Gravity racing runs deep in ENVE’s DNA. World Cup Downhill racing is the fire in which we forged our first DH mountain bike product – and every new offering since – winning with carbon fiber in a discipline most thought to be too brutal for it. Now, ENVE carbon leads the world cup with wheels and handlebars that have earned more podiums than any other brand, alloy or carbon, since our debut in 2009.
In the meantime, enduro was blowing up, and we liked it. For several years we’ve been on the lookout for the right opportunity to partner a team in the Enduro World Series. The launch last fall of the game-changing new generation of M Series wheels meant the timing was never better, and then we found the perfect team.
“When Alchemy presented this program to us, the decision to partner with them was an easy one,” says ENVE Marketing Director Jake Pantone. “The riders are right, and since we have a long working relationship and established baseline with the team’s other technical partners, we’re hitting the ground running in 2018.”
While Anneke Beerten is new to the ENVE family, Cody Kelley raced for ENVE as a junior and into his first years as a pro, when he won the Sea Otter Dual Slalom in 2014.
“I’m stoked to be back with ENVE!” says Cody. “They were the first company to offer me support as a rider in the mountain bike world back in 2010, so I’m beyond excited to have their support again. I’ve always been a big fan of the ride quality and feel of ENVE’s carbon wheels. We’re excited as a team to have all the benefits of ENVE’s products in our pursuit of the EWS schedule. Having that instant acceleration out of the corners and unsurpassed dampening and control from the cockpit offer what I believe is a real competitive advantage for our team.”
At ENVE, the primary purpose of partnering with a top race team is always product development. Racers hammer our prototypes and they push us to reach higher. That’s how ENVE achieved the first wins for 26”, 27.5” and 29” carbon fiber wheels in a World Cup DH. We blazed the trail that the rest followed. These landmark wins, all the others that followed, and the bar-setting product that they shaped were only possible because we worked with riders whose searing speed was matched by the clarity of their feedback. With that in mind, VP of R&D, Scott Nielson, is happy to welcome Cody back into the ENVE family:
“Over the years, Cody has been instrumental as a test rider for our gravity oriented mountain bike products. Aside from being an extremely talented rider, Cody is in tune with his bike and notices the subtleties in the design of the products. These attributes have made him very valuable as a test rider.”
Before Cody and Anneke are tasked with evaluating prototypes of any future product, they will have plenty of chance to get to know the brand new M Series line and prove the enduro-focused M7 in competition for the first time. Jake Pantone details what they have in store: “Before this latest generation of M Series wheels, the biggest challenge faced by our enduro racers and riders has been pinch-flatting. To reduce the frequency and possibility of pinch-flatting, our riders and many others were running heavier tires, tire inserts, and always more tire pressure than preferred, all of which results in compromised ride quality. The new M7 and M9 Series wheels that feature our patented Protective Rim Strips eliminate pinch-flats and allow riders to run any tire and pressure they prefer. By eliminating pinch-flats, we reduce the likelihood of a broken rim because most of the rim damage we see is reported to happen immediately after the impacts that flat the tire. We firmly believe the new M Series offers a real competitive advantage that will deliver our riders to the finish line faster and more consistently than your ordinary wheel could.”
The US-based Alchemy Factory Racing team will be riding Alchemy Arktos frames equipped with ENVE wheels, handlebars, and stems. Look out for Cody and Anneke in the EWS, and check back here for more content with the team through the season.