ENVE's new $1600 Foundation Series wheels

Definitely could see something along those lines as well. They seem pretty invested in the idea of hookless rims with wide tires.

They are always working on something and recently hinted a Foundation XC wheel is in the works.

I wonder though if they hold off on an SES replacement until there is some agreement on standards set with the various wheel and tire manufacturers. It sounds like there has been some meaningful progress and being able to launch in conjunction with an agreed upon standard who seem to be appealing to both Enve and the consumer.

I just hit 1,500 miles on my Foundation 65’s. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to race them in 2 crits and they were awesome. I’ve also logged tons of long rides on the wheels in all kinds of summery weather including some pretty stiff winds. I’ve had one experience where I was riding about 40 mph downhill in a protected area, then hit an exposed area, then back to protected. That one instance was a little bit of an “oh shit” but I didn’t get any death wobble. It definitely gave me a little shock but it was easy to correct. Otherwise, straight winds up to 22 mph (recorded) and no issues at all.

The comfort of these is really amazing. I’ve done a lot of long rides and they are just plush feeling with that low pressure but they also corner very very well.

The one thing I will say that has been a real benefit, and I will just kick myself in the ass for saying it because we all know what will happen on my next ride, I haven’t had a flat on them. I have had a few instances where I noticed sealant on the seat post after the ride, but I’ve never noticed it while riding. I think running low pressure it just makes sealing flats a breeze. So you get a puncture, sealant does it’s job and not by running 95 PSI the sealant can take care of the problem and never even know you had a puncture to begin with.

Definitely in love with these wheels :v:t4:


I’ve gotten some more miles in on my Foundation 65s in some variable winds. Agree that the wheels are surprisingly stable in crosswinds. On my last ride a summer thunderstorm started rolling in as I was on my homestretch and gusting winds suddenly came out of nowhere. I could feel the gusts on the front wheel but still felt stable and in control. So far really happy with crosswind performance.


I was looking at the Enve Foundation MTB wheels and came back to this thread. The wheels you list are XC wheels. You wouldn’t put XRC1200’s on a long travel AM bike or an enduro bike as those are pure XC wheels. The Enve’s are AM wheels so apples to oranges really.

The EX511’s would be a better AM comp than the XRC1200’s.

If you are looking for XC wheels I would agree with you but that’s not what the Foundations are made for.

Do these wheels make you noticeably faster? I don’t know much about cycling.

Are you referring to the road wheels or the mountain wheels?

Compared to whatever stock, budget wheels that come on a middle of the road bike the road wheels will probably make a bigger difference than the mountain wheels.

The main benefits for the mountain wheels are increased stiffness/compliance in the desired planes, wider inner width, and decreased weight (if you have heavy wheels, these aren’t super light). They may also have higher points of engagement than a cheap wheelset so you have less ‘deadspace’ when you start pedaling.

On the road side the biggest advantage is aerodynamics. The deep section will cut through the wind better and require you to output less power to go the same speed (or higher speed for the same power). They would also have better stiffness/compliance in the desired directions and possibly lower weight.

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As far as I can tell…there is no ‘compliance’ in a wheel in a desired plane…unless the wheel is on the verge of failure from under tension. Wheels dont flex vertically when you hit bumps. If they do to a noticeable degree…that is very BAD.

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  • Not sure that’s true.

  • I only listened to this once, and will again, but seem to remember very specific comments that are right in line with this concept.

    • Related discussion starts at 31:50 in the cast below.

Flo’s head designer discussed this recently with respect to their new gravel wheels. Sounds like there is actual flex as a result of the size, shape, and layup in the deeper section wheel. This is all highly dependent on those factors, so it’s not something that can be said or assumed for any wheel. But I think this proves it IS possible and can even be used with intent.

Also, from various discussions over the last 10 years or so, the fact that many carbon wheels have more “give” than aluminum wheels, have been considered beneficial from a comfort perspective. I think a fair bit of that was from Josh Poertner of Zipp fame when they were looking at options for Roubiax and other rough road races. All this is from loose memory, but I think that there are potential advantages in this light, when the right design and materials are employed, and won’t create a “bad” condition.

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That is very wrong, at least for mountain bike wheels. Compliance is the whole design concept for wheelsets like the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO and Crankbrothers Synthesis.

Yeah I never said they should have any noticeable flex. Especially for road wheels, maybe compliance should have been reworded as vibration damping.

Compliance isn’t necessarily a metric on its own. It’s simply a lack of stiffness. Just like cold is the absence of heat.

When designing wheels you definitely are not just going for the stiffest wheel possible because it would ride like crap. You purposefully will make the wheel more stiff in certain directions and less stiff in others in order to achieve the desired ride quality, weight, durability, price, etc.

I’m hesitant to buy only due to them being hookless. I would be using them in races and group rides so rolling one freaks me out. And getting a puncture and spraying people is not cool.

Irrational fear based on ignorance? Is there some sort of consensus on hookless rims? Are they as safe as hooked?

If how damn loud they pow when you mount them is any indicator, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.

Seriously though, a hookless wheel with a hookless-compatible tire is rock solid. I’ve been running the Zipp 303 S (also hookless) for a few months with 32C Gravel Kings and they’ve been nothing but amazing. I even took them on a mountain bike trail because I’m an idiot. Gravel roads, rough roads, pissing rain, mud…literally everything I could throw at them. Not a single issue.


Its all about the rim AND tire.

Even if you don’t read much of the article, this is one key point:

as I learned the hard way with a hooked ENVE 5.6 Disc and an out-of-spec tire (Sector 28).


Thanks @summerson and @bbarrera…read the article and listening to the podcast from way ^^^ up there. I’ve enjoyed my SES wheelset for a couple years now…and after listening to Victor Campenaerts compare and contrast the foundation to SES, for the price, it peaked my interest.


I’ve also had no issues so far although I haven’t been racing this year, for obvious reasons. I have however taken plenty of turns just as hard as I would in races and ridden on shit roads, through potholes, dirt roads, pea gravel roads, and some pretty wicked gravel roads without issues so far. All on the 303 discs and Pro Ones…only 55/60 psi. Been far more worried about the tires themselves than the tire and wheel mating.


I think there is no consensus yet. I decided to stay with hooks. Mainly because I want to ride GP5000 TL and don’t want to be restricted in my tire choice. A further but minor reason: I’m running 28mm at the moment but want to have the option to go for 25mm and further aero benefits. With 25mm the pressure I would use is probably at around the max pressure your are allowed with hookless. That seems unnecessary risky for me. I rather opted for hooks and not safe a few grams.

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Thanks @Trippy. Being relatively new to it I’m getting educated on hookless and tubeless in general. Cars and motorcycles being hookless calms me. Cycling tires being so much thinner def have to get it right though…

Thanks @Toby yep I was hoping to run ContiGP5k as well…perhaps in time Conti will make a hookless compatible.

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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