• Anthony Little
  • none
  • June 17, 2011
  • journal, Uncategorized


We received the brand new ENVE 6.7 wheels a little over two weeks ago. We’ve been waiting for these wheels for quite a long time. The guys at EDGE (as the company was known as back then) have been telling us about this new wheel for quite some time. This is not a project that they came up with in the past few months in response to other wheel manufacturers offerings but something that has been on the drawing board for a while now. Needless to say they did a great job of keeping hush all this time, setting our anticipation quite high. Upon receiving these wheels the looming question is; was it worth the wait?
First off though, what exactly are the 6.7’s? The six stands for the 60mm front wheel depth, while the seven is for, you guessed it, the 70mm rear rim depth. What the 6 or 7 doesn’t explain is the other major trait of the wheels which is the width. 26mm wide for the front wheel and 24mm for the rear.

If you look close enough you can see the rim on both sides of the 22mm Continental Sprinter tubular tire. These wheels were tested w/ this tire and the 23mm offering from Vittoria. Jake at ENVE confirmed that either of those are the ideal combination for these wheels.

 

Looking at the front wheel with the tire glued on my first thought was that maybe we should have a larger volume tire installed. It was a bit unnerving to see so much rim exposed and I even thought there could be issues with aggressive cornering and the chance of the rim making direct contact with the tarmac. After the first ride this has proven to be no issue whatsoever. And on tire width, the guys confirmed that these wheels perform best with a 22 or 23mm tire.
The rear wheel is 24mm which makes it no problem to mount these wheels in the tightest of frames and I’m sure helps keep the weight to the minimum as well.
Claimed weight is 1458g with the DT240 hubs. We didn’t weigh them to confirm, but in the past all of the wheels from EDGE/ENVE have been pretty close to the claimed weight. Plus, if you are looking at just the number on the scale, these would not be the first choice anyhow.

These wheels were built in conjunction with Simon Smart, an ex-formula one aerodynamics expert who has helped develop many other cycling products. But none of that matters if the wheels don’t perform. So, what do we think after just 14 rides? Read on…

 

The 60mm deep, 26mm wide front wheel

 

Our first ride on the 6.7’s was an 80 mile 8000+ft of climbing, 5 hour day. To be fair, not the exact kind of course that these wheels were meant for. The first thing I noticed was the stiffness of the wheels. The second thing I noticed was the braking performance.
I want to spend a little time on this point. The braking is PHENOMENAL! I believe that these have the best braking cabon wheels I’ve ever been on and rival most aluminum wheels as well. It is not an especially powerful brake action, but a smooth and modulated feeling. I feel too much emphasis is put on strong brakes anyhow, we are stopping a light machine and our own body weight after all. The contact patch of a 22-23mm tire is very small and whatever traction there is in the first place is dramatically reduced when we hit the brakes. The last thing you want is to have the tires brake loose on a fast and technical descent. Also, when riding in a pack you want predictable braking, especially in panic situations as it keeps the guys behind you actually behind you, not on top of you. There has not been one hint of a squeal yet out of these wheels. They have not made a peep at all which can’t be said for a lot of carbon wheels out there. I haven’t ridden these in the rain yet, so wet weather braking performance has not been tested.

 

The rear 70mm deep, 24mm wide wheel

 

Climbing performance:

 

At a claimed 1458g these wheels are not heavy but also not terribly light especially for tubulars. But again, for this depth and stiffness there are not too many wheels out there that are lighter. Again, our first ride had over 8000ft of climbing so I got pretty familiar with their climbing abilities right off the bat. Another thing I have to admit is that the wheels that I just took off this Parlee Z5 were Lightweights sub-thousand gram Obermayers. So keep in mind that any wheel I put on after that was going to be at a disadvantage!
I did notice the weight for sure. They did not accelerate nearly as fast as many other lighter and more shallow sectioned wheels that I’ve ridden have. Once up to speed on a consistent grade though and they felt as fast as any of these lighter wheels. But we don’t have too many consistent grade climbs around here, so I honestly did feel the weight quite a bit.
But again, these wheels are not made for climbing. They are made for fast flat to rolling courses and the fact that they climb as well as they did is very promising. That being said though, I’m really looking forward to the 3.4’s that are due out very soon. If they are even close to the 6.7’s in terms of speed and stiffness and a bit lighter, I think they could be the wheel of choice for climbers looking for a little more speed out of their wheels.

Near the top of Mt. Tam about to be rewarded with the best braking wheel out there…

 

Descending performance:

 

The most important feature to a good descending wheel? Stability and braking performance which the ENVE 6.7 has in spades. This is just my opinion, but I feel we live in an area with some of the best descents I’ve ever been on. Fast but technical, great and not so great pavement and most of the time, wind.
These wheels are super, super stable. We have some pretty good wind here, especially on the ridge going up to the top of Mt. Tam. While I can’t say I haven’t gotten blown around a bit, it has been no more and even less than some of the shallow section wheels I ride on a regular basis. These wheels are super stable. And while one of the first things I noticed was the stiffness of the 6.7’s they don’t bounce you around too much on bumpy descents. They hold a line perfectly and confidently and let you enter corners with a little more speed than on some other wheels I’ve ridden. And then there is the braking. You can grab a handful and not worry about locking up the wheels at all (at least with the Hive RevL brakes I have been using. It’ll be interesting what a pair of Dura-Ace 7900 calipers feel like). Even on some of the short 20% descents we finish the ride with there has not been any noise at all. Also, at full lean I have not felt short on traction one bit, so these get the highest marks for descending of almost any carbon wheel I’ve been on. The last thing I’ll mention on descending is how fast the 6.7’s feel. The get up to speed really fast and hold that speed longer than anything I’ve been on. Just coasting down some of the rollers I put meters on guys who are usually right with me or even ahead of me in the past.

Speed?

Yes.

OK, they are fast, fast descending, fast on the rollers and fast on the descents. Like climbing, I think they are fastest once up to speed as they can maintain that forever. But in a sprint that starts from a slower speed I think the 3.4’s will be the ticket. For sure you still have to have the legs, but these just feel faster and will make the perfect flat to rolling course race or group ride wheel. This could also be the perfect wheel for triathlons which have a lot of wind like Kona, or the perfect wheel for hilly time trials…

Build quality:

Hand built in the states, the fit and finish of the rims are perfect. No flaws in the construction that we could see and very robust looking. They look and feel heavier than they are and if they last as long as some of the other EDGE wheels we have we will be very happy. A nice feature is that you can buy the rims separately so you can use any hub you like. The DT Swiss 240’s are super high quality but we like the fact that we can build them with the King R-45’s or Dura-Ace hubs as well. We also like the blacked out graphics so we’ll be much more inclined to keep the decals in place.

Conclusion:

In the short period of time that I’ve been riding the ENVE 6.7’s I can and do recommend them for anyone looking for a well built, very fast rider looking for some extra speed on flat to rolling courses. They will be a great all around wheel if you are looking for that one set to do everything from time trials to road races. For events or rides that require more acceleration like crits or climbing, I’d wait for the 3.4’s. For more technical information on how and why these wheels were developed there are many places you can look but I’d start here.

We have a couple sets of the ENVE 6.7 wheels in stock now, give us a call or stop by the store to order some or get a little more info!

Thanks for reading!