Improving on the ultimate all-rounder.
ENVE's SES 3.4 Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset with DT Swiss 240 Hubs has earned a reputation as one of the more versatile wheelsets available with its balance of aerodynamics and lightweight climbing ability, and it's back for 2017 with a few tweaks that look to make it even better. This year sees the 3.4 drop some weight, gain tubeless compatibility, and sit with a wider stance and slightly different rim depth pairing than its predecessor. The takeaway from all of these changes is increased stability in the crosswinds, snappier handling, and a smoother ride.
The new rim profile features a mammoth 21mm internal width for both front and rear, quite a bit wider than the previous 3.4's 18.5mm front and 16.5mm rear combination. ENVE says this wide stance optimizes aerodynamics with a 25mm tire while also boosting tire volume, which in turn allows lower tire pressure for a smoother, more efficient ride. Swapping the tubes for tubeless will take full advantage of the new rim width by reducing pinch flat risk while further reducing pressure and rolling resistance. On the road, this makes for a nearly perfect blend of speed and comfort.
The rim depth continues ENVE's commitment to a shallower front and deeper rear pairing, but brings the numbers closer together with the front rim gaining 3mm to 38mm in depth and the rear losing 3mm to clock in at 42mm in depth. ENVE claims that this new pairing improves handling and stability in windy conditions without sacrificing any aerodynamics, which means you'll be riding smooth instead of wrestling with the wind at speed. At the brake track, the 3.4 carries over 2016's in-molded Gen 2 brake surface, which offers 30% stronger stopping power and the ability to retain 95% of its braking power when being used in wet conditions.
As with all its SES wheels, ENVE uses its most sophisticated technology and engineering techniques to create this fast, stiff, and aerodynamic wheelset. The ENVE SES series boasts the highest strength-to-weight ratio on the market, due in part to ENVE's patented process of molding in spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve stem holes. Knowing that carbon fiber gains strength from continuous fibers, ENVE routes the fibers around each hole in a 100% intact design, which allows a lower weight at the spoke face and adds overall rigidity to the rim. ENVE also removes the rim-shaping inflatable bladder in the rim, which, while time-consuming, serves to reduce rim weight and makes for a perfectly tensioned wheel build.
- ENVE's rouleur wheelset gets lighter, wider, and more stable
- SES carbon construction balances low weight and high stiffness
- Rim depths provide aerodynamic speed and confident stability
- Gen 2 brake track performs well, even in rain
- Wide internal rim optimized for 25mm tires
- Tubeless compatibility lets you lower pressure to roll fast and smooth