For those of you who have been waiting for a plus-compatible offering from US brand ENVE Composites, the wait is finally over! You want a wheel for your plus bike that’s wide, light, carbon and tubeless? Then ENVE has got something you’ll be very interested in. Introducing the latest carbon rim to join ENVE’s M-Series lineup; the M60 Forty Plus.
Built with a 40mm internal rim width, the new M60 Forty Plus is a carbon fibre tubeless rim that is purpose built for use with the latest crop of 2.8in to 3.0in wide ‘plus’ tyres. It’s a big move for ENVE, who has traditionally been conservative when it comes to ballooning rim widths.
In fact, it was only at Eurobike last year when ENVE launched its ‘slightly wider’ M60 and M70 rims. That said, the plus category isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, so we figured it was only a matter of time before we’d see ENVE bringing its carbon expertise to this burgeoning mountain bike segment.
As it stands, the M60 Forty Plus is only available in a 27.5in diameter. However, ENVE has hinted that a 29in version is also in development. The rim uses a 25mm deep profile, with an external width of 49mm, and they’re tubeless compatible. As we first saw with the launch of the M-Series wheels back in 2014, the sidewalls on the M60 Forty Plus are hookless. If you do the math, you’ll work out that each sidewall then measures at 4.5mm thick, which is absolutely huge. As we’ve found out though, there’s a reason behind that…
As many other riders and magazine journalists are currently finding out, plus bikes are great fun and all, but they aren’t exactly gaining a reputation for durable tyres. Why? Because tyre manufacturers are using lightweight casings and sidewalls to ensure their high volume 2.8/3.0in plus tyres don’t end up as heavy as a 2-ply downhill tyre. The goal is to reduce rotational mass to achieve a lighter and more playful feel on the trail, but in this case the trade off from using a thinner carcass comes in the form of pinch flats and overall tyre durability.
“ENVE took note of these compromises in tyre design that are intended to keep the tyres light and rideable, and set out to design a rim that would allow the system to maintain a competitive weight and aid in the reduction of pinch flats.” – ENVE Composites.
To accomplish this, ENVE chose a shallower depth of 25mm for the M60 Forty Plus rim, with a specific carbon layup that would encourage compliance. A more compliant rim equals more comfort on the trail, but it also reduces the stress placed onto the tyre casing when you’re bashing about into sharp rocks. Further shaping of the 4.5mm thick hookless beads was used to make the rim as forgiving as possible.
The ENVE Composites M60 Forty Plus features:
- Designed and engineered for 2.8” to 3.0” Plus tires
- Improved pinch at and impact resistance
- Patented Molded Spoke Hole Technology
- Hookless bead design
- Tubeless compatible
- Internal rim width: 40mm
- External rim width: 49mm
- 27.5” rim weight: 455 grams
- Complete wheelset weight: 1602gm to 1785gm
- 28 spokes per wheel
Despite the impressive claimed weights, the M60 Forty Plus is a rim designed for aggressive trail riding. As with their other M-Series rims, the numbers in the model name refers to the split of descending to climbing. So in this case, the M60 Forty Plus is targeted towards riders who split their riding into 60% descending, and 40% climbing. They’re not full-blown downhill rims, but they’re not skinny XC rims either. ENVE see its new plus wheelset finding its way onto short to mid-travel plus compatible mountain bikes.
“Our goal is to make the ultimate rim for a given category and application,in this case the Plus platform. The shape of the M60 Plus with its 40mm internal rim width saves weight and maximises the interface between rim and the most popular 2.8 to 3.0 inch tires,” – ENVE Marketing Director, Jake Pantone.
The M60 Forty Plus will be available as a standalone rim, and in complete wheel options with your choice of either DT Swiss or Chris King hubs. Complete wheels are built in-house at ENVE’s factory in Utah, just metres from where the carbon fibre rims are produced. You may recall that we’ve visited the factory before, and it’s a very impressive facility indeed. The riding there ain’t too bad either!
While this is ENVE’s first introduction into the plus bike category, we’re guessing you’ll be seeing more chubby rims from the US manufacturer in the future. If you follow their naming system, then it would be easy to imagine an M50 Fifty Plus, or perhaps an M70 Thirty Plus. Time will tell…
In the US, the M60 Forty Plus rims will be available for $975 USD, with complete wheels starting at $2700 USD. UK prices will be £900 a rim, with rims arriving in early September. To find your nearest ENVE stockist, head to www.Saddleback.co.uk for more info.
So, what do you think of the new M60 Forty Plus wheels from ENVE? Leave us a comment below!