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Coveted: Ride Wide

  • By Ian Buchanan
  • Published Dec 5, 2012
  • Updated 9 hours ago

Combining speed, control and reliability, these wheels are the perfect race-day weapon and make everyday rides even better.

This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.

Wind tunnel test results indicate that the Smart Enve System 6.7 Clincher is at or near the head of the class aerodynamically—more than holding its own against many deeper options. The wheelset consists of a 60mm front rim and a 70mm rear rim. Passing wind crosses the rider at a shallower angle at the rear, and a deeper, narrower rim is best suited to those conditions, but a shallower and wider alternative is ideal for the front. So, Enve designed the front rim 26mm wide, and the rear is 24mm.

While wheel aerodynamics have improved over the past five years, increased stability has been the most meaningful leap. The Enve 6.7s feel as stabile as other conventional aero wheels that are half as deep, which helps maintain control in a wider variety of conditions without expending extra energy trying to keep the bike going straight. When it comes to responsiveness, Enve also hit the nail on the head. The 6.7 is possibly the laterally stiffest deep wheelset I have ridden.

In addition to the handling, power transmission and aerodynamic benefits, the braking track modulates well. It does not pulse, and it boasts stopping power similar to an alloy rim when used with SwissStop Yellow King pads. My only criticism of the 6.7 is hub selection: DT Swiss 240 hubs roll smoothly and are exceptionally durable, but they exhibit more bearing seal drag than some of the competition. They’re perfect if you’re going to bring the 6.7s out for big weekly rides in addition to race day.

How it was made: Enve solicited the help of cycling and auto racing aerodynamicist Simon Smart to craft the rim shape. The Utah-based company designed the structural carbon layup and creates the rims in its stateside factory.

Ian Buchanan is an industry-leading bike fitter and co-owner of New England-based specialty triathlon and cycling store Fit Werx (Fitwerx.com).

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FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech / InsideTri TAGS: / /

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