As the riders of the Tour de France race across France, vying for the coveted jerseys and stage wins over the course of three weeks in July, we watch their tremendous feats of athleticism on lightweight bicycles and top of the line parts. During the Time Trials, we see F1 tier engineering and aerodynamics that result in the rider’s bikes looking more like fighter jets, than bicycles.
With ENVE, there’s a bit more than just high-tech materials and refined aerodynamics baked into the wheels and components being ridden by our riders on Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. Behind all of our wheels, there’s an ENVE employee in Ogden, Utah, USA who has hand-crafted each rim. However, when it comes to the advanced technology of the SES Disc wheel, there are only a select few employees who have undergone the immense training required to build these intricate wheels.
Andy has become an expert at small parts carbon lay-up and is now one of our SES Disc lay-up technicians. “At my previous job, I built race cars for Daytona and the biggest races in NASCAR. Now I build wheels for the Tour de France and the biggest races in cycling. I’m incredibly proud of my work, and especially excited to know where these wheels go, and where they’re being raced,” Andy says.
Training to become a Lay-Up Technician at ENVE is a six month process, and a highly respected and coveted role within the building. These technicians have a direct line to engineers to provide feedback, and receive training on building new models. Their input affects the final production model and how it’s made. The SES Disc wheel, in particular, has many very specific details integral to the entire process. It’s a daunting task, and certainly one for which to be proud.
It’s easy to see that the SES Disc is challenging to make. It requires passion, focus, and determination. Whether it’s seeing the finished product raced by a local, amateur athlete, or raced on cycling’s biggest stage, it’s something Andy and everyone at ENVE can point towards and say, “We made that.”