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Rolling up to the start of a ride on a silky set of ENVE wheels affords you a certain level of status and inclusion, no matter the group. Their graphics quietly roar with wind-tunnel tested aerodynamics and speed that all but guarantee you'll have an advantage when the cranks wind up and tucks get low. The ENVE SES 3.4 Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset with Chris King R45 Hubs delivers scientifically proven speed, impeccable handling, and a brand new generation of carbon braking — all wrapped up in that beautiful ENVE aesthetic.
ENVE made its name with its fearless approach toward developing innovative rim shapes designed to make the wheels go faster; but for 2016, the big new story is the wheels' ability to stop. ENVE imbues the latest SES 3.4 with a brand new in-molded brake track, referred to as Gen 2, which offers a 30% claimed increase to stopping power and the ability to retain 95% of its braking power when being used in sloppy, wet conditions.
As with all Smart ENVE System (SES) wheels, the SES 3.4 wheelset uses ENVE's most sophisticated technology and engineering techniques to balance stiffness and aerodynamics. The design starts with the size differential of the wheels, which allows ENVE to account for the different behaviors of front and rear wheels with targeted dimensions. The front wheel is 35mm deep and 26mm wide, while the rear wheel is 45mm deep and 24mm wide. The front wheel's shallow profile and wide stance helps decrease drag in windy conditions, while the rear wheel's depth decreases drag as stability is less affected at the aft position of the bike. According to ENVE, the 3.4s create a low drag number rivaling many competitors' 50 and 60mm-deep rims.
One of the most noticeable advantages of the 3.4 carbon clincher wheelset is its enhanced stability. The 3.4 demonstrates stellar results under the ENVE Stability Index, a series of tests that incorporates the measurement of transient aerodynamics. The test represents real-world conditions, and ENVE is one of the only non-Formula One manufacturers to conduct it. The 3.4 shape that was developed as a result of these tests ensures predictable airflow attachment over the rim, regardless of crosswind. In crosswind conditions, the 3.4 experiences a buildup of side-force equal to the changing angle of the wind, and the predictability prevents the need for rider over-correction and minimizes the wheel wobble that plagues many other deep-dish wheels on the market.
The ENVE SES series boasts the highest strength-to-weight ratio on the market due in part to ENVE's patented process of molding in spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve stem holes. Knowing that carbon fiber gains strength from continuous fibers, ENVE routes the fibers around each hole in a 100% intact design, which allows a lower weight at the spoke face and adds overall rigidity to the rim. ENVE also removes the rim-shaping inflatable bladder in the rim, which, while time-consuming and expensive, serves to reduce rim weight and makes for a perfectly tensioned wheel build.
- Item #ENV0038
- Q & A
Which hub do you recomme nd on the Enve 3.4 — Chris King, DT Swiss or Enve Ceramic?
They're all great. Honestly if you're not familiar with the difference, I would highly recommend going with something cheaper, as it'll be more than great. HED Belgiums are great for example. Save the money, get some solid wheels and ride a lot!