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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
- Rim Material
- Wheel Size
- Tire Type
- Tubeless, Clincher
- Rim Depth
- [front] 39mm, [rear] 43mm
- Rim Width
- [internal] 25mm, [external] 32mm
- Brake Compatibility
- Centerlock Disc
- ENVE Alloy
- Front Axle
- 12mm Thru-Axle
- Rear Axle
- 12 x 142mm
- Sapim CX-Ray
- Spoke Nipple
- Spoke Count
- 24 / 24
- Claimed Weight
- Recommended Use
- cyclocross, gravel, road cycling, triathlon
- Manufacturer Warranty
- 5 years
What do you think about this product?
July 16, 2020
Not sure about these on the tarmac...
- I returned this product before using it
- 6` 2"
- 180 lbs
There are some specs missing from the typical locquatious write up and technical specs. These have an 80psi max - I realized after receiving them that I would be running them at or near the max with 28s all of the time on the road. I suspect these are really gravel wheels being marketed as ok for road, tri, etc. Second, they have hookless rims I believe. This means they won't be compatible with many tires - this wasn't really an issue for me but given the hot mess that road tubeless has become it would be great to see more relevant specs published. They also come unfinished in that the buyer has to install the tape to seal them up. There was a ton of carbon dust or something on the pair I received which I cleaned with damp rags before drying the rims and then finally using the supplied alcohol prep wipes. Applied tape carefully and all looked great! Mounted Conti GP5000 tubeless tires with no drama and pumped up to set the bead. Let them sit a bit per manual instruction to allow the internal pressure to conform the tape to the channel in the rim bed. After all this could not get them to hold air. Going up over 40 to 50 psi caused the tape to move around I think and air/sealant to blow out from the valve nut, meaning air was leaking into the rim. Disappointed to return them as they look beautiful and are light and seem very durable. I just think anyone planning on using these as road tubeless should be aware of the specs and limitations and maybe there are some tricks to get them to seal up that are not included in the instructions.
July 17, 2020
Thank you for your review. I’ll probably stick with Shimano or Zipp having read this!
July 7, 2020
Great All-Around Wheels
- I've used it several times
- True to size
- Size Bought
- 3.4 AR
- 5` 11"
- 175 lbs
I don't agree with the other review about mounting the tires. I have the 2020 Schwalbe tires (size 28) and didn't experience the difficulty in mounting the tires that is described in the other review. For me, mounting is tighter than ordinary clinchers with a tube but just requires putting the tire in the center channel and then using a tire lever for the last bit. As for the wheels themselves, I am really enjoying them. I went back and forth on these, debating whether or not to buy, but after having purchased them, I don't have any regrets. I love being able to run 28s that are aero optimized, and I really like riding at the lower tire pressures. I also think the wider rim feels more glued to the road, and I feel more confident on them. I have other wheels that are 50mm, and I don't feel that I am losing a lot of aero benefits with the lower depth. These are definitely good all-around wheels that can be used for a lot of different uses, which I like. I also really like that I don't feel that I have to worry about crosswinds at all with this depth. This is my first experience with road tubeless, and it has been an overall positive experience. I highly recommend these wheels if you are committed to riding tubeless or would like to have a do-everything set of wheels. If not, I imagine the other 3.4 SES are also quite good.
December 4, 2019
Nice wheels but....
- I've put it through the wringer
Almost impossible to mount tires on these. Was barely able to get a set of cross tires on initially, and sealed up fine. After the season, I've tried mounting multiple road tires, tubeless and non and cannot for the life of me get them mounted. I've tried setting the bead in the channel, using powder and soap. Way too frustrating, and can't imagine being stuck on the side of the road with a flat and trying to repair. Good for cross, but the wide rims, make most tires too wide for UCI races.
April 23, 2020
Thanks for the heads-up about tire-mounting. I know how frustrating it is trying to mount a tight-fitting Tire--the fear alone of. damaging a $1300 Wheel is enough to make me think twice before buying. I wonder what ENVE has to say about this.
April 8, 2020
Is there a max rider weight limit on the Enve 3.4 AR disc - 24 spokes and carbon hoops doesn’t inspire the most confidence in an all road wheelset - thanks
October 30, 2019
Would these wheels work well for CX or are they too wide? Would the 3.4 wheels (non AR) be better?