We're used to seeing disc-equipped wheels with rim brake tracks stealthily covered with strategic stickering as companies push to offer disc wheelsets without reinventing their rim profiles. ENVE, being the innovative company that it is, turns that practice on its head with the disc-specific rim design on its new SES 5.6 Disc Clincher Wheelset.
This all-new rim features a slight curve where a rim brake track would normally sit for resulting claims of better airflow between the tire and rim. In turn, this new shaping also comes with claims of increased stability in both steady and swirling wind conditions for confident handling and predictable cornering. Designed with the current trends towards larger volume road tires in mind and compatible with road tubeless or traditional clincher setups, this wheelset might just be the only set of hoops you'll need to tackle all your road adventures.
As with the rest of ENVE's SES line, the 5.6 rims aren't subjected to static, arbitrary NACA shapes. Instead, the engineers let each wheel's depth requirements dictate the ideal dimensions in order to reduce lateral forces and increase aerodynamic benefits across a wide range of yaw angles. This approach is apparent in everything from the rim's rounded inner face to the different dimensions and disc-specific shapes of the front and rear wheels. SES takes the shallower, more stable front wheel and deep, aerodynamic rear wheel philosophy to its logical extreme.
As the SES name implies, these wheels are built using the Smart ENVE System to create a rim that is as strong and stable as it is aerodynamic. ENVE wheels enjoy the reputation of having one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the industry because of a jealously guarded process of molding in-spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve stem holes rather than drilling them after the fact. ENVE routes the carbon fibers around each hole to maintain continuous fiber integrity, which results in both increased rim rigidity and lower weight.
When laced to one of our favorite hub models, DT Swiss' 240s, this system facilitates higher, more uniform spoke tension than standard bladder molding. ENVE is also able to remove the inner bladder once the molding process is complete, which results in a lower overall weight than processes that leave the bladder in place. This is a lengthy and costly extra step, but it results in a wheel that is perfectly tensioned and significantly lighter than it would be were the bladder left inside.