G27 Industry Nine 650B Disc Wheelset
Gravel riding and racing has come into its own with more and more cyclists adding gravel bikes to their stable, or trading in their pure road bikes for the versatility of an all-road drop bar bike. As such, the creation for components designed exclusively for riding over mixed terrain has blossomed and whether it's a multi-week bikepacking trip or just exploring some seldom used B-roads that's an easy bike ride from the house, all-road riding provides new riding opportunities and an escape from traffic. Just like other cycling disciplines, wider tire widths are dictating rim sizes and influencing wheel design. We've reached a point in gravel riding where, just as in mountain biking, some riders are opting for "plus" tires which in short, use a smaller diameter wheel (650b) with a wide, larger volume tire that make up almost the circumference of a 700c tire. What's achieved is the ability to run lower tire pressure, more floatation over loose terrain, and better traction and comfort over chunky gravel. ENVE Composites is used to providing discerning cyclists with top quality components and its newest gravel rim, the US-made G27, built in its Ogden, UT facility is an excellent option if your bike is "road plus" compatible and your riding would benefit from wider, lower pressure rubber. Lacing these hoops to smooth rolling and quick engaging 24h Industry Nine Torch Road hubs with 11-speed Shimano/SRAM freehub or XD driver and 15 or 12mm thru axles front and rear with centerlock rotor mounting take the wheels to a new level and we enjoy riding them as much as we ogle them. As part of ENVE's first gravel specific rim offering, these 650b tubeless hoops are extremely light at 320-grams per rim making short work of climbs and improving the overall handling of your bike. Factor in ENVE's Wide Hookless Bead technology for improved tire and rim durability and its optimized width for 650b tires between 2 and 2.2-inches wide and you have a premium setup that's more than strong enough for everyday training and are still an ultimate wheelset for race day. The G27 Industry Nine 650B Disc Wheelset is on our dream bike wishlist for a wheel upgrade or new build spec.
As we mentioned above, this is part of the ENVE G-Series that's the first rimset from ENVE specifically built for gravel training and racing. As part of its development, it received valuable feedback from its in-house riders as well as sponsored racers with a goal to build a super lightweight set of hoops with the durability needed so you aren't stranded in the middle of nowhere with a mechanical. And since gravel bikes tend to sport very little to no travel and tires are run at a very low pressure, its wide rim bead is extremely welcome as it virtually eliminates the rims cutting lightweight tires during bottom out as well as providing reinforcement for the rim and increasing durability.
Hookless rim beads first appeared on ENVE's last generation M-Series and are currently used on all of its mountain rims. They provide a vast improvement over the former XC, AM, and DH rims offering easier tubeless setup, improved rim durability, and increased weight savings. After a few seasons, the only complaint was the narrow bead hook proved sharp on bottom outs, often leading to sliced tires. With the G27, it employs a wider hookless bead that's the culmination of over 2 years of development met to address both rim and tire durability. The rim shape features a broader leading edge on the bead which creates a more forgiving platform for the tire to bottom out, thus reducing the likelihood of pinch or snake-bite style flats. The design also allows for greater impact resistance for the rim when smashing it through washboard descents and chunky gravel. You can now confidently run lower tire pressure improving traction and decreasing rolling resistance without fear of a dreaded pinch flat miles away from civilization. The 27mm internal width on the G27 is designed for gravel tires between 2.0 to 2.2-inches wide providing the ideal profile for improved cornering stability, braking, and rolling efficiency.
What we find so remarkable with this wheelset is how durable it is given its feather weight. The team and its sponsored athletes put countless miles on samples and it absolutely refuses to drop weight if it means a drop in durability and its testing yields the exact carbon laminate, resin, layup, spoke counts, and even lacing patterns to achieve the desired durability, weight, and all important ride qualities for the wheel's intended use. The end result builds the G27 which is a no-compromise gravel wheelset and its lower rim depth, relative to its road offerings, provides greater vertical compliance helping to reduce fatigue over the long miles in the saddle without losing its prized lateral stiffness which corners like it's on rails. The 24-hole count further improves the ride comfort and sheds every gram possible.
Unique to every ENVE rim is the patented molded in-spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve holes, offering the highest strength-to-weight ratio in the industry. The nipple pocket is super strong making rim-pull through is a thing of the past. When laying up the rim, ENVE places pins in the layup at the spoke hole locations so it can maintain continuous fiber integrity versus the industry standard of drilling post cure, which cuts into the fibers and weakens the structure. This results in increased rim rigidity, a stronger anchor point for the nipples and weight savings at the spoke face.
The internal nipples are able to articulate in their pockets much like a ball-and-socket joint. This yields a higher and more uniform spoke tension key to strong, true wheels from day one and throughout the many years of ownership. To save every gram possible, ENVE removes the bladder after curing where other composite manufacturers leave the rim-shaping, inflatable bladder in the rim. This process takes more time and expertise, but the end result is a lighter wheelset and one that is more perfectly balanced.
This particular build sees the 650b G27 rims laced to some in-house favorite hubs from the machining masters at Industry Nine. The Asheville, NC made hubs are prized for its beautiful craftsmanship, quick engagement, and reliability. It's available in 15 or 12mm front axles, so check your current fork's dropouts or that future dream build and know that you can swap endcaps down the road. These hubs are for centerlock rotors and can be used with 6-bolt rotors with the proper adapters. The standard HG 11-speed road freehub works with Shimano and SRAM road cassettes and SRAM XD drivers are also an option. ENVE recommends tires between 2.0 and 2.2-inches wide and offers a 5-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement for the original owner.
- Gravel plus carbon wheels for 650b "plus" drop bar bikes
- Rim bead width is optimized for tire and rim durability
- Lightweight carbon construction for sure tracking and fast climbing
- Laterally stiff for a responsive ride
- I9 disc road hubs engage quickly and roll smoothly
- Optimized for 2.0-2.2-inch 650b tires
- ENVE doesn't ever compromise when achieving wheel greatness