If you paid attention to the Tour this year, then you were undoubtedly struck by the underdog success and tenacity of the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung Team, which made history once as the first African-registered team at the Grande Boucle and again with the first African rider to wear the polka dot jersey. This team stole the hearts of the cycling world with its class and determination to fight it out for stage wins against the goliaths of the World Tour, all while rolling on the new ENVE SES 2.2 Tubular Wheelset. Built specifically to help the team conquer the giant mountains of The Tour, these featherweight wheels are now available to all of us whether we're attacking the European peloton or trying to eke out those last few seconds to conquer that coveted local KOM.
Mountain roads bring with them a special set of specifications and necessary robustness in braking capabilities. ENVE tackles those requirements head-on with a brand-new, molded-in, textured brake surface paired with the new ENVE black brake pads for a claimed 30% improvement in braking performance over ENVE's previous models. The new combination also makes for more consistent braking across both wet and dry conditions. When you're dropping through switchbacks into an unexpected thunderstorm, it's reassuring to know you can trust the braking surface to do what it's supposed to do and get you to the valley floor safely, rubber side-down.
In designing the 2.2, ENVE shifts the focus slightly away from pure drag reduction with a laser-focused lock on weight reduction to make this a stiff, featherweight climber to fly up the mountains. In contrast to the rest of ENVE's SES line of wheels, which feature differing rim profiles for the front and rear, the 2.2 maintains the same 25mm depth and 27mm external rim width across both wheels specifically designed to house on-trend 25mm tires for a smooth, forgiving, and more efficiently rolling ride across the miles.
Even with the 2.2 diverging slightly from its usual profile, ENVE stays true to its Smart system to create a strong, stable wheel for any conditions. A patented process of molding in-spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve stem holes is largely responsible for ENVE wheels' proven reputation of having one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the industry. ENVE routes the carbon fibers around each hole to maintain continuous fiber integrity, which results in both increased rim rigidity and lower weight at the spoke face.
When laced to a hub, this system facilitates higher, more uniform spoke tension than standard bladder molding. Additionally, ENVE's process allows it to remove the inner bladder, resulting in lower weight compared to most composite manufacturers who leave the rim-shaping, inflatable bladder in the rim once the wheel is complete. While the removal process takes time and involves some added expense, it results in a lighter rim and a perfectly tensioned wheel build.
The ENVE SES 2.2 Tubular Wheelset is built to soar over the highest mountains and is available with either a SRAM/Shimano or Campagnolo 11-speed freehub body, as well as your choice of either DT Swiss 240 or Chris King hubs. Each wheelset is accompanied by two sets of ENVE black brake pads to get the most out of your riding experience.