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From the pages of Velo: Speed for Purchase

  • By Caley Fretz
  • Published Nov. 7, 2012
  • Updated Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM EST
Velo July 2012. Photos by Brad Kaminski

Enve System 6.7

While Bontrager entered this test with a rim-height disadvantage, the Enve entered with the opposite. A 60mm front rim is even with both Hed and Rolf, but the 70mm rear rim is the tallest in this test. We fully expected the wheels to do well in the wind tunnel.

They didn’t disappoint, taking a narrow but unsurprising victory over Hed by a single gram of drag. What did surprise us was the incredible crosswind control the wheels offered and the reasonable inertia figures. The deepest wheels in this test still spin up quickly, and crosswind performance was in a class of its own.

Unlike the other blunt-tailed sets here, the 6.7s don’t simply decrease the pressure felt on the handlebars as crosswinds kick up. They seem to actually smooth out gusts, drastically improving predictability. The sensation is almost odd at first — as if the front wheel is being pulled to the side by a rubber band, which serves to remove all the harsh inputs. Combined with phenomenal braking, excellent wind tunnel results, and acceptable inertia figures, the Enve 6.7s were the clear overall winner.

Quantitative Testing
The Enve 6.7s have the lowest overall drag across the full yaw angle sweep, but, more importantly, they were exceptionally quick all the way from 5° to 20°. They did fall behind Hed at -15°, where they seem to stall, but regained their composure as the angle tilted out towards -20°.

Despite being a few grams heavier than the Heds, Enve managed to keep the rotational inertia low. The wheels ended up tightly paired with the lighter Psimet and Rolf sets, and well ahead of Hed.

Subjective Testing
Enve provides the best crosswind performance in this test, smoothing out gusts and offering exceptionally predictable handling in all but the worst conditions. Hed is quite close, but did not offer the same damping of sudden gusts.

Braking performance was flawless. With the new SMART System wheels, Enve has updated its brake track technology with a surface treatment that works very well in both wet (they offered the most initial grip of any wheel in the test) and dry conditions. Gone is the pulsation we had experienced with Enve rims in the past.

Value
At $2,900, the 6.7s are $600 more expensive than any other wheel here. You could essentially buy three pairs of Psimets for the same price. Despite their excellent performance, that’s a big chunk of change, and hurts the overall value score.

Weight
As the heaviest in this test, Enve only gets 1 point.

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FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Reviews / VeloLab Tested TAGS: / / / / / /

Caley Fretz

Caley Fretz

Tech Editor Caley Fretz can usually be found chasing races along the backroads of Europe or testing bikes and gear in the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado. If you can't find him there, check the coffee shop across from VN World Headquarters.

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