Disc continued: Enve unveils aero wheels for discs

The company says its new hoops are lighter than its aero options that use rim brakes.

Photo: Ian Matteson

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Enve has expanded its Smart Enve System (SES) aero road wheel line with two new disc brake wheel models, the SES 5.6 disc and SES 7.8 disc. With design help from ex-Formula One aerodynamicist Simon Smart, Enve says the new wheels have aerodynamically optimized rim shapes and geometries that differ from front to rear and that they are lighter than the company’s rim brake aero wheels.

“Eliminating the design constraints of a braking surface allowed us to take a liberal approach to what is possible with rim shapes and structure,” VP of R&D Scott Nielson said. “We tested several dozen shape concepts and found the best improvements we could make were subtle changes to the curvature of the sidewall through the brake track.”

The rim shapes of the two new disc wheels include different geometries for the front and back rims, something we’ve seen before with Enve’s rim brake wheels. The front rims are wider and shallower, which Enve says reduces the tradeoffs between drag reduction and variable crosswind stability. The back rims are marginally deeper and narrower to maximize drag reduction.

In addition to the dissimilarities in rim geometries, the SES 5.6 and 7.8 disc rim shapes are unique from front to back. According to Smart, “By further manipulating the rim shapes to perform in their given air-flow fields, front of the bike vs. back of the bike, we can make wheels more efficient, stable, and responsive.”

Additionally, Enve says each disc wheel model features a unique disc brake-specific construction that nets a lighter rim in comparison to rim brake optimized wheels of similar or matching depths. As an example, the SES 7.8 disc rim-set is a claimed 125 grams lighter than the SES 7.8 rim brake clincher. Despite the lighter weight of these rims, Enve said the disc wheels don’t sacrifice stiffness or impact resistance compared to the heavier rim brake models.

The 5.6 and 7.8 disc options follow with Enve’s pattern of wide rims that are helping accelerate tubeless-ready wheels and tire development.

“The rolling resistance benefits of larger volume road tires led us down a path where the latest generation of SES wheels, including the SES 5.6 and 7.8 disc, are optimized for 25mm road tubeless tires,” Enve’s director of marketing Jake Pantone said. “Consequently, tubeless becomes exponentially more user-friendly with added tire volume.”

Enve SES 5.6 disc and SES 7.8 disc rims and wheelsets are available as both tubular and tubeless-clincher models. Both wheel models are now shipping and available through Enve retail partners worldwide.

SES 7.8 disc specs

Rim weight: 492g front; 521g rear
Depth: 71mm front; 80mm rear
Width: 29mm front; 27.5mm rear

SES 5.6 disc specs

Rim weight: 450g front; 470g rear
Depth: 54mm front; 63mm rear
Width: 28.75mm front; 28mm rear

Both wheelsets start at $2,900, with different hub options available.

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