Smart Enve System 3.4 carbon wheelset - first look

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Smart Enve System 3.4 carbon wheelset – first look

The arrival of an inconspicuous cardboard box at RCUK headquarters did little to raise heart rates. Its contents might.

Enve made the 3.4 range to create a multipurpose rim suitable for use in a wide range of weather conditions (especially in high wind speeds), and in mountainous terrain. The numbering system refers to the rim depth: the front wheel is 35mm deep, the rear 45mm. They’re available in tubular or clincher form. Our test set are tubs.

They’re laced with Sapim CX Ray spokes:  20 in a radial configuration at the front, 24 crossed at the rear. At the centre of each, a red anodised Chris King R45 hub should spin beautifully, if previous experience is a guide. Without tubular tyres, quick release, or cassette, this set up tipped our scales at 1275 grams (Enve claim 1243 grams).

The set we’ll be testing costs £2,300. If you feel the need to spend more money to save a tiny amount of weight, the same rims can be laced to the excellent DT Swiss 180 hubs. Clincher versions of the 3.4’s will cost an extra £100 as the rim profile is said to be more complex to manufacture.

Further differences between front and rear wheels can be found in the width of the rim (26mm at the front; 24mm at the rear), the result of a collaboration with Simon Smart to create a profile that increases stability in the wind as well as improving the flat speed of the bike.  A wider rim track is used to create a flush finish between the tyre and the rim and improve the aero dynamic performance.

Glued to our matt finished carbon rims is a set of Vredestein Fortezza Pro Tricomp tubs, from which we’ve experienced good results in their clincher incarnation.

Check back soon for a full review.

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