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Want to Make Your Bike More Versatile? Start with the Wheels

Enve’s newest wheels are for road cyclists who want to take their bikes from smooth tarmac to dirt and back again.

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Sea Otter Classic, North America’s premier cycling festival, is happening now at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-day event hosts hundreds of world-class riders who are competing in mountain and road races as well as brands big and small that are revealing new products for 2019 and beyond. We have a team on the ground to bring you intel on all of the most exciting product releases. Follow our coverage here.

Key Specs:
Brand: Enve
Model: 3.4 AR
Price: $2,550
Availability: Available Now
Unique Features: Wider rims, lightweight, tubeless compatibility and bombproof construction make this wheel an excellent choice for just about any bike with drop bars.

Upshot: Enve’s latest wheelset combines its AR (All Road) width rim bed with a low profile, wide, and lightweight rim set to offer a wheel that performs well uphill and down, as well as in crosswinds.

Who It’s For: Cyclists with drop bar bikes, particularly those with an inclination to wander off smooth tarmac onto trails and minor roads.

Insight: Road bikes have been changing a lot recently. Once there were racing bikes that used 21-23-millimeter tires, cyclocross bikes that used the same wheels and marginally wider tires, and everything else was considered a mountain bike or a hybrid. These days it’s not uncommon to see road riders using tires that would be too wide for a cyclocross race (where 33 millimeters is the largest permitted external diameter). Gravel bikes go even farther with tires more than twice the width of the 25-millimeter maximum clearance that was long considered an industry standard for road bikes. These bigger tires let riders ride in a broader variety of roads and trails, but they only really deliver the comfort and grip that they promise when paired with a suitably wide rim to support them.

Enve’s latest wheelset is designed from the ground up to set the standard for modern wheels. The 3.4 AR retains the brand’s signature high-quality construction and adds a wider rim bed that is optimized for the wider, current tubeless tire standards and uses a hookless rim that ensures a stable and reliable tire-to-rim interface. Both the front and rear 3.4 AR rims are optimized for their role on the bike, and as a result, they differ slightly in depth.

Unlike many deep section wheels, the 3.4 ARs don’t feel sketchy in crosswinds or heavy when accelerating. I rode the 3.4 AR 150 miles from San Francisco to Sea Otter in Monterey, and they were notably stable descending, provided a comfortable ride, accelerated fast, and provided impressive crosswind performance. With wheels like these set up with wider tires, modern road bikes can become a lot more versatile, comfortable, and fun. If you’re still riding narrow rims and 23s, these might be the best road riding upgrade you can make.

Learn More: Here

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