ENVE's new $1600 Foundation Series wheels

Yes. It’s a bit of a mess at the moment. Not easy for consumers.

Conti is not really updating their models quickly. The GP4000 were more than 5 years on the market before the GP 5000 succeeded them (2019). So I would hold my breath for a hookless version.

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Too lazy to read this entire thread so this may be repetitive; but just wanted to say that ENVE’s warranty policy is absolutely amazing.

I thrashed the bead hook on one of my SES 3.4s with tire levers because i suck at changing tires. Sent them some pics of a chipped bead hook. Sent me a prepaid label to return my existing wheel and had a brand new one in a week.

And their policy basically says that if your wheel breaks for almost any reason, they will do the same thing. Best support from almost any company I’ve ever dealt with.

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This is the selling point for me on the Foundation wheelset for road. Not only are they fast and well-made, the assurance that they can be replaced with their warranty is peace of mind. It’s a truly incredible deal at that price point.

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FWIW here is another fantastic warranty experience after discovering a crack in carbon near stem on front wheel (SES 5.6 Disc):

  • filed warranty claim Tuesday 17 November
  • Enve sends shipping label and I dropped of box at UPS Store on Tuesday afternoon
  • Friday morning they have received, approved, and are building a new wheel
  • Monday 23 November the replacement wheel is shipping and UPS predicts will arrive on Wednesday

Thank you ENVE :+1:

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Can anyone recommend which tires they’re using for these? I’m looking for something suitable to everyday riding. I am thinking of maybe the Schwalbe Pro Ones but concerned they may not have the longevity to be day-in, day-out tires.

Suggestions would be massively appreciated! Thanks!

Sorry I’m late, but no they don’t. You can only exert yourself so much on the bike each day, so we really spend most of our time shopping and playing around on cycling forums.

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I am running the Foundation Wheels with Schwalbe Pro Ones but not daily. Mainly because it is winter and I dont want to ruin the wheel or the tire on my winter roads. Once the summer gets here, I will likely increase the use of the foundation wheels… specially for group rides and racing.

So you believe the Schwalbe Pro Ones have enough durability/longevity for three season, day-to-day riding? (In other words, not a race day only option like the Specialized Turbo Cottons and some others…)

Honestly, I dont know. I have done about 300miles with them and they are fine. I really like them but like I said, I dont use these wheels for day to day riding because I sometimes take gravel routes for which I use a different wheel/tire combination.
A lot of my 2020 was indoor.

I spent my summer through fall on the new version Pro One tubeless tires. Maybe 2000 miles after I finally got them on the wheels I bought. Typically 5 days a week unless it rained, daylight issues, etc. Never had a flat or other issue and will likely use the same set in the spring when the roads are clean again. Mostly the rough Wisconsin country roads with a bit of gravel roads mixed in, some pretty gnarly gravel when I messed up the routes.

Thought I saw a study that showed the Pro One not being the best puncture resistance but far from the worst. Seemed to be close to the rest of the class for given purpose. Certainly haven’t seen many users post about sidewall issues the GP5000 have.

You should look at ENVE’s new SES tires. They seem to tick a lot of boxes.

I’m not on the latest Pro One’s but I’m on my second set of the previous version and I run them year round. Granted I do 80% of my rides indoors on a wheel off trainer. But I see no reason that Pro One’s should be viewed as a race only tire.

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I’m running Vittoria Super Corsa on my foundations…

thanks for these replies! Might end up just getting the SES tires so I can put it all in one shopping cart and click “buy” … I’m getting 45’s for my wife’s Specialized Roubaix

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I ride on my everyday and no flats commuting. Only one flat when I sliced a sidewall in a crash in a crit

Enve adds gravel wheels to the Foundation line-up.

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Kinda resurrecting this thread briefly as I’d like to share my experience with these wheels and the Enve tires. This is a really long post with a lot of information. The first half summarizes things and the second half elaborates on my experiences in the event somebody else has a similar experience or issue to me. Hoping my headaches will be as lesson for folks down the road.

Hub Engagement

First of all, the wheels are awesome. They look great. They feel great. And they feel fast. I ended up getting the 65s with I9 hubs. The thing I noticed immediately (and on practically every ride in the 6 months I've ridden them) is the hub engagement. All those extra teeth make snap accelerations immediate. It almost feels like I've upgraded my shifting at times because the engagement is so fast and gives the illusion of a smoother shift. The buzzing of the hub took some time to get used to as I would often think I had punctured when instead I was simply free-wheeling (although punctures did become an issue, so read on).

Control in the Wind

In windy conditions, it has taken some time to get used to them. I was initially really concerned about this and avoided riding on windy days, particularly when gusts were stronger than 20 mph (more frequent then you'd think in Chicagoland). However, in the past couple months, I've become much more confident in riding them in all windy conditions, and I'd have no problem riding them every day, regardless of the conditions outside.

There are two specific things I have found through experimentation that have helped with this confidence from a technique perspective. I’m certain these are useful regardless of your wheel choice, but it bears repeating here for anybody who finds this post and is concerned about this in particular.

  1. Move your weight slightly back in the saddle. Doing so will place more pressure onto the back wheel much like what you would do on a steep or cobbled climb to minimize slipping. This keeps the bike anchored.
  2. By moving your weight back, make sure to also relieve some weight off your hands. Let the front wheel have some degree of movement by removing pressure on the front end. The more stiffly you grip it and the more weight you put through the front wheel, the more likely you are to feel every twitch of the wheel and overcompensate. Let it do its thing (within reason) and you’ll be amazed how much more comfortable you’ll feel in crosswinds, especially.

I’ve now ridden in rainy conditions, super windy conditions (20 mph wind with 35 mph gusts) and can confidently say they they ride great. When a gust hits the front wheel, you’ll feel it catch for a quarter second before it fully dissipates. It’s an initially jarring feeling that becomes second nature to manage overtime.

Enve SES Road Tubeless Tire Opinions

Not going to lie. My experience here was not very rosy at the start. The first ride was excellent. I was flying. Smashing around my local KOMs that I like to go for but know I'll never beat. And then I got my first puncture. I'll start with my overall opinion on the tire and the headings after that will elaborate on my experiences that informed that opinion.

For reference, I run 70 psi front and rear at 155 lbs. I've ridden at 65 psi in the rain without much issue. Original sealant was Muckoff, but I've switched to Orange Seal because the Muckoff simply didn't work at all in my experience.

Tire Opinion

The Enve SES Tires are very supple and grippy, which means they roll well and are great in corners. But that also means they are prone to punctures and slashes. In a tubed set-up, they are likely excellent as they'd provide enough protection at the tire level to ensure the tube doesn't puncture, however, run as a tubeless set up, this can lead to headaches and major frustrations. One thing that helped me notice this was reviewing the routes I used when I punctured. Any route I've done that required a diversion over a crushed limestone path or a brief section of dirt to get around construction led to cuts, slashes or punctures to these tires. They are just really, really prone to this because of how supple they are.

Because of that fact, critical to making these tires run great is having the correct sealant in a tubeless set up. In my experience, Muckoff sealant has been a total bust and I would never recommend it to anyone on the road. It never sealed punctures, no matter how small, even pinhole sized punctures wouldn't fully seal. Reading some reviews around the web, it would appear I'm not alone, and the below Cycling Weekly post was like looking in a mirror during my biggest frustrations with tubeless.

That said, with a switch to OrangeSeal, I have become a true road tubeless believer. I’ve had a couple punctures while running this sealant, and every time it fills in immediately and I lose no more than 2-5 psi in the tires, even for holes that are a centimeter wide. It’s an astounding experience compared to the Muckoff. It just works. It’s easy to maintain. It’s easier to clean up the bike after a puncture. It’s simply better in every way, not the least of which is simply that it actually seals up punctures. That said, if I had the choice and if they were approved for the rim, I’d be riding Continental GP 5000 tires. They just have far superior durability, while also maintaining that grippy-ness and great rolling speed.

The Full Experience

Below is my experience in more detail, should this be of interest to you. The above summarizes things overall, but for those who want more detail, the below will provide it. My hope is also that this experience may help anyone who had had issues similar to mine now or in the future.

Set Up and Air Bleed

It is here that I should mention the set up. When the wheels were first set up, it was with the Enve SES tires and Muckoff sealant. Using the Enve tire pressure calculator, I ran the tires at 70 psi. During the first couple weeks, I noticed the tires losing a lot of pressure overnight (like 40 psi or more), and after mentioning it to my mechanic, we came to the position that there's more air bleed for tubeless set ups (this isn't true and is explained further down). I wasn't very confident in the tires initially because they felt so squishy, and this bleed was the reason for that feeling.

About three weeks into riding the tires, I got a puncture. I didn't actually realize it at the time. I rode the bike home, put it on the trainer for some workouts that week, and while wiping the bike down one day, I noticed some goop on the back of the seat tube. I didn't put two-and-two together until later, but this was the Muckoff sealant from that initial puncture. In any case, I went out for a couple more rides and the tires kept getting soft faster than I'd have expected, ultimately ending with my back tire going fully flat on a long ride and I had to call my parents to pick me up. This was the start of the problems for me.

Puncture Problems

This puncture was quite small, essentially pinhole sized. There is no reason this hole should not have fully sealed. I brought it to my mechanic, he topped off the sealant and it was holding fine in the store. On a group ride, it broke open again and started to slowly leak, and was spitting sealant on whomever was behind me. We stopped, I tried to plug it and the plug comically flew into the sky from the air pressure, and we had to put a tube in to finish the ride. It was an absolute mess and everybody on the ride chalked it up to tubeless just being terrible. I was still adamant about giving it a shot, however.

Brought it back to the mechanic, and they reupped on the Muckoff sealant and I went for another ride, only to have the same thing happen: the sealed hole blew out and I was once again stranded on the side of the road. Once more, the plug did not work and I had to call for help. At this point, the shop replaced the tire at no expense to me and put in a claim with Enve for warranty (love my LBS so much).

Set up was done once again with Muckoff sealant, and things were alright until the back tire punctured once again (on the new tire; like I said they are very supple). And yet again, it would not seal fully. Or rather, it would seal, but pumping the tire beyond 40 psi would blow it out, so for my purposes, it was failing me and completely useless.

Change of Sealant

With all this trouble, we decided to keep the same tire and try OrangeSeal instead. The purpose here was to see if the sealant or the tire was the problem. My mechanic got it set up with the previously punctured tire, and I took it out for some rides. In fact, on the first ride, I had to skid a little to avoid a car and it reopened the puncture. I stopped for a moment, turned the wheel puncture-side down and it sealed instantly. I cannot explain to you how night-and-day different this felt from the Muckoff sealant. It felt like magic. It was instantaneous. It didn't blow out. I lost only 5 psi in the tire, finished my ride, pumped it back up to pressure and never looked back. It held. It actually friggin worked as it should have! (Although, the tire shouldn't be puncturing this much, regardless.)

By now, the front tire had not punctured at all and was still set with Muckoff, however, I did puncture a few weeks ago, and it wouldn't seal. I switched the sealant to OrangeSeal, and once again, it was a night-and-day difference for me. In short, buy and use OrangeSeal with this tire and rim combo for road tubeless. The Muckoff sealant just cannot work at the road pressures (I ride 65-70 psi), but OrangeSeal does.

Above, I noted the air bleed issues I was experiencing as well. Since making the sealant switch, the tires have held pressure in the same way I've come to experience they would had it been a set up with tubes. As such, the air bleed is no longer an issue, and in my opinion, never should have been.

TL;DR

The wheels kick ass, are fast, are fun, are stiff, and have incredible hub engagement. The tires are prone to punctures, even on crushed lime stone paths or small dirt sections, so getting the sealant set up is critical to success and to reducing headaches if you are looking to run these tires. It is worth considering other compatible tires instead. On that note, absolutely do not use Muckoff sealant with this tire and rim combo. It simply does not work. Orange Seal is the way to go if you're having trouble. I have not tried Stan's, so I cannot speak to it, but their darts do not work with tires at this pressure as they just blow right out. After all the trial and error, I'm now a believer in tubeless and love ripping on these wheels. It just took a lot of time, anger and frustration to get here.
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I picked up a pair of the 45 a few weeks ago. Over the last 2+ years I’ve been riding my Canyon Ultimate w/ the stock P1800 splines 98% of the time. ~2% of the time I put on Reynolds 58x/62x.

Why I bought: I purchased the ENVEs due to the combination of performance, specs, price, and warranty. I would have a hard time spending more than this on a wheelset because I don’t get paid to ride my bike. I also am not, nor will I ever, be competing for championships, etc. The internal rim width is optimized for 25 - 28 tires which is all I will ever run on the road (30+ on gravel bike). IMO, 40-45mm depth wheels are the allrounder sweet spot, and they are respectfully light and stiff for the price point. Finally, lifetime incident warranty is reassuring, and I trust ENVE to help me out in the event something happens to the wheels.

Experience: These things rip. Compared to the stock wheels, they are incredibly responsive - most notabley on the climbs or sprinting. I really feel like what I’m putting through the crank is getting to the ground. I’m a bit heavier than your average roadie, so take it for what it’s worth, but these things are a dream in the wind. I find it a little odd. I’d say these are better than the Splines in the wind, and those are like 29mm deep or something.

I set them up with 28mm Specialized Turbo Rapidair. For background, I run all of my bikes tubeless and have since ~2016. I love tubeless, I consider myself an expert, and will never go back… These were AWFUL to mount. I can only speak to this specific combination, but good god that sucked. To be clear, they didn’t take long, but the only option was significant use of levers and that is always a little uncomfy on new carbon hoops… After mounting, these tires are incredible and I haven’t had any issues yet. After experiencing the mounting, I am 1000% confident the hookless tech is not dangerous lol. Would take a nuclear bomb going off right next to the wheel for these to come off.

They also have very nice whoosh whoosh sounds. Would recommend to anybody.

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I’ve had Enve 5.6 disc since Jan 2017 and running tubeless a long time. The two worst:

  • Conti 5000 TL 25c
  • Specialized Turbo RapidAir 26c although not as bad as 5000TL, it wasn’t easy

And recently had a similar experience with 32c 5000TL on Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V (32mm external, 25mm internal) and also 32c 5000TL on Fulcrum 700db wheels.

The hardest to install award goes to 5000TL. Its the only tire that I’m forced to use the Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack tool.

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I’ve had the Specialized 2Bliss Rapidairs on my Foundation 65s for most of last season and this season. Lots of long endurance rides and, knock on wood, no punctures/flats. I run Stan’s Race Sealant but, similar to post above, have had good success with Orange Sealant in the past as well.

I don’t remember having had much issue mounting the Specialized initially but I do heat up any new tire before mounting with a heat gun. This really softens up the rubber and I find makes a world of difference. They will stretch obviously after mounting, so popping one side off to add sealant is very easy.

@BCrossen write up is very good on the 65s. We had a pretty windy early season here in Ohio this year and the wheels remained manageable. You do feel the gusts when they hit the front wheel but they never felt dangerous or unrideable. The wheels shine though on days where your legs are strong and you are able to push a little. At speed they just seem to slice through the air and motivate you to keeping pushing hard.

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