Carbon wheel flex?

I recently bought a set of ENVE SES 5.6 rim brake wheels. 54mm deep in the front and 63mm in the rear. I used them for the first time after setting them up myself and they feel great and fast. One thing I am not sure of is brake rub. I would get brake rub when I stood up and put some power down or on hills, never anything over 800W though. I even think I heard some rub on a couple of turns.

This is my first set of carbon wheels and honestly I don’t know much about maintenance. I set up the brakes by adjusting the cable tension and then used the barrel adjuster to give myself about 2mm of room in between the pads and the rim. My frame is a Tarmac Comp and plenty stiff and have never noticed this on any of my other wheels. I thought I might come here to troubleshoot the issue before bringing it to the shop. Am I just not used to deep wheelsets and is this completely normal when putting down some watts? Should I be running more room in the brake caliper by opening them up a bit?

Any advice/discussion on this is welcomed. Just trying to make sure I didn’t get some bum wheels.


which hubs? My limited understanding is that the hubs can make a difference on stiffness. Somebody correct that if wrong.

It’s actually a lack of flex in the rim that causes the rubbing. A traditional rim tends to go out of plane (like a taco) when you’re out of the saddle causing a lot of deflection at the road but very little at the caliper. A stiff rim stay in plane with itself so any deflection at the road is mirrored at the caliper, causing the rubbing.

Mavic did a study of this years ago but I can’t seem to find it these days.


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DT Swiss 240s

i get some brake rub on my renyolds assault’s out of the saddle. I’ve chalked it up to frame + wheel flex and a slightly warped rotor. Wouldn’t worry about it, all though it is sort of annoying. You could adjust the brakes a little bit, but just make sure that you can still brake properly :wink:

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Saw a reference to Mavic in this older article:

Haven’t read it yet.

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Great article @bbarrera.

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too busy at work to read it… hoping somebody will give it a look and explain it :wink:

Spokes… :boom:

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I can push my carbon rims against either brake side with my hand if I really push. Never happens on the road that I can tell though, I feel like most of the flex happens below the axle, not above

Sweet, I upgraded to heavy duty aero on my 5.6 Discs. Recently had to use my rear Bontrager stock wheel and it flexes enough that even a 500-600W kick will cause the rotor to rub pads. Annoying. The ENVE don’t have that problem.

@Landis thanks for giving the bottom line, I had heard different hub flanges make a difference. If you ever get out the Tahoe way, let me know because I got great news today:

If you’ve never skied at Squaw just give me a heads up and I’ll give you the grand tour. Bring your long boards and we can tear up the blues and rock the black too!

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Thanks for the article. Mine are rim brake which would definitely explain the rub. Maybe I just open em up a bit more and get used to the pull. :man_shrugging:t2: