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.