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Green with ENVE.
The point of a ride, as 29er diehards see it, is to rip from point A to point Z and back again as fast as possible, dusting rock gardens and demolishing buff singletrack at eye-watering speeds. If that sounds like you, the ENVE M50/Fifty 29in Chris King Wheelset should be locked into your dropouts every time you hit the trail. An updated iteration of ENVE’s standard-bearing 29 XC, the M50/Fifty is lighter (50g less per rim), tougher, wider (the internal width has grown from 18 to 21mm) and stiffer, which translates to better grip, better cornering, better stability, and more all-around badness.
While ENVE has shaved carbon from the rim to save weight and tweaked the M50/Fifty to put more rubber on the trail for better grip, the new Chris King ISO hubs are maybe the most important update. King’s designs are famous for blowing the industry standards for durability and precision out of the water and for having a pedaling response like no other. This particular freehub has 72 (like, one more than 71) points of engagement, which means the wheel starts turning as soon as you even think about pedaling, and provides that distinct swarm-of-bees freewheeling sound that lets everyone know you’re serious about destroying their Strava times.
- Item #ENV000V
- Q & A
Strong, light, and fast, the best!!!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Summary: Strong, light, and fast, these are arguably the best upgrade you can invest in your mtb.
There are few upgrades that leave a memorable impression in your cycling career - carbon vs aluminum frame/fork, 29" vs 26" mtb, and disc vs V-brakes come to mind. I've owned high in aluminum wheels and mid-grade carbon wheels. None of them come close to these wheels. They are noticebly stiffer and more responsive when you need them like powering up technical singletrack. They easily handle my 230 lbs. of former weightlifting bodyweight. They are also "faster" and you will notice less fatugue over the long run, my guess is due to decreased inertia that you typically experience on XC trails. Also, these wheels improved my top speed to the point, that I now need to hit brakes on DH sections of the trail that I've never had to. I'm guessing I've surpassed 45 mph with these! With these wheels my best lap time went down about 10 minutes on a 11 mile loop, and this was without me pushing it.