Monday, February 13, 2012

ENVE Composites rims.  Last summer ENVE Composites launched their Smart Enve System (SES) rims.  These rims were designed with the help of Formula 1 aerodynamicis, Simon Smart (hence the name).  The goal is to have better aerodynamics than ever before with a twist.  The rims generate less torque in crosswinds so you can run a deeper profile than you normally could for the given conditions.

I spent last season on a set of the SES 6.7 rims built up to Alchemy hubs.  Long Island is a great place to experience variable wind conditions.  I routinely ride within a stone's throw of the Great South Bay on the unsheltered roads of Heckscher State Park.  Here, no matter which direction the wind is approaching from, you get experience headwinds, crosswinds, tailwinds, and gusts from every direction.

The behavior of the wheels is very predictable.  There is a gentle push, but there are no surprises even from the worst of gusts.  The trickiest of conditions is a headwind when the gust varies a few degrees.  The wind wants to steer the bike from a few degrees then immediately snapping off to the right.  I've ridden other rims in the 65-66mm depth in these same conditions and the difference is absolutely there.  I can ride in front of the pack or a couple of centimeters behind someone's wheel and hole my line better.

The fit and finish of the SES line of rims is second to none.  They have a satin luster with stealthy, decals on top.  You won't feel like a rolling billboard if you leave the decals on.  The brake track has a slightly rough texture to aid in brake modulation performance.  The rims don't have the feeling of sudden grabbing rather they are linear.  You can safely add pressure to the brake levers and not worry about locking up the rear wheel any more than alloy rims.  It doesn't hurt that the rims come with ENVE's own composition brake pads.

Are these wheels for you?  Let's talk.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Welcome.  I'll start out with some tools of the trade today.

Spokes go through here first.

Spokes need this.

Rims get a chamfer before assembly.

This is where I make it happen.