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The Enve Foundation wheels collection: new aero wheels for under £2000

9 Apr 2020
Verdict:

The Enve Foundation designs are still made in-house in the USA but retail at a much lower price point than preexisting Enve wheelsets

The Enve Foundation collection is made up of three brand new wheelsets, two road and one MTB, that Enve says contain the same industry-leading technologies as its other wheelsets but retail for £1800.

Just like the Enve SES and AR ranges, the Foundation wheels are built in-house in the USA, and are backed by the brand’s no-questions ‘lifetime incident protection programme’. It means if the original owner damages their Foundation wheelset - or indeed any Enve wheelset, cockpit product or seat post - Enve will replace it.

‘A more accessibly-priced wheel collection has been on our project list for many years now,’ says Enve’s managing director, Jeremy Venz. ‘But only recently have we achieved the manufacturing efficiencies to be able to do it.

‘We’ve been in our new state-of-the-art carbon manufacturing facility for just over three years now and roughly a year ago, we achieved levels of efficiency in manufacturing that allow us to both produce Foundation collection as well as maintaining current production of our premium lines.’

The road-going Foundation wheelsets are named the 45 and 65, in reference to their respective rim depths, and are disc-brake only. They contain a number of proprietary technologies that Enve says make them worthy of a ‘best in class’ designation.

Buy the Enve Foundation 45 wheelset now from Enve

 

Aerodynamics

Having already spent 10 years developing aerodynamically efficient rim shapes in its SES wheel line, Enve was able to broadly carry over the profiles into the Foundation 45 and 65 wheelsets. Consequently the brand claims similar low drag, high stability values have been obtained.

‘The main difference between Foundation and SES being that the Foundation rim geometries are matched front to back whereas SES wheelsets feature rim shapes specifically optimised for the front and rear positions on the bike,’ says Enve.

 

Tubeless compatibility

The internal rim width of both Foundation wheelsets is 21mm, meaning the wheels pair best with 25mm and 28mm tyres, and are also tubeless ready thanks to the wheels’ hookless bead profile.

‘Riders understand there are performance advantages to the system, but for a trouble-free tubeless setup, the rim and tyre interface need to be precise. We choose hookless because it allows us to consistently produce the critical dimensional tolerances tubeless requires,’ says Enve’s Vice President of R&D, Scott Nielson.

The surface areas of each rim bead are also wide, which Enve says reduces the chances of pinch-flatting and improves the wheels’ impact resistance.

 

Buy the Enve Foundation 45 wheelset now from Enve

Enve Foundation hubs

Enve rims often come laced to Chris King hubs, which tends to add a significant chunk onto the cost of the brand’s wheelsets. The Foundation rims are laced onto Enve’s new Foundation hubs.

‘The Foundation hub uses the same internals as our premium hub offering, but with a simplified hub-shell,’ says Enve.

The hubs use a ratchet drive freehub system similar to DT Swiss's very well regarded design. Enve says the hubs also use a maintenance-free automatic pre-load system, which apparently eliminates bearing play over time.

This is in contrast to the Chris King R45 hubs frequently used with other Enve rims, which need manual bearing preload adjustment as the hubs wear in. While this responsibility is relatively simple to keep on top of, the Foundation hubs could be seen as having an advantage to users without the technical confidence to manually adjust bearing preload.

Interestingly, Venz mentions these are the ‘first instalments’ in the Foundation collection so it is reasonable to expect even more ‘affordable’ options from Enve in the future. An exciting prospect for many riders, no doubt.

Specs, weights and prices

Enve Foundation 45 wheels

Price: £1800  
Rim depth: 45mm  
Internal rim width: 21mm  
Weight: 1541g  

Enve Foundation 65 wheels

Price: £1800  
Rim depth: 65mm  
Internal rim width: 21mm  
Weight: 1621g  

Stock of the Foundation 45 and 65 wheelsets is available through Enve’s UK distributor Saddleback’s exclusive launch partner Sigma Sports.

Price: 
£1800

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