Speed is something that all cyclists and triathletes want more of, and we're constantly searching for ways to be more efficient, more aerodynamic, and eke out a few more watts. Add a big dose of fast to your aero steed with the SES 7.8 Carbon Road Clincher Wheelset, which ENVE bills as its fastest wheel system yet.
While forward velocity is obviously important, ENVE recognizes that aerodynamics amount to naught if poor braking sends you off the road. To address this, the 7.8 incorporates ENVE's new molded-in, textured brake surface, which was first launched with the climbing-specific SES 2.2 wheelset. When paired with the included ENVE black brake pads, the new brake track nets a claimed 30% improvement over ENVE's previous brake track and pad combinations in conditions ranging from wet to dry. When you're powering through the turns and rolling into unexpected weather, it's comforting to know you can trust the braking surface to do what it's supposed to do and get to the finish line safely.
Like the rest of ENVE's SES line, the 7.8 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 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.
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Reviews & Community
Big, Loud and FAST!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have now spent much quality time on these guys and have definitely figured a few things out:
They seem *enormous* at first, but that initial shock goes away quickly, certainly once you get them up to speed and realize the difference they make in keeping you at speed! On flat-to-rolling roads, they are amazingly fast and smooth. Climbing-wise, I've been pleasantly surprised much like I was with the outgoing Enve 6.7. The 7.8's are claimed lighter, so that's even better news. The "whoosh" sound that some of us love about deep-section wheels is even more pronounced than with the 6.7's too. In a dead-out sprint, the folks you're about to blow past will definitely know you're coming! The DT/Swiss 240 hubs are typically quiet, smooth and reliable.
Once pointed downhill, watch out! You'll hit your terminal velocity faster than you have before, but the updated brake surface can handle the 50-0 work remarkably well. I learned this on my 4.5's and it holds true on these. Fast, technical descents do require more care at first, until you get a solid feel of how these wheels corner. Long, sweeping or decreasing radius corners are not their absolute forte, but they are brilliant in fast, tight, flat (think: criterium course) corners. The ease of acceleration after said corners is impressive as well.
They are Tubeless-Ready, but I had a less-than-optimal experience with them setup tubeless (Reach out to me directly for details).
I have ridden them with both Vittoria Corsa-G speed and Continental Grand Prix 4000-S II tires, with a variety of pressures. *Always* use the Enve new-style brake pads.
Customer Account Manager-Bike
they are just fast
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I had the chance to get on these and then ride them in a 1/2 ironman recently. I have always gone back and forth and tried to read everything I could about aero wheels for my TT's and tri's. I have to say that for me these are the go to depth. They climbed like a goat, I flew by everyone. on the flats I'd take them over a disc wheel any day, hands down. I raced on a day with a little more wind than I would have liked and at 129lbs I was smooth and stable. feel free to contact me with any questions at all on them - firstname.lastname@example.org