8 New Carbon Wheels From ENVE, & “The Stripper”?

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ENVE Composites has long been known as the name when it comes to carbon wheels. Certainly in the mountain bike market, ENVE played a large part in popularising carbon fibre rims, especially in the early days when the idea of riding anything but metal wheels made most of us feel somewhat nervous.

Since ENVE first launched in the mountain bike market, it’s evolved and grown its lineup to include everything from superlight racing wheels, through to heavy duty hoops for shredding downhill. And along the way, it’s garnered plenty of trust in its premium products.

enve composites carbon
ENVE has long been the trusted brand when it comes to premium carbon fibre wheels. Photo: Callum Philpott.

But even in just the last few years, the mountain bike market has changed dramatically. World Cup downhillers and enduro competitors have started racing aboard 29in wheels, XC racers are tackling far more technical courses, and the bikes that trail riders are piloting are getting faster and more capable than ever before. And that means the expectations of what our bikes (and our wheels) can do is growing each season – often without us really being aware of it.

To address these growing expectations, and to hit back at the fierce competition that has arrived since the first generation M-Series wheels were released back in 2014, ENVE has just rolled out its second generation of the M-Series line, with eight brand new wheels covering multiple rim widths, specific riding styles, and both 27.5in and 29in diameters. There’s even an e-bike specific wheelset too…

enve wheel mechanic drill
We received an invitation from ENVE to go to Bikepark Wales to check out the new generation of the M-Series wheels. Photo: Callum Philpott.

While ENVE is officially unveiling its new M-Series wheels to the worldwide press at Eurobike this week, we were delighted to receive an invitation to head down to Bikepark Wales last week to test out the new wheels in person, and to learn about the development behind them. In response, we sent down our best rim and tyre destroyer, Rossco, who arrived at Bikepark Wales with an Orange Stage 6 to see just how good the new wheels are.

enve carbon rim
The sidewalls are thicker and more blunt on the new carbon rims, reducing the chance of pinch flat punctures. As a point of reference, most carbon rims feature sidewalls around 3mm thick.

The most apparent change with the new M-Series range is the new numbering system. Like the first generation M-Series wheels, the new range splits into four different genres; M5 for cross country, M6 for trail, M7 for enduro and M9 for downhill. Each model has two numbers following it, which indicate internal rim width. So the M525 has a 25mm internal rim width, and the M635 has a 35mm internal rim width.

Each rim is entirely new, with a new profile that across the board is wider, thicker through the sidewalls, and lower in depth. Aside from the usual ‘make it lighter and laterally stiffer’ goal, ENVE was also keen to improve pinch flat resistance. For the M5 and M6 series rims, ENVE has done this by increasing the thickness of the hookless sidewalls, and using a rounder, more blunt shape that is less likely to cut through the tyre casing in the event of a hard impact against a rock. For the M7 and M9 series rims, they’ve taken things further again by implementing a new device dubiously titled ‘The Stripper‘.

enve rim strip
For the M7 and M9 series rims, an additional rim strip is used to seal the rim and provide additional protection for the carbon sidewalls.

‘The Stripper’ is essentially a thick tubeless rim strip that sits inside the rim. Moulded from polymer in house at ENVE’s factory in Utah, the tubeless rim strip differs to other similar tubeless systems (such as Bontrager’s TLR rim strip) in that it wraps up and over each sidewall. The reason for this? It serves to provide additional protection for the carbon sidewalls, which ENVE claims drastically reduces the chance of getting a pinch flat.

enve carbon rim strip tubeless
The polymer rim strip creates an airtight tubeless seal with the tyre, so no tubeless tape is required.
Made in house at ENVE from a polymer, 
The rim strip protects the hookless sidewalls, and drastically reduces the chance of getting pinch flats.

The thick polymer strip comes with each rim, and if you buy a complete wheelset, a spare comes in the box. If you damage the strip, it can be removed and a fresh one can be reinstalled. Of note is that the rim requires the rim strip to be fitted – you cannot install a tyre onto the rim without the rim strip.

enve rim strip
ENVE recommends using a special tool to install and remove the rim strip, to avoid riders going anywhere near their carbon rims with steel tyre levers.

In the case of the M930 rim, ENVE states that the rim will break before you could possibly pinch flat. And because the rim strip forms a snug, airtight seal, the theory is that you can still finish your run with an inflated tyre, even after breaking a wheel. A potential race-winning feature for a high-level athlete, or for the punter, the difference between walking or riding the final 10km of a long day out on the bike.

ross orange enve bikepark wales
Ross The Destroyer aboard the new ENVE M735 carbon rims. Photo: Callum Philpott.

During the ride days at Bikepark Wales, Ross had the chance to strap several different wheels onto his Orange Stage 6, including the new M630 and the M735 with The Stripper installed. Looking to test ENVE’s claims for pinch flat resistance, Ross spent two full days riding some of the centre’s best known trails including Vicious Valley, Dai Hard, Coal Not Dole, Sixtapod, Terry’s Belly, Popty Ping, Fifty Shades Of Black, and the aptly titled Rim Dinger.

carbon rim maxxis tyre flat
He couldn’t be sure it was a pinch flat, but Ross did manage to pierce a hole through the Maxxis Aggressor tyre. Then the ENVE guys told him to keep riding…

Ross being Ross, he rode the absolute bejeesus out of the wheels, riding almost every trail at Bikepark Wales. On Coal Not Dole, he managed to give the rear wheel a particularly hard whallop into a big rock, puncturing the tyre that caused a decent hole just inside the cornering tread. Despite the gaping hole in the tread and the flat tyre, the folks from ENVE that Ross was riding with encouraged him to continue riding the rest of the run – Aaron Gwin style.

After riding the remainder of the rocky trails all the way to the bottom on a flat tyre, Ross was surprised to find there was absolutely no damage to the rim. No chips or cracks, and the wheel was still straight and true. Impressive.

ross bikepark wales enve orange
Despite the punishing the rims took, the wheels remained dead true. Photo: Callum Philpott.

Given there was no opportunity to perform any back-to-back testing with non-ENVE wheels, there’s only so much that Ross can say about the performance of the new M-Series wheels, aside from being thoroughly impressed that the rear wheel didn’t explode when he rode it flat.

However, with the new specs and dimensions that ENVE are offering with its new range, the new M-Series wheels look to build on the brand’s reputation for building high quality carbon rims with a new array of options that’ll suit a wide variety of riders and riding conditions.

Read on below for the full specs and pricing for each of the new M-Series wheel option, and get in touch with Saddleback for further information on availability.

enve m525 carbon wheel
ENVE’s lightest mountain bike wheelset; the M525.

ENVE M525 Features

  • Application: XC & Trail
  • Designed for hardtails and bikes with up to 120mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.1in – 2.4in wide
  • Internal rim width: 25mm
  • External rim width: 33.5mm
  • Rim depth: 25mm
  • 24 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 345g (27.5in), 365g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1317g (27.5in), 1370g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3100
enve m630 carbon wheel
30mm internal rim width on the M630 wheels.

ENVE M630 Features

  • Application: Trail & Enduro
  • Designed for bikes with 100-160mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.3in – 2.5in wide
  • Internal rim width: 30mm
  • External rim width: 38.5mm
  • Rim depth: 26.5mm
  • 28 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 392g (27.5in), 419g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1610g (27.5in), 1680g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3100
enve m635 carbon wheel
For plus bikes, the ENVE M635 will fit up to a 2.8in wide tyre.

ENVE M635 Features

  • Application: Trail & Enduro
  • Designed for bikes with 100-160mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.5in – 2.8in wide
  • Internal rim width: 35mm
  • External rim width: 43.5mm
  • Rim depth: 26.5mm
  • 28 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 414g (27.5in), 442g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1654g (27.5in), 1726g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3100
enve m640 carbon wheel
And the widest option from ENVE; the M640.

ENVE M640 Features

  • Application: Trail & Enduro
  • Designed for bikes with 100-160mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.8in – 3.2in wide
  • Internal rim width: 40mm
  • External rim width: 49mm
  • Rim depth: 25mm
  • 28 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 467g (27.5in), 502g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1760g (27.5in), 1846g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3100
enve m730 carbon wheel
The M730 comes equipped with ‘The Stripper’.

ENVE M730 Features

  • Application: Enduro & Downhill
  • Designed for bikes with 130-180mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.3in – 2.5in wide
  • Internal rim width: 30mm
  • External rim width: 36mm
  • Rim depth: 27mm
  • Includes tubeless protective rim strip for pinch-flat protection
  • 32 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 492g (27.5in), 522g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1851g (27.5in), 1928g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3200
enve m735 carbon wheel
For enduro racers running 2.5-2.8in wide tyres, the M735 is your ticket.

ENVE M735 Features

  • Application: Enduro & Downhill
  • Designed for bikes with 130-180mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.5in – 2.8in wide
  • Internal rim width: 35mm
  • External rim width: 41mm
  • Rim depth: 27mm
  • Includes tubeless protective rim strip for pinch-flat protection
  • 32 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Also available in an e-MTB version with double butted spokes and a stainless steel freehub body
  • Rim weights: 512g (27.5in), 542g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 1891g (27.5in), 1968g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3200
enve m930 carbon wheel
And the heaviest and burliest of the lot, the M930 downhill wheel.

ENVE M930 Features

  • Application: Downhill
  • Designed for bikes with 180-200mm travel
  • Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
  • Tyre width: 2.5in – 2.8in wide
  • Internal rim width: 40mm
  • External rim width: 30mm
  • Rim depth: 27mm
  • Includes tubeless protective rim strip for pinch-flat protection
  • 32 moulded spoke holes per rim
  • Complete wheels built with Chris King hubs & DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
  • Rim weights: 572g (27.5in), 632g (29in)
  • Complete wheel weights: 2010g (27.5in), 2044g (29in)
  • Rim RRP: £1050 each
  • Complete wheelset RRP: £3200
ross orange stage 5 enve
Enduro Ross!

Disclosure

Transport and accommodation for this press trip were provided by ENVE Composites.

Comments (1)

  1. Enve m930, internal rim width 40mm, external width 30mm. Interesting.

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