Ride, race, repeat.
Gravel riding and racing have grown by leaps and bounds and more and more cyclists are venturing off the pavement and taking to gravel and B-roads to avoid motor vehicles and enjoy a newfound sense of adventure. As with all other cycling disciplines, as more devotees enter the ranks, equipment begins to get more specialized. Gravel bikes are a huge portion of new bike sales and are prized for their versatility and ability to handle a wide range of riding situations. And like any up and coming category, geometry, tire widths, and the like are all explored to see what works best. One trend we don't see going away anytime soon is rim width. They have certainly gotten wider to increase the volume of tires adding more traction and comfort over rough roads. ENVE Composites took a proven formula with the cross country M525 G rims and laced to 24h DT Swiss 240 hubs with 11-speed road or XD drivers and common road spacing and axle diameters. Versus the outgoing M50 rims, these new hoops are on average, 20 grams lighter which helps lighten the load during marathon events and ease the climbing burden. This particular build is for 700c bikes and if you're looking for a wheelset that maximizes your bike's performance on race day, yet is still durable enough to train on every day, give the M525 G Disc Brake Wheelset -Tubeless a look.
When it came time to redesign the already excellent M50 rims, ENVE received valuable feedback from racers and its own in-house testing. With the M525 G, its goal was to drop weight and prevent the possibility of the rim cutting lightweight tires during bottom out. Two lofty goals indeed so let's delve into how they hope to achieve this. a look.
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 durability, and increased weight savings. ENVE didn't rest on their laurels and knew they 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 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 internal width has grown from 21mm internally on the M50 to a healthy 25mm on the M525 G. For gravel tires 32c and larger, profiles are improved offering better cornering stability, braking, and rolling efficiency.
With all those changes, it would be fair to question whether ride quality was affected. We can say wholeheartedly no, it hasn't. The team consistently rides, and has sponsored athletes do the same, blind samples to help evaluate the exact carbon laminate, resin, layup, spoke count, 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 for its construction, greater vertical compliance was considered for 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 700c M525 G rims laced to the industry lauded DT Swiss 240. Options for 15mm or 12mm front axles exist, so choose the one that your fork requires. These hubs are for centerlock rotors and can be used with 6-bolt rotors with adapters. Standard HG 11-speed road freehub or XD drivers for SRAM are available. The 240s are prized for their lightweight construction, superior durability, and tool-free service. ENVE recommends tires greater than 32mm and offers a 5-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement for the original owner.
- A no-compromise gravel wheelset for 700c bikes
- Rim bead width optimized for tire and rim durability
- Lightweight carbon construction for fast acceleration
- Laterally stiff for sure tracking
- DT Swiss 240 road disc hubs for smooth, trouble-free miles
- ENVE continues to redefine the carbon fiber bicycle wheel