Let’s face it, punctures suck! A puncture can mean anything from a loss of a riding day on holiday, to ruining an entire racing career. ENVE’s new M Series wheels aim to stop the pinch-flat blues.
ENVE is a name synonymous with high-end carbon wheels and empty bank accounts, their iconic M-series wheels have become the global sign of someone who not only wants the best parts for their bikes, but also who has the financial muscle to pay for the privilege. Manufactured 100% in their fabrication plant in Ogden, Utah, ENVE has always had the ethos to build the best mountain bike wheels money can buy, and their latest M-series announced today boast some very interesting new technologies to minimise tire sidewall pinch-flats.
The new ENVE M Series Naming
ENVE have always given the end-user lots of choice, allowing them to choose what level of strength and weight they desire, now they want to make rim-width decisions easier too. As such, the naming of the M Series is evolving, the old system classified wheels based on descending priority, M50, M70, M90 with 50%, 70% 90% respectively. ENVE have kept the foundations of that classification and added information on rim width to the naming too. So a 30 mm wide M70 now becomes the M730, a 40 mm internal M60 becomes the M640, easy and simple. Choose your descending/climbing preference then choose your rim-width.
Why use different rim widths?
ENVE believe that rim-width is a very important factor when choosing rims, based predominantly on the width of tire that works best or your local trails.
- 25 mm will be available in XC only M525
- 30mm – fast becoming the new standard for general MTB with 2.3 – 2.5 inch tires, this width will be available in M630, M730 and M930
- 35 mm – For those looking for a wide-trail wheel for added volume and lower pressures with 2.5 – 2.8 inch tires this option will be available in M635 and M735.
- 40 mm – For those looking for a wide rim for 2.7 – 3.2 inch tires, the new M640 will hold up the super wide end of the scale.
The new M Series at a glance
The new M series wheels are far more than just a simple reclassification, all the laminates and lay-ups have been tuned to bring dramatic increases in strength and performance while reducing the harsh stiffness that has been noticed in ENVE’s before. Two new innovative puncture resistance technologies have been brought in also. All options will be available in both 27.5 and 29-inch models.
ENVEs flagship XC wheel has a 25 mm internal width and comes in at less than 1350g, with 345 g (27.5) and 365 g (29) and 24 spokes. ENVE claim a 40% increase in impact toughness and 50 % more flat resistance. The wheels have been Ride Tuned to increase compliance and reduce fatigue.
M630, M635 and M640
Aimed at the adventurous trail rider, the M6 series is available in 30, 35 and 40 mm internal widths with a rim weight of 380 g (27.5/30) to 490 g (29/40). ENVE claim a 30% increase in impact toughness and 60% more flat resistance. The M6 range has also been Ride Tuned for more compliance.
M730, M735 and M735 E-Spec
A big hit wheel for Enduro racers and gravity enthusiasts, the popular M7 series is available in 30 and 35 mm internal widths, with the rims weighing in at 530 g (27.5/30) and 600 g (29/35). ENVE also says this is the best choice for E-MTB riders. ENVE claim a 10% increase in impact toughness and 100% more flat resistance. The wheels have again been Ride Tuned to increase the compliance.
ENVE claim this is the definitive DH wheel, tubeless, virtually pinch-proof and uses no tape. With a 30 mm internal width and a rims weight of 660 g they boast a 20% increase in impact toughness and 100% more flat resistance. Ride Tuning has improved the compliance of the ride.
What is the new Dynamic Impact Design
ENVE understand our ‘why are we still getting bast$rd pinch-flats” cry and have a potential solution to the dastardly problem. There are already a host of products on the market, from inserts like Huck Norris to thicker sidewall tires like the Maxxis’ DoubleDown, but ENVE believes this can be done in with the rim design alone. They do this in two ways, using the Wide Hookless Bead of the M525, M630 and M635 and the Protective Rim Strip of the M730, M735, M735 E-Spec and M930.
Wide Hookless Bead
By increasing the width at the leading edge to 4.5 mm (most rims are 2-3 mm) the pinching forces are reduced in a potential pinch-flat scenario. This rounded edge is designed to absorb impact and improve impact resistance. In ENVE’s testing, this has shown a 60% improvement in pinch flats and 30% improvements in impact strength.
Protective Rim Strip
The biggest and most exciting development of the new ENVE wheels is the Protective Rim Strip available in the M7 and M9 range. This is an integral, rubber bumper that sits in the rim bed and is designed to replace the need for heavy inserts like Cush Core and Huck Norris etc. The strip completely seals the air chamber, so no tape is needed, and increases the rim edge to 5 mm, helping to dissipate loads and absorb energy. In ENVE’s own drop testing, they have shown a 100% improvement in pinch flatting, in fact, the forces involved break the rim before the tire is pinched.
Can I fit the Protective Rim Strip to old ENVE rims
Unfortunately not, the Protective Rim Strip is integral to the rim design ensuring the correct bead seat diameter and proper sidewall height, and while it is easily removable and replaceable, is only compatible with the latest M7 and M9 series rims (which cannot be ridden without the strip installed). The protective rim strip cannot be used on any other wheels.
Pricing of the new ENVE M series
Take a seat, grab a beer and prepare yourself for the pricing of the latest ENVE wheelsets.
M525 will retail for £1050 per rim – £2100 per set (not built)
M630-35 will retail for £1050 per rim – £2100 per set (not built)
Built M525 and M6 series with Chris King hubs only – £3100
M730-35-40 – M930 will retail for £1100 Per rim – £2200 per set (not Built)
Built M7-M9 with Chris King hubs only £3200
Our ride impressions
We were invited down to test out the new wheels, and get some time on the new Protective Rim Strips. We only had a short time on the new ENVE M-Series wheels and without back to back testing it’s impossible to draw conclusions about the feel and reliability. However, what was telling was the choice of BikePark Wales as a test location, with a million square edged hits ENVE must be confident. When it comes to the new Dynamic Impact Design technologies, ultimately they will be judged by their performance in the field, but if ENVE has found a way to stop infuriating pinch-flats then this could be the biggest thing in wheel technology since they started making them round. However, with a truly eye-watering cost, they will have to be nothing short of perfection to command such towering premiums.
Words & Photos: Trev Worsey