Proving that it isn't just a flash in the pan, gravel riding and racing is here to stay and many cyclists are veering off the beaten paths and taking to dirt and gravel roads avoiding motorist and fulfilling a sense of adventure instead of focusing on heart rates or training zones. Gravel riders, much like their mountain biking brethren, have experimented with plus wheels and tires and often benefit from the higher volume ride. And like riding on trails, terrain, riding conditions, and personal preference can certainly dictate whether or not plus tires offer a riding benefit. Although the wheel itself is a smaller diameter, when the wider and higher profile tire is taken into consideration, the circumference works out to be about the same as what a mid-30mm wide 700c tire would be. By running higher volume tires, additional traction and comfort are achieved over rough roads. ENVE Composites creates M525 G 650B Disc Brake Wheelset - Tubeless by taking the M525 rims from its proven cross country wheelset and laces them to 24h DT Swiss 240 hubs with 11-speed HG road or XD drivers and common road spacing and thru-axle diameters. The outgoing M50 wheelset was already popular amongst the gravel crowd and, these new hoops are on average, 20 grams lighter, not to mention wider as well, which will help lighten the load during marathon events and ease the climbing burden. This particular build is for 650b bikes or 700c bikes that have the clearance for plus wheels and if you're in the market to give your drop bar bike a little more floatation over the rough stuff, this is your wheelset.
When it came time to redesign the already excellent M50 rims, ENVE created prototypes and sent out samples to racers and did its own in-house testing. With the M525 G, its goal was to drop weight and prevent the possibility of the rim pinch flatting lightweight tires during bottom out. These are some lofty goals and those familiar with ENVE know they rarely ever miss the mark.
Hookless rim beads first appeared on ENVE mountain wheels on the last generation's M-Series. It was a vast improvement over the former XC, AM, and DH rims of old promising easier tubeless setup improved rim durability and decreased weight. ENVE didn't rest on its laurels though and knew it could do better. With the M525 G, 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 creating 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 while smashing it over 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 width has grown from 21mm internally on the M50 to a healthy 25mm on the M525 G. For gravel plus tires ranging 47mm and larger, tire profiles are improved offering better cornering stability, braking, and rolling efficiency.
With all those changes, it would be fair to question whether the ride quality was affected. We can say wholeheartedly no, it hasn't. The team consistently rides blind samples and has sponsored athletes do the same, helping to evaluate the carbon laminates, resins layups, spoke counts, and even lacing patterns to achieve the desired ride qualities for the wheel's intended use. The M525 G is a no-compromise gravel wheelset and as such, greater vertical compliance was considered during its construction reducing fatigue during the long hours in the saddle without sacrificing the impressive lateral rigidity that corners like it's on rails. The hole count is reduced from 28 to 24 again to improve the ride and shed 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 and 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 M525 G rims laced to the industry lauded DT Swiss 240 hubs. Options for 15mm or 12mm front axles exist, so please choose the one that your fork requires. These hubs are for centerlock rotor use and can be used with 6-bolt rotors with adapters. Standard HG 11-speed road freehub or XD drivers for SRAM 1x are available. The 240 hubs are prized for their lightweight construction, superior durability, and tool-free service. ENVE recommends running tires greater than 32mm wide and offers a 5-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement for the original owner.
- A no-compromise gravel wheelset for bikes with 650b plus clearance
- Rim bead width optimized for both tire and rim durability
- Carbon construction for fast acceleration and easier climbing
- Laterally stiff for sure tracking and better handling
- DT Swiss 240 road disc hubs for smooth, trouble-free miles
- ENVE continues to redefine carbon fiber bicycle wheels