Strong, Light, Stiff, and Aero – The ENVE Process

Carbon fiber manufacturing is a game of tradeoffs. When looking for a new set of wheels, you need to ask these questions:

  • How can I get the strongest, yet lightest wheel?
  • Can I get a stiff and efficient wheel without sacrificing comfort?
  • If I ride these wheels every day, how much maintenance will they require?

So, at ENVE we are in the business of reducing tradeoffs. We want it all; producing a wheel that is light and strong, stiff and comfortable, fast and stable, durable and maintenance-free. We don’t believe in “race-only” wheels. We believe your fastest wheels should be ridden every day.

Making everyday race wheels without tradeoffs requires serious technology. This is what differentiates ENVE wheels from the competition:


ENVE wheels are strong. Very strong. Why? Because people like Danny MacAskill and Josh Bryceland do insane things on them. The strength of our wheels is derived from a combination of factors: great structural design, intense molding and thoughtful wheelbuilding. One of the most important factors is ENVE’s PATENTED ability to mold, rather than drill spoke holes. This ensures unbroken carbon fibers throughout the wheel. That translates to a stronger wheel per gram of weight.

Molded Spoke and Valve Holes Patent: # US 8,313,155

Our patented process of molding spoke and valve stem holes results in rims that are stronger and lighter. Because carbon fiber gets its strength from continuous fibers, ENVE routes the fibers around the hole without cutting them which increases the strength of each spoke hole. This technique pays large dividends in the final product by allowing for a lighter spoke face while improving rim strength. Because of this process, our spoke holes are capable of maintaining higher spoke tensions which greatly reduces the risk of spoke pull-through, and the need to constantly true your wheels. Strong, light and maintenance free.

Molded Spoke anv Valve Holes


Weight is the sworn enemy of speed. However, light is typically not associated with strength. In cycling, you want every ounce working toward making your frame and components strong. At ENVE, we use removeable bladders and no paint or filler. All of the weight is in intensely molded carbon fiber. This can save as much as 120g (or 1/4 pound) of unbalanced weight over a wheelset. So – when asking how much something weighs, make sure all the weight is there to also help make it functionally strong.

Removable Bladders

We have a confession. We have removed a lot of bladders. Why? Because they are ugly and they add unbalanced rotational weight to a wheel. Bladders are basically balloons placed inside of a carbon laminate and inflated to press the carbon to the shape of the mold during manufacturing. They are necessary for manufacturing, but not ideal when riding. Unlike some, all our rims are made with removable bladders. Reducing tradeoffs.

Removable Bladders


Simply put, ENVE rims are stiff in all the right places. Through the use of unidirectional carbon fiber, we are able to achieve the optimal balance of vertical, lateral, and torsional stiffness.

Lateral stiffness – affects how a wheel tracks and manages forces that it is subjected to when navigating corners and accelerating.

Torsional stiffness – affects how a wheel feels when accelerating and decelerating. Optimized torsional stiffness means that power from the pedals is transferred through the drivetrain, hub, spokes and ultimately the rim in the quickest most efficient manner possible.

Vertical stiffness – is the amount of deflection a wheel experiences when compressed and/or impacted. We discuss this in more depth in our Building a Faster Wheel article.


More than ever, aero is the name of the game on the road or race circuit. All of our carbon fiber road and triathlon wheels are developed in-frame (i.e., on the bike) as an integrated system. Wheels are tested on multiple frame designs in order to produce net drag reduction no matter which bike you are riding. This unique approach to testing results in a wheel system that incorporates specific shapes and depths for the front and rear wheels because the airflow interacts with the front and back of the bike in different manners.

Patented Aerodynamics Patent # US 8,757,733

No. We’re not telling ourselves that we are smart. The Smart ENVE System is a collaboration with Simon Smart – computational fluid dynamics master and founder of Smart Aero Technologies. The SES rim shapes allow the airflow to remain uninterrupted through the most commonly seen yaw angles; reducing drag, improving stability, and ultimately improving rider performance and confidence.

Smart ENVE System


If you’ve made it this far, you know we are passionate about making you go further, faster. However, we are even more commited to being loyal to our consumers, so that they in turn are loyal to us. We back our products with a 5-Year No Hassle Warranty and Lifetime Crash Replacement. If something goes wrong with your wheels or components just call us. We’ll answer with a real, live person who likely loves to ride as much as you do. So, when you consider paying $3,000 for a set of ENVE wheels, think of it as $50 per month for the best wheels in the world backed by a company who truly cares about your experience.