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ENVE has reached such a superior level with their SES 4.5 Carbon Road Clincher Road Wheelset, that in addition to the ENVE Carbon Ceramic Hubs, they should pack a fresh pair of podium shoes in the box. And maybe a cycling cap, too, to ensure that no one has an excuse for wearing a baseball hat on the top step. Smoother rolling and lighter than even the winning SES 4.5 rims used by MTN-Qhubeka in the 2015 Tour, this wheelset is aerodynamically optimized to waste none of your wattage output. The rims' dimensions (48mm deep and 27mm wide in the front, and 56mm deep and 25.5mm wide in the rear) mean the wheelset is an evolved system that shapes the airflow to stabilize your ride and transport you to the finish line.
At the hubs, you'll find precision and quality that transcends even Tour status. DT Swiss star ratchet freehub engagement system, CeramicSpeed bearings, and ENVE’s own single-piece carbon aesthetics set you apart with outright distinction. And with an improved Gen 2 brake track for wet-conditions braking, the weather—just like your competition—is an afterthought.
- Item #ENV0032
- Q & A
One wheel to rule them all
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These wheels are flat out amazing!!! Frankly, there was nothing wrong with the outgoing 4.5's, but when Enve sees an opportunity to increase performance they go for it. The Gen 2 brake track is everything Enve claims, with a noticeable improvement in stopping power, modulation and especially wet braking performance. I had the opportunity to test this out during a particularly lousy commute home. The textured track adds a fair amount of braking noise, but it's a linear, whirring down as you stop instead of the occasional pad squeal that carbon rims are known for.
These wheels are replacing my trusted Zipp 404's and I can feel a definite increase in lateral stiffness as well as an improvement in high speed stability. The staggered rim profile and width from front to rear lives up to Enve's aero claims in my opinion. As to the hub selection.....
Do I actually :::need::: carbon hubs with ceramic bearings? The fact that I am not paid to ride my bike says "no", but the combo of the 4.5 and the new Enve carbon hub was too hard to resist. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?
I have never experienced a hub that rolls as smooth or lets the wheels spin up as fast as these. The reduced weight is of course a plus, but non-gram counters can revel in the rest of the beauty of the hubs. The woven in spoke holes in the flanges follow Enve's practice of adding strength where there is a hole (rather than loosing it) and this also helps in the rigidity factor.
The DT/Swiss options are winners as well, for a reduced cost and a handful more grams.
Overall, the SES 4.5's are proving to be a one-wheel collection!
If you have any questions or for additional information, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
Gearhead - Bike