Hi everyone. I’m in the market for a fast all around road bike for group rides and most of my training which is anywhere from 30-100 miles routinely. I’m 46 but still like to go fast and mostly race gravel but still a roadie at heart. I have it narrowed down to an enve melee or factor ostro vam. Love what I know about both companies so far and ability to make custom changes to certain parts before purchasing. Unfortunately I can’t ride either before a purchase and although their online bike fit measurements help inspire some confidence, I’m hoping for some feedback from those who have ridden both. Thanks!
Neither one of those bikes are gravel bikes……are you considering them for your gravel racing?
The Enve will be the more versatile of the two and capable of handling some gravel races. Alexey Vermuylen rode his to the BWR CA win last year. He used 40mm tires, but it was VERY tight as far as clearance was concerned.
The Ostro Vam is a flat our road race machine.
Jonathan recently picked up the Enve and it’s a real beauty. I went out and did some pricing, and I’m impressed with their build packages.
No I have a cervelo aspero 5 for gravel. Just looking for a road bike.
Gotcha….in that case, the Factor may be a better option as it is a little more of a pure thoroughbred.
Honestly, I think there may be a decent amount of overlap between the Aspero 5 and the Melee….the Cervelo being more gravel but road capable while the Melee would be more road but gravel capable. But the intersection between them would be pretty large, IMO.
I recently replaced my road bike and came down to the same two bikes. I really like the looks of the Ostro, especially with the custom paint job options available, but I ended up going with the Melee. Partly because the Melee just ticked a couple more boxes, but mostly because I ended up with a deal on the frame and came out almost $2K less than the Ostro.
Either way you end up going, I think you come out a winner.
I’ve ridden neither but bought a Melee. Hope to ride soon. Glad to read Jonathan’s comments as they are what I expect it to be.
As mentioned, the Factor is a more traditional road race bike. The Melee is kind of an oddball with wide tire clearance, mud guard mounts, light gravel capable, etc. Still, everything I’ve read is that the Melee is remarkably fast and composed especially over rough pavement (what we refer to locally as pavement ).
So it’s like X5M vs M5
I bought an Ostro at the beginning of the year. My last bike was a Tarmac SL6 Disc. I haven’t ridden a Melee. I’m a 43 year old masters racer.
I like the Ostro. I still have the Tarmac but haven’t taken it back out since getting the Ostro, so maybe that says a lot. My race results were similar this year to last year, with objectively worse fitness, so it must be the bike, right? I’m using the Roval CLX50 wheelset from my Tarmac on the Ostro since I think the Black Inc wheels are too heavy.
I like how it looks, I like how it feels, I’m glad that I got it.
Recently got a Factor Ostro, I can’t say much on the speed other than it isn’t slowing me down, but the details are well thought out, the integrated bars are wonderful, I like that they ship a decent amount of spare hanger/adaptors/computer and light mounts with the frame rather than charging you for the extras! Happy with it.
Jonathan said it was like AMG (Melee) vs STI (SL7), which I found to be unflattering, he then said he hasn’t ridden the SL8 but expected it to be even more nervous and harsh than the SL7… working on applying the Ride Wrap to my nervous and harsh SL8 this weekend…
I’d personally go with the Factor. The Enve just doesn’t excite me at all, just looks basic. Factor offers custom paint as well so you can make it really unique. And I love they give you customization with the cockpit and cranks.
It’s an interesting head-to-head to put the factor up against the Enve. The Factor’s geo strikes me as a racer’s race bike with all the hallmarks of that with the higher BB and short wheelbase. The Enve by the numbers looks like it would still be nimble but maybe less twitchy and a bit more planted with lower and longer respectively. My comparison would be like putting a Cannondale supersix against a Specialized tarmac. Both are race bikes but coming at it with a different attitude about what makes it racey. For me, since my current bike is leaving me feeling really sketched on real, proper descents with its high bottom bracket and short wheelbase the Enve’s geo is looking perfect for something still roady but a bit more confidence inspiring. But the Ostro does have its aero credentials so I suppose the choice is really between a racer’s racey race bike and a versatile all-arounder with a more plain finish. Tough call.
Thanks for the well thought out response!
I rode the SL8 before buying my Melee. Although I liked the ride of the SL8 better than the SL7, and it was ridiculously light and agile, the feel of the Melee still came out on top for my subjective taste.
Yeah, when I was deciding between these two bikes, the looks of the Ostro were really the biggest factor (no pun intended) pulling me toward it. It had a few other advantages too, but at the end of the day the cost and versatility of the Melee won out. Also, I wouldn’t describe the Melee as “basic”. It’s not as pretty as the Ostro (esp. with my custom paint design), but I think the Melee is still quite gorgeous. I especially like how clean and smooth integrated cockpit looks (though threading the hoses through the stem was … vexing).
I prefer the look of the melee too. I like solid dark colors, the fact it’s spec’d out with Enve everything, etc. Plus, black and gray match everything.
I understand some people prefer the look of the factor, but I’ve never been a fan of the oil slick or iridescent rainbow-y stuff.
Overall I do prefer the general look of the Ostro (except for the giant Factor logo along the downtube), but I think the Melee looks pretty damn good too. So the edge the Ostro has in looks isn’t big enough to outweigh the advantages of the Melee for me.
Asking @Jonathan for feedback of the Melee. As a previous Venge and Tarmac owner, how does the ride compare? The new blue color looks pretty good and there’s a deal right now.
I’ve had my Enve Melee since December and I have zero complaints. I have it set up w/ full Sram Red w/ Enve 4.5 ARs. I also custom fit the Enve aero bars on the Melee. It’s very fast and handles extremely well. I love that I can also fit 35mm tires on it. I have a spare wheelset that I keep set up with a 35mm gravel tire so I can explore more roads or light gravel; I ride that on the Melee quite often. Very enjoyable. I doubt that you’d having any regrets with the Melee.