Enve launches Foundation gravel wheels
The Foundation range is considered 'mid-tier carbon', but these still retail at £1800 a pair
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Enve's 'accessibly priced' Foundation road wheels (opens in new tab) went down a treat in spring, and the brand has now grown the collection to include two sets of wheels targeted at gravel riding.
Enve calls the Foundation range its 'mid-price tier carbon' collection, notably the road models released in spring were hookless (opens in new tab), thus cheaper to produce and therefore allowing the brand to pass the saving on.
The brand's Foundation gravel (opens in new tab) range now consists of the AG25 in 700c and the 650 AG28. Both are hookless, a construction method that easily lends itself to the gravel world due to the lower tyre pressures at play there.
>>> Best gravel bike wheels (opens in new tab)
The focus here was on durability, suited to the heavy loads of bikepacking (opens in new tab) as well as the demands of gravel racing.
The AG25 comes with an internal rim width of 25mm, with a recommended tyre size of 32mm, whilst the AG26 measures 28mm to suit the wider gravel bike tyres (opens in new tab) that will be used - in this case a recommended 45mm. Both have a rim depth of 21mm and weigh a claimed 1460g.
Enve has used its 'Wide Hookless Bead' for these wheels, meaning that the surface of each of the rim's leading edges has a larger surface area, limiting the impact of curbs, potholes and the like - thus reducing the chance of pinch flats and offering a greater freedom of tyre pressure.
'Molded Spoke Holes' - Enve's patented tech, promises reliability via the use of carbon fibres which route around the hole, without being cut. The wheels feature the Foundation Road Hub seen on the models released in 2020, with a 40 ratchet drive mechanism and Enve's automatic preload system, which reportedly limits the chance of the hub developing play over time.
Discussing the construction method which allows Enve to offer Foundation wheels at a lower price point that its standard models, Jake Pantone, VP of Product and Brand said: “The purpose of the Foundation Collection is to bring the Enve ride experience to a broader range of riders. This is accomplished by simplifying the manufacturing processes, reducing labor costs that go into each wheel, and ultimately being able to offer a lower priced ENVE wheelset.
"However, despite the lower price of the Foundation Collection, riders can still enjoy the benefits of technologies such as the Wide Hookless Bead and Molded Spoke Hole. Like the mountain and road Foundation models, we held nothing back in making the AG line a quintessential gravel wheelset."
Of course, they're still not cheap - costing £1850 to UK shoppers and $1600 USD/$2899 AUD/$2250 CAD/ €1800 elsewhere.
All Enve wheels come with a lifetime incident protection and five year warranty, having been handcrafted in Utah.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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