnacle of modern road wheel and tire system performance. It allows the rider to achieve lower rolling resistance while having fewer flats and a better ride experience. The new SES line features ENVE’s patent-pending Wide Hookless Bead, which aids in eliminating pinch-flats, similar to its mountain line.

We are extremely excited to introduce the all-new Smart ENVE System to the world. Our Real-World Fast design philosophy, commitment to incremental gains, and holistic approach to performance have allowed ENVE to establish itself as the industry benchmark for road and triathlon wheel performance over the last decade. The new line is more refined, lighter weight, smoother riding, and flat out faster,” stated VP of Product and Brand Jake Pantone.

Hookless bead and Inner rim width — ride and rider-specific

ENVE’s updated line features a “scaled per intended application” Wide Hookless Bead and inner rim width. For example, the new ultra-light SES 2.3 has a narrower Wide Hookless Bead with an internal rim width of 21mm. The all-around gravel-capable SES 3.4 and SES 4.5 feature a 25mm inner rim width and a larger Wide Hookless Bead. The new SES 6.7 sits in the middle with a 23mm internal rim width.

ENVE SES hub rear

What about the hub?

What’s a fast rim without an equally fast hubset? The updated ENVE SES flies on ENVE’s Premium Road Hub. For those curious — It’s the same one from the previous models. The hubset features premium-grade NTN full stainless-steel bearings, a refined lightweight design, optimized flange geometry for power transmission, and a durable, quick engagement 40t ratchet drive system.

ENVE SES Models

ENVE SES 2.3

ENVE 2.3 SES

According to ENVE, the 2.3 SES is the lightest wheelset they’ve ever produced. If your goal is to build a light weight mountain climber, these should fit the build while still offering some aero advantage on the flats and descents.

Highlights

  • 1197 gram wheelset (ENVE hub w/ XDR driver)
  • Claim to be lightest in aftermarket climbing wheel
  • The lightest production rim/wheelset ENVE has ever produced
  • 21mm internal rim width
  • Rider profile: uncompromising climber

ENVE SES 3.4

ENVE SES 3.4

Highlights

  • 1390 gram wheelset (ENVE hub w/ XDR driver)
  • Wide Hookless Bead anti-pitch-flat technology
  • 25mm internal rim width
  • Aero optimized for ENVE SES 27 tire
  • The closest thing to a “one wheel quiver” in the new SES line
  • Rider Profile: Gravel wheel of choice for many of ENVE’s elite athletes

ENVE SES 4.5

ENVE SES 4.5

Highlights

  • 1452 gram wheelset (ENVE hub w/ XDR driver)
  • The evolution of the SES 4.5 AR
  • Now features Wide Hookless Bead anti-pinch- flat technology
  • 25mm internal rim width
  • Aero optimized for ENVE SES 27 tire
  • Rider profile: Gravel, all around, and all around

ENVE SES 6.7

ENVE SES 6.7

Highlights

  • 1497 gram wheelset (ENVE hub w/ XDR driver)
  • Optimized at the points of diminishing returns for drag reduction, stability, and weight
  • 23mm internal rim width
  • Aero optimized for ENVE SES 27 tire
  • Can be run with 25mm tubeless-ready tires
  • Rider Profile: Crits, TT, Triathlon

ENVE SES 6.7 front side

Are there tire limitations?

The new ENVE SES wheelset is tubeless only, meaning tubeless only tires. Yes — you can run a tube when you get a flat, but not clincher “tube-type tires.” You could also run these with tubes full-time, but you would have to use a tubeless-ready tire with the tubes.

ENVE SES fourth gen wheel

Death of the ENVE rim brake wheel?

If you’ve been paying attention, ENVE has not so quietly discontinued all tubular road wheel models (the CX disc series is still in production). With the introduction of this latest generation, ENVE has announced that they will no longer be manufacturing rims with rim brake tracks. If you’ve recently purchased a rim brake wheelset from ENVE or an ENVE dealer, don’t worry — they are committed to providing warranty support and service for rim brake products for the next two years.

ENVE SES 4.5 Front side

Availability and pricing:

The all-new ENVE SES collection retails for $2850 and is now available through your local ENVE retailer, distributor, ENVE Ride Centers, and ENVE.com.

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The Bespoke Cyclist
The Bespoke Cyclist
1 month ago

Farsport Feder 35mm is hookless and 1.11kg (weighted mine). So no the new Enve isn’t the lightest. Enve has shorter rims too.

Dinger
Dinger
1 month ago

They claim a 2 year warranty with no crash replacement program that requires the user to ship their wheels back to the factory in Xiamen, China (Hundreds of dollars for a westerner) if they even honor it.

Enve has a 5 year warranty with an incidental damage program and have service available on the continents where they sell most of their products. Maybe Enve doesn’t consider Farsport a legitimate wheel maker?

DoubleJ
DoubleJ
1 month ago

What part of “their lightest wheel ever” did you not comprehend? They aren’t claiming to be the lightest, they are saying it’s the lightest wheel that have made

Dinger
Dinger
1 month ago
Reply to  DoubleJ

They do say that but they also say this: “Claim to be lightest in aftermarket climbing wheel” in their features list.

Mic
Mic
1 month ago

I will never buy or use road tubeless i don’t even use tubeless on mtb anymore I hate that whole trend for so many reasons. All the roadies I know on tubeless have resorted back to tubes because that sealant never works on cuts and roadside you’re screwed and nobody wants to spend another $100 everytime they flat and plus modern tires are quite puncture resistant anyway even clinchers. Enough tubeless already.

Dinger
Dinger
1 month ago
Reply to  Mic

I find 80psi to be the limit for tubeless sealant and that most failures of the system below that pressure are due to sealant neglect. I see no reason to ever run a tube in a tire 32c or larger ever again.

If you cut a premium tire too big to patch or plug then it’s ruined, whether it’s tubeless or not.

fitness
fitness
1 month ago
Reply to  Mic

I will never buy another wheelset requiring tubes, for mtb or road. Tubeless is better for both. Issues of 5+ years ago are no longer issues.

Velo Kitty
Velo Kitty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mic

I really tried to go tubeless, and I ran it for a while, but ultimately, it was just too much hassle. If you have multiple bikes, it multiplies the nightmare. But the next rims that I purchase will have no holes in the rim bed, and at that time, I will try tubeless again on my main bike.

workonsunday
workonsunday
22 days ago
Reply to  Mic

it’s partly because, A, alot of roadies still pump the tyres to 100psi with tubeless setup and using low volume rims which won’t seal by the time they lost significant pressure.B, browse around the major media outlets and forums, the amount of people got duped into using older sealant formula is simply mind boggling. Use sealant specific developed for bikes like muc-off and Silca, completely different experience. (yes i have tried most major brands sealant. i think alot of them are just variations of the car sealant and dont seal very well).

Mr. Feather
Mr. Feather
1 month ago

Me reading this article. Next to me, my 6,0kg bike with its extralite 1067g wheelset laughing out loud…

Felix Wolf
17 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Feather

Funny though since building the Enve SES 2.3 with these Extralite hubs and some fancy steel spokes will give you a wheelset with even 50gr less…

Jaap
Jaap
1 month ago

Was hoping for some wider rims.