How ENVE Became the First Carbon Wheel to Win in Downhill The History of ENVE’s Winning Record

Photos by Dave Trumpore

The year was 2010, and the 26” wheels on the downhill bikes at the UCI World Cup were only made of one thing: aluminum. Alloy was acceptably light, strong and reliable, so why change? At this time, carbon was just going mainstream on the road, and though it could be seen on some bikes, it was still unproven. It seemed to everyone to be the promise of the future, but felt far off.

It took a couple crazy guys on a bet to do something no one had really thought possible: create a carbon fiber wheel that could win downhill races.

ENVE knew that at its core, carbon fiber was the superior material for creating the highest-performing bike equipment on the planet. It is tuneable and customizable in a way that simply isn’t possible with other materials. Composite materials can be changed in their layout, thickness, quantity, and a hundred other ways, which makes the end product incredibly adaptable. All these changes affect strength, weight, stiffness, compliance and other factors very quickly and noticeably. This was what ENVE knew would give it an edge over the alloy competition.

In return for team sponsorship, ENVE received priceless feedback and criticism from the world’s top downhill riders. This feedback drove new iterations, which led to new feedback, and the carbon DH wheel evolved and the riders excelled.

Since 2010, ENVE has entered 78 UCI World Cup and World Championship races and has been on the top five steps of the podium an amazing 62 times. That means there’s been an ENVE-equipped bike on the podium of 79% of all UCI races entered since 2010. More results include:

  • 3 World Championships
  • 1 Elite Men’s DH Overall Win
  • 1 Junior DH Overall Win
  • 19 Race Wins (24% of races entered)
  • 62 Top-Five podiums (79% of all races entered)
  • 50 Top-Three Podiums (64% of all races entered)

And those are just UCI-sponsored races. Many privateers are fiercely loyal to the ENVE brand, and trust our tech while battling the clock at every turn. They’re out winning local and regional races every weekend, and we’re proud to support them.

ENVE’s race program accelerated carbon wheel innovation, and continues to drive change throughout the industry. Obviously carbon works.

Thank you to all the riders who have pushed us to innovate over the last decade. Now let’s go racing.