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Reader Inquiry: Enve Rims vs Lightweights

Alexander W writes:

I am an avid cyclist and am currently looking to purchase a high end carbon wheel set for my bikes. The two companies that seem to come up often and suit my needs of quick acceleration and climbing ability are Lightweight and Enve.

Since Palo Alto Bicycles stocks Enve and you have already done an excellent write up on several Lightweight wheel sets, I was wondering if you would consider borrowing some of the new Enve 3.4 tubulars and writing a review. I am thinking of building them up with alchemy hubs and some aerolite spokes.

DIGLLOYD: I’ll ask if there is a test set available, but I have no special powers to borrow equipment, because I tell it like it is and most vendors find that unappealing (not speaking of PAB here, but of vendors of biking gear).

I also have no particular desire to ride 2nd best wheels— the Lightweights ride superbly, they never go out of true, and they don’t break (barring a stick or impact), there are no nipples to crack, etc.

I have 8000 miles on mine (6000 on the Obermayer set), and they ride like the day I got them. They will have another 10,000 miles on them this year, and I have zero concern about them holding up. I’ve even abused them for 'cross. Ride quality and ultimate reliability matter a lot more to me than a short term price advantage of a conventional wheel.

Case in point— prior to the Lightweights, I rode ZIPP 303 and 404. They rode well (not as nice as Lightweight Obermayers), but the day I glued on a new tire and then had a spoke break the next day, I was pissed. The Lightweight design cannot fail that way, and they won’t fail me that way at the Everest Challenge either. And they don’t make annoying noises like the ZIPPs did, either. I’m willing to invest in them for those reasons alone— I won’t entertain the idea of the Everest Challenge or a week-long 800-mile round-trip to my favorite haunts being ruined by a spoke breaking.


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