ENVE 65 – A VALUE AERO FOUNDATION
If you’re not all-in on aero but want some aero benefits, the ENVE 65 wheelset provides a solid foundation for aero riding without making a maximal investment.
What is all in? Aero frame, aero components, aero kit, 23-25mph/37-40kph, TT and crit racers, where every bike length matters.
What is want some aero benefits? Race bike, aero aware, 20mph/32kph and up, fast group rides, occasional races, where going fast on flats and gently rolling terrain matters.
Most aero wheelsets aren’t versatile enough to ride on all terrain. But on the right terrain and in the right riding situations, the best aero wheels make a decisive speed difference when compared to shallower, all-around ones.
If you want the benefits of the best aero wheelset performance but can’t quite justify the investment, the ENVE 65 will get you close and for a lot less. At US$1400 for the ENVE 65, that’s over US$1000 less than my best-rated aero road disc wheelset performers. ENVE’s pricing outside the US, £2100, €2550, puts them at a far smaller discount in other regions of the world.
The ENVE 65 is stiff and compliant. That’s a great combination to have in any wheelset, one that other aero and all-around wheelsets I’ve ridden priced in the same range as the ENVE 65 rarely pull off.
Aero performance is, obviously, the critically important measure of an aero wheelset. While we can’t test them in a wind tunnel, I and my fellow testers Nate and Miles can and have judged and compared how well these and other aero wheelsets hold their momentum at a range of aero speeds.
Based on those admittedly subjective evaluations, the ENVE 65 is on par with higher-priced aero wheelsets, though slightly off the pace of the best.
It also holds its own or, perhaps better said, holds you reasonably close to your line in crosswinds, better than some and not as well as others in our experience. The ratings and review chart provides specific comparisons on this measure.
The ENVE 65’s 28.3mm outside rim is wider than the tire per my measurements with the ENVE hookless rim compatible and approved/recommended 25mm tubeless tires.
Acceleration, handling, and climbing performance are on par with the average aero disc wheelset in this review but off the pace of the best performers. Whether those performance differences would be noticeable in a flat or rolling TT or crit is debatable. They would if you were to take them on hillier terrain or races with more demanding cornering.
The same ENVE Alloy hub internals engage and roll very well on the road and emit a low-frequency, hollow sound. The 65 uses the Foundation hub shell, only 6 grams heavier than the ones used on ENVE’s SES wheels which are milled to allow for their paired spoke lacing. You can also order the ENVE 65 with a distinctively louder Industry Nine hub if you prefer.
So how do the aero category’s Best Performers compare to the ENVE 65, and is that performance enough to justify the price difference?
The Best Performers are less affected by the crosswinds and can mount 28mm tires to provide more comfort and lower vibration loss rolling resistance without reducing aero performance.
The choice is up to your aero performance id and cycling budget ego to resolve.
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