ENVE Composites have launched their first downhill-specific carbon rim. Prototypes have been in use by the Santa Cruz Syndicate team for the better part of two years, during which time they rode them to more than 50 podium placings.
The company say they’re proud to have claimed the first World Cup win with a carbon clincher rim; Greg Minnaar took the victory at the 2010 season opener in Maribor, Slovenia. They also report that the final prototypes – a single set of rims – incredibly carried Steve Peat through the entire 2011 World Cup season’s race runs.
Since the wheels first made their way onto the Syndicate’s rigs they’ve undergone major revisions, both in terms of profile and material. During the 2010 season, the Syndicate’s first on the carbon rims, they replaced 53 wheels, which was down from a reported 180 wheels per season when the team was on alloy. In 2011, the team had to replace just 11 wheels.
Such durability comes from the high specification materials – “we’re using the most expensive resin system on the planet; it’s stuff that’s meant to stop bullets and ballistics and the processing of the rim is just incredibly hard – it goes well outside what other resin systems are like.”
The production ENVE DH rim is 31mm deep and features a 21mm inner bead-to-bead width (30mm external). It includes structural modifications said to improve ride performance and strength without any notable weight penalties. The rim is only available in a 26in, 32-hole configuration and weighs a claimed 475g, compared to 580-660g for an equivalent alloy rim.
“It was a real challenge to get a rim that looked good,” said Schiers. “The ones they ran last year were built with the right resin system but they’re ugly as hell. If there were ever a close-up picture, I think people would be surprised at how poor of quality the surface appeared. Structurally they were fine but to get that resin to play nice it took us almost [the whole] two years – and that was working on them every day to try and come up with something better.” Currently, ENVE’s DH rims are for tube-type tyres only, but Schiers says that they’re working on a rim strip for tubeless conversion. ENVE is proud to release the world’s first all carbon downhill rim…
DH specific 100% uni-direction carbon fiber construction provides:
- -Unprecedented tracking and cornering performance.
- -Sizeable weight savings over DH specific alloy rims, most DH specific alloy rims weigh between 580-660 grams.
- -Improved stiffness over DH specific alloy rims.
Proprietary Toughened Resin System:
- -Guarantees superior strength and impact resistance when compared to much heavier alloy rims.
- -Dampens trail feedback.
ENVE Patented Moulded Spoke Hole Technology:
- -Virtually maintenance free wheel builds.
- -Stronger spoke holes allow for higher spoke tensions.
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