ENVE (Formerly EDGE Composites) is a relatively new company with a strong composites background, specifically in the bicycle industry. Their engineers have worked for bike industry companies such as Schwinn/GT, Specialized, Felt, Reynolds and Easton. In fact, you're looking at over 30 years of carbon experience - and that's just on the engineering side. They're a bunch of composite tech heads and not afraid of introducing and investing in new design concepts, processes and technologies that enable them to offer the absolute best products on the market today (not to mention the things they're working on for tomorrow).
Of major importance to them is that their wheels are proudly made in the Ogden, Utah. They're an American company committed to American design, engineering and manufacturing. You'll often find their president in the lay-up tent rather than tapping on a Blackberry - and that's the epitome of how they all work together to reach a common goal.
There was a time that ENVE only developed products for other companies. In fact, they've been making all of the tubes and moulded parts for the nation's most fastidious frame builders - Parlee, Independent Fabrications, Calfee, Vanilla, Crumpton and Rugamer; custom artisans who refuse to adopt the big box mentality. That said, their demands are higher to the point of inspecting each and every tube used to build their designs. When you're committed to the perfect marriage of art and engineering, you don't settle for second best.
One thing you won't find from ENVE is a bunch of marketing hyperbola. Sure, they have a great PR and marketing department, but they're 100% wholesome in their statements, and they don't launch anything new until they are just as satisfied that their products are the best they can possibly be. They are not driven by a model year calendar. There's no fluff. No flash. Just quality engineered components that are guaranteed to be the best you've ever ridden - a statement that they take incredibly seriously. You only have to look at who they partner with to develop their distribution to understand just how committed they are to checking every box that the entire team is worthy of representing. It's all about walking it - and they have put plenty of miles in; as have their athletes.
They sponsor some incredible people, but you'd probably be even more surprised to find that we also take care of world class athletes that aren't allowed to run our decals because they're sponsored by competitors. That said, it's not just a compliment to the integrity of their products, it's a necessity in the minds of some of the worlds most demanding athletes. They can't tell you who they are... So they just leave that to you to go hunt them out. Suffice to say, they're everywhere...
EDGE COMPOSITES DESGIN PHILOSOPHY -
Carbon fiber is a great material for a bicycle: light, stiff and strong, if it’s used with absolute care and precision. Fibers get their strength from running continuous under tension so if a fiber is broken or drilled through, the area is immediately weakened. At EDGE we like to let each fiber do its job. That's why all of our products come out of the tool as a single, finished component with no drilling, no bonding, in fact, no additional operations that can compromise their integrity.
EDGE products are strong, optimizing materials and layup processes to provide the best laminate for the application. Designing parts that exceed industry standards, even the new rigorous CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standards. We test frequently and acutely, both internally and externally to prove our designs, and performance is validated by test rides and sponsored athletes and teams across the world.
EDGE products are light. By optimizing the laminate and substituting materials with a different “modulus of elasticity”, we can design a part that puts strength first and weight a close second. Using extreme high pressures to mold the part gives us excellent consolidation of the laminate, which results in strength and durability. And as the perfect compliment to this process, all of our holes are molded in. We don’t believe in drilling holes for spokes and brakes as this necessitates reinforcement of the area which only adds weight from fibers that are used for filler fabric.
Finally, through our process control, we can ensure that every part meets those same standards. The quality, strength and durability of EDGE products depends on it.
In designing EDGE wheels, our engineers set out to produce the strongest, fastest, stiffest, lightest and most durable and reliable wheels on the planet. Through materials, tooling and finite processes, our engineers were able to design features into each wheel that addressed all the major historical issues carbon wheels have been renowned for: low spoke tension, spoke pull through, spoke breakage, low hoop strength and poor, uneven braking.
So what are the differences between an EDGE wheel and a competitor brand?
Perhaps the major difference is that we have a patented process where we mold in the spoke holes. All other manufacturers drill the spoke holes which weakens the surrounding area. Carbon fiber gets its strength from running continuous, not broken fibers. Routing the fibers around the hole effectively increases the strength of the area around the spoke hole, thus allowing us to build a higher tensioned wheel. That's up to 130kg in the front and 150kg on the drive side rear. A stronger spoke hole also reduces the possibility of spoke pull through. A conical surface is molded into the inside of the rim to optimize the interface with the Pillar nipple. This allows the spoke to articulate as it exits the spoke hole, ensuring that it won't bind on the rim; greatly reducing the possibility of spoke breakage.
Since all tooling is machined in-house to extremely tight tolerances, EDGE's proprietary molding process can incorporate extreme pressure in the tooling. This creates a flat, round part straight out of the mold, and further, the raised braking surface is then machined to eliminate any irregularities. Swiss Stop yellow pads are recommended to be used with our rims as our testing has proven that these achieve the best results in dissipating the heat generated when braking.
Finally, we don't have to "reinforce" any areas in the part to account for drilling. That, along with the high pressure molding, yields an incredibly light and strong rim - an altogether superior quality product that delivers everything you could possibly expect from a top of the line, pro level race wheel.
Our Engineers ride, so they understand what creates a fork that is stiff yet compliant, strong yet light. One that performs under all conditions and exceeds the greatest of demands.
EDGE forks are molded as a one piece unit without any cut fibers, including the dropouts. The same technology used in EDGE wheels is used in EDGE forks: no cutting or bonding, the part pops out of the tool as is, resulting in strength from fibers running from the tip of the steerer tube to the bottom of the dropout. No co-molded steerer tube, nor bonded in dropouts.
EDGE Composites is practically famous for manufacturing tube sets for some the best artisan frame builders in the world.
A roll wrapped carbon tube is manufactured by wrapping unidirectional carbon fiber prepreg tape around a mandrel with the majority, but not all, of the carbon fiber running longitudinally. This type of construction offers a higher strength to weight ratio than is available in pultruded tubes. It is used where thin walled, lightweight tubes are required to provide additional torsional stiffness and high strength.
"We have worked with the team at EDGE Composites since 2006 and could not be happier with the partnership. EDGE Composites produces our custom tubing to our precise specifications, both bladder-molded (aero section) and roll-wrapped (round) tubes as well as our wishbone seat stay modules and custom parts for our triathlon bike. We also specify the 2.0 and 1.0 forks on our road, track, cross and triathlon bicycles. We love the performance, reliability and light weight of the forks as well. There is no other fork in this weight range that rides as nice."
Bob Parlee, Founder, PARLEE Cycles, Inc.
Edge Composites at Interbike 2009
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I test rode these wheels at On Dirt Demo and very nearly just kept going. By weight this is a great value wheel as well as a just plain great wheel. I was so impressed that, when it came time to by a power meter, I spent the extra and purchased it from Edge Composites.