By James Bracey
Enve has announced the first ever tyre range under its all encompassing SES banner. The range will initially launch with just two tubeless ready Enve SES road tyres, in 25 and 29mm widths, with two more widths coming later in the year.
Enve has built its world around the production of premium carbon wheels manufactured within its own facilities in Utah. But until now in order to maximise the performance benefits achieved through the use of one of its wheelsets riders have been reliant on equipping the wheels with tyres sourced from other brands. differing tyres can then have an impact on the level of performance Enve's wheels are capable of producing.
The new Enve SES road tyres aren't just focussed around aerodynamic advantages (although they are of course 'aero optimised'), Enve acknowledge that for the everyday rider performance is based on a number of metrics that all pull in separate ways: hard-wearing reliability, low rolling-resistance, puncture resistance, user-friendly set up and weight all have equal share. The new SES road tubeless tyres promise to achieve a unique balance based upon these characteristics and Enve's tag line for the new range is 'real world fast'.
So why wait until now to make the new SES tyres?
Enve has been one of the key players in developing aerodynamic focussed rims and wheel systems for over a decade and in that time has seen rim profiles change drastically as research and understanding of cycling aerodynamics has grown in that time. One of the overriding things to come out of recent research and testing is that rim shapes are getting pretty well optimised, to the point where further developments are resulting in more and more marginal gains. And it's at this point that Enve, along with many other wheel brands, has come to acknowledge that further gains are now down to role of the tyre. In fact, like many wheel brands, Enve's recent rim profiles have in some part been dictated by changes in tyre trends and have always focussed on ensuring maximum compatibility with the best tyres on the market.
Simon Smart, world renowned aerodynamicist and Enve's long term aerodynamics partner states why Enve has jumped into the tyre game, "Whilst we were driven to make our rims as stable and aerodynamically efficient as possible with other manufacturer’s tires, there was always that thought that it would be better if we could have complete control over the tire and rim".
The SES tyres
As manufacturing tyres would be a complete departure from Enve's current manufacturing expertise it has brought in an expert in the shape of Tufo, the Czech tyre manufacturer famous for its handmade cyclocross tyres amongst others, to take control of the process.
Each of the four sizes that will make up the full range (25, 27, 29 and 31mm) has been developed to work with the full range of Enve internal rim widths from 19mm through to 25mm, as well as being compatible with wheels for all other manufacturers. The tyres will produce differing actual widths dependent upon the rim used.
The tyres feature a SPC Silica high performance road racing tread compound. Featuring 66 Shore A durometer rubber and provides a balanced blend of synthetic and natural rubbers with activated silica filler for excellent wet weather performance and low rolling resistance. The Breakaway tread design and tyre’s shape deliver aero performance by aiding air flow attachment from tyre to rim across the range of yaw angles. Finally the tread thickness balances longevity and rolling resistance.
The carcass features a Vectran layer for added puncture protection and a road tubeless specific bead stiffness and diameter. This is important for delivering a consistent seal between tyre and rim for improved air retention. The tyre bead diameter is consistent and allows for user-friendly installation while also reducing compressive stresses on the rim which can cause wheel to go out of true.
The tyres will be available in four widths, 25, 27, 29 and 31mm. 25 and 29mm are shipping now and the other two will hopefully be available from October 2020. Retail price will be £70.00 for all widths.
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