In designing ENVE wheels, our engineers set out to produce the strongest, fastest, stiffest, lightest and most durable and reliable wheels on the planet. Through materials, tooling and finite processes, our engineers were able to design features into each wheel that addressed all the major historical issues carbon wheels have been renowned for: low spoke tension, spoke pull through, spoke breakage, low hoop strength and poor, uneven braking.
So what are the differences between an ENVE wheel and a competitor brand?
Perhaps the major difference is that we have a patented process where we mold in the spoke holes. All other manufacturers drill the spoke holes which weakens the surrounding area. Carbon fiber gets its strength from running continuous, not broken fibers. Routing the fibers around the hole effectively increases the strength of the area around the spoke hole, thus allowing us to build a higher tensioned wheel. That's up to 130kg in the front and 150kg on the drive side rear. A stronger spoke hole also reduces the possibility of spoke pull through. A conical surface is molded into the inside of the rim to optimize the interface with the Pillar nipple. This allows the spoke to articulate as it exits the spoke hole, ensuring that it won't bind on the rim; greatly reducing the possibility of spoke breakage.
Since all tooling is machined in-house to extremely tight tolerances, ENVE's proprietary molding process can incorporate extreme pressure in the tooling. This creates a flat, round part straight out of the mold, and further, the raised braking surface is then machined to eliminate any irregularities. Our proprietary grey pads are recommended to be used with our rims as our testing has proven that these achieve the best results in dissipating the heat generated when braking.
Finally, we don't have to "reinforce" any areas in the part to account for drilling. That, along with the high pressure molding, yields an incredibly light and strong rim - an altogether superior quality product that delivers everything you could possibly expect from a top of the line, pro level race wheel.