Four figure rims
ENVE M Series
According to ENVE a lot has changed in mountain biking since they first launched their M Series wheel range back in 2014. We have witnessed cross country become more aggressive, with bikes becoming more capable and fun.
General trail riders are now utilizing wider rims and larger volume tyres. Enduro racing, once the precocious upstart of gravity riding, is now a professional discipline with its own demands. And of course World Cup downhill has seen tighter, nail-biting racing, not to mention the embracing of tubeless and the 29er.
With this rapid progression and change riders are now placing increasingly difficult and complex demands from their wheels. Demands the designers and engineers at ENVE have been working on meeting with this latest, redesigned M Series range.
What has changed?
The new 2018 M Series wheel range introduces a concept ENVE call ‘Ride without Limitations’. Distil this down to its fundamentals and it comes down to three principles – rider choice, rider confidence and performance first manufacturing.
Gone is the simplistic four model range; based simply on riding discipline. Instead ENVE bring in a wider, seven wheel range. Of which six are completely brand new.
ENVE are still dividing the wheels into broad discipline categories. But instead of just telling yourself, “I’m a trail rider, I need the M60”, now you can choose your wheels based on preferences of rim width, strength and flat protection.
This concept is established via two unique technologies, one that prioritizes the demands of XC and Trail riders, the other the demands of Enduro and Downhill riders.
For the XC and Trail rider, ENVE presents a patent pending Wide Hookless Bead design. By increasing the width and shaping the contours of the rim’s leading edges, ENVE’s new M525 (XC) and M6 Series (Trail) wheels promise the near elimination of pinch flatting and enhanced impact durability.
ENVE’s new M7 Series (Enduro/All-Mountain) and M9 Series (DH) wheels, targeted at gravity enthusiasts feature an exclusive patent pending Protective Rim Strip that eliminates pinch flats, protects the carbon rim from impacts, and does away with the need to tape the rim for tubeless compatibility.
According to ENVE, their Protective Rim Strip provides an independent tubeless seal that retains air pressure in the tire even if the carbon is crack or damaged. This technology has been ridden in 29” format to multiple wins and podium results during this year’s downhill World Cup season by the Santa Cruz Syndicate and Intense Factory Racing teams.
But before you ask, the answer to whether the new rim strip can be retro-fitted to previous models is a resounding “no”.
How do I know what wheel to get?
To discriminate between wheels ENVE has added further digits to the main M model number, to imply the rim’s internal width. This has been done to add a little more functionality and emphasis to the importance of inner rim width, mainly in terms of how it integrates and functions with the tyres and bikes riders are using.
A lot of riders know what tyres and tyre width they like to ride and may also have a chosen inner rim width they prefer. So with this in mind, ENVE can now direct you to which tyre size works best with a chosen rim width or (more importantly), what rim width works best in conjunction with your favourite tyres.
How do they ride?
We managed to get our hands on a set of M730 wheels for two days of blasting around Bike Park Wales.
Whilst not a comprehensive test it certainly gave us a feel for the ride quality; and also gave us a chance to test out the puncture resistance claims.
During multiple runs on BPW’s notorious rock garden strewn trails such as Coal not Dole and Rim Dinger, the rims held up perfectly.
Choosing wholly inappropriate lines that could normally spell the end of a tyre resulted mainly in the sound of carbon against rock but not the familiar whoosh of escaping air.
It is also worth mentioning that even when one nameless reporter rode down on the rim, there was nary a scratch at the end.
Riding smoother flow style trails and the Enve’s certainly aided to an effortless feel to the ride in comparison to the wheels taken off the Commencal Meta TR chosen as the test mule.
We’ll get our hands on a pair for more rigorous testing soon.
M525 – £1050 per rim
M630-35 – £1050 per rim
Full build M525/M630-35 (Only available with Chris King hubs) £3100
M730-35-40/M930 – £1100 Per rim
Built M7/M9 (only available with Chris King hubs) £3200