Why We Like The SES 3.4 AR Disc Brake Wheelset
Modern all-road riding has definitely had an influence on today's equipment. Take for instance the SES 3.4 AR Disc Brake Wheelset from ENVE. Its tubeless rim is constructed of carbon fiber and laced to the firm's all-new alloy hubs. As a sign of the times, it's only available for disc-specific bikes and is aero-optimized for tires in the 28 to 32mm range. Built in the same vein as its popular 4.5 AR, the 3.4 AR promises excellent aerodynamics for higher volume tires and is even lighter for those long days in the mountains.
The SES 3.4 AR is only possible in part to a cosmic shift in the type of riding and racing "road" cyclists are embarking on these days along with frame manufacturers and tire makers providing the proper equipment to exploit this high volume desire. Once it was discovered that wider and lower pressure can be faster, the industry and riders have quickly taken note and now there's plenty of equipment that boosts aerodynamics, comfort, and performance.
Where the SES 3.4 AR shines is in its ability to reduce drag when paired with high volume 28 to 32mm tubeless compatible road tires. And while the frontal area is increased slightly with wider tires, the level of rolling resistance is reduced to a level that counteracts the losses. This is especially true since the 3.4 AR is built for real-world performance and optimized at speeds as low as 20mph. Like the rest of the SES lineup, the front and rear rims are designed specifically for their respective positions on the bike. The front rim is shallower to maximize stability while the rear is deeper to maximize airflow reduction.
The SES 3.4 AR's disc specific laminates and construction help it maximize weight savings, making it an excellent climbing partner when the road, be it paved or gravel, turns up. While disc brakes are relatively new to road cycling, they're standard issue on mountain bikes and ENVE's been making disc brake specific mountain bike rims since its beginning. This experience gave ENVE a head start when it came time to develop disc brake specific rims for the road. ENVE claims that the 3.4 AR is the lightest road wheel on the market in its category and it builds it for mountain and mixed surface riding where its stiffness and high volume provides more confidence when descending technical washboard gravel and sinuous paved canyon roads alike. The additional tire volume and road tubeless performance, featuring a hookless bead design, achieves ideal tubeless performance and easy set up. Its the same tubeless tire bed design as its G Series gravel and M Series mountain wheels. Since the bead is hookless, its completely flat on the inner wall, allowing for a more refined interface between tire and rim, improving airflow performance.
And to increase tire and rim reliability, this wheelset features ENVE’s patent-pending Wide Hookless Bead. Introduced in 2017, this anti-pinch-flat and rim protection technology is built upon a wide leading edge for the tire to impact against, dissipating the impact energy across a larger surface area and reducing trauma to the tire that frequently results in a pinch-flat. This also makes the rim less susceptible to impact damage. This feature conspires with the 25mm internal width allow it to work with road and gravel tires between 28 and 55mm wide, making quick work of mixed surface road races or full-on gravel events.
- ENVE's most versatile all-road wheelset built for wide tires and mixed terrain
- Disc-specific carbon construction blends light weight and strength
- Rim width and depth strike a balance between speed and handling
- ENVE's alloy hubs are lightweight, stiff, and uses a durable rachet design
- Compatible with centerlock disc rotors
- The rim is aero-optimized for 28-32mm wide tires
- Wide Hookless Bead design reduces pinch flats and improves rim durability
- ENVE once again leads the industry with innovative rim design
- Item #ENV0088