Photos by Danny Munson and Pinned Grit
On Cinco de Mayo, the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride will roll into its 8th year and this time ENVE will be at the party as the official wheel and handlebar partner. A number of us here at ENVE have already experienced the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride and enjoyed the numerous challenges it threw our way, so we’re officially making it a work trip this time.
The BWR continues to be celebrated as one of the most unique cycling events in America and is notorious for its difficult dirt sections, which are woven throughout the 136-mile San Diego County, California route. It’s hard to imagine a better environment for ENVE wheel technology to shine.
With 46 dirt miles consisting of half-buried rocks, sand pits, and technical singletrack descents, in addition to 90 miles of pavement, wheel and tire selection become one of the most critical equipment decisions there is. “Having ridden every edition of the BWR, I know how imperative choosing the appropriate equipment is for not only making it to the finish, but having a positive experience on the day. Efficiency and flat prevention are key, which are both things ENVE brings to the table in our wheel designs”, said ENVE’s Neil Shirley.
When the first BWR rolled out in 2012, event founder Michael Marckx took the 136 invite-only group on what would be the longest and hardest ride most of them had ever experienced. Stringing together some of the best paved roads in East County San Diego with dirt connectors suited more to a mountain bike, the event helped shape the mixed-surface segment and pushed what riders were doing on drop bar bikes.
“Each and every year since the inaugural event, I’ve changed the course. We’ve never had the same course twice…not even close. As the courses have evolved, they’ve gotten only more challenging. The 2019 course, which throws rock-laden trails, huge climbs, and headwinds at riders, will require a very select pair of wheels; that means strong, light, stiff and aero wheels are a must. This is why the ENVE partnership is so exciting for us,” said Marckx.
ENVE’s 11-year history as a U.S. carbon rim manufacturer allows them to bring their expertise and wheel technology to an environment that needs it the most. “In 2016, we launched our one of a kind SES 4.5 AR, this is a wheelset that was inspired by wheel testing with Team Dimension Data in the lead up to the spring classics. The vision was a wheel that accommodates high volume road tires without sacrificing aerodynamics, and the 4.5 AR was born. While different from Paris-Roubaix, BWR riders are faced with similar challenges. For riders looking to maximize comfort and speed, the 4.5 AR stands alone. For riders looking to maximize weight savings, flat protection, and comfort our gravel specific G23 stands alone. Ultimately, our goal is to help riders have the most enjoyable day of suffering possible,” stated ENVE’s Jake Pantone.
In addition to being the official wheel of the BWR, ENVE will be hosting the Belgian ENVE Exploration Ride, or BEER for short, course preview from the expo at Lost Abbey on Saturday, May 4th. The ride will be open to everyone and will consist of a 25-mile loop that takes in part of the following day’s course.
From January 11-13, ENVE will be supporting the BWR Survival Camp by Source Endurance with demo wheels so attendees can experience the difference in ride quality and flat tire prevention ENVE wheels provide.