Tuesday, October 23, 2018

News Season: Part 2- Enve Fat Fork And Fat Wheels

The Enve Fat Bike Fork has some serious gram savings.
Enve Debuts New Fat Bike Fork and Carbon Wheel Set For Fat Bikes:

Enve Composites has been around a while now and probably are most well known for the high quality carbon rims for both mountain bikes and road bikes. But they have dabbled in components since the beginning as well. Enve has a long history with carbon forks and they have also done seat posts, stems, and handlebars.

Today Enve has announced a fat bike fork and a carbon fat bike rim/wheel set. The fork is simply called the Fat Bike Fork and it is not only lightweight, but it is compatible with 26" and 27.5" fat bike wheels.

The clever addition of a flip chip in the drop out allows for the fine tuning of the fork offset to optimize the handling for either wheel size. The obvious is here- 15mm X 150mm through axle, 1 1/4"-1 1/2" tapered steer tube, and a claimed weight of 748 grams. Axle to crown is 490mm and the offset can be set at 51mm or 42mm depending on the position of the flip chips in the drop out. Recommended rotor size is 160mm-203mm. Tire Clearance- 26" X 5.2" - 27.5" X 4.8" maximum. The fork has internally routed brake capability as well.

The MSRP on the Fat Bike Fork is $625.00 and is available for pre-order now. Shipping pre-orders should happen at the end of November.

Comments: The weight is nice, and the clearances are nice, and that dual wheel size compatibility is really nice! That was a nice touch from Enve as the fat bike market is kind of split between 26 and 27.5 wheel sizes right now. You would be good to go either way with this offering. Yeah.......it isn't a bike packer's pick, but I've also heard a few seasoned fat bikers say that weighting the front is bad for trying to traverse softer terrain. Hmm......

I've got a carbon fork on the Ti Mukluk, and the differences in ride characteristics based on the lighter weight alone make the switch an attractive one here. A seemingly minor detail- the internal brake routing- is actually a big deal to me. Getting a fat bike, one actually used in severe conditions like ungroomed snow, mud, and sand, the sleekest and smoothest that you can makes the going easier. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pick mud, or clear snow off that was stuck to the exposed brake line. Then again- you can always run sans front brake. That's what a lot of bushwhacking fat bikers do.

Enve's M685 fat bike wheels. Also available as a rim only.
The wheels are from Enve's M Series so these are "trail rated" and not just for snow, as some other rims out there are only rated for snow riding. They also feature Enve's first asymmetric molded spoke hole design which also accommodates fat bike wheels wider bracing angles. The rim profile was designed to shed snow and not allow build up.

Using a tubeless design, these rims don't need a wide rim strip. They also have a hookless bead design. The rims feature an 85mm inner rim width which should accommodate most fat bike tires out there. The rims are being made in both 27.5" and 26" diameters and the target weight is 600 grams for each rim.

The rims are available separately in both diameters offered at $999.00 MSRP each. The rims can also be purchased built up to Industry 9 hubs with a 150mm front/190mm rear spacing. Complete wheels are set to retail at $2800.00

Comments: Enve will be Enve, so the prices on these U.S. manufactured rims is no surprise. That said, it's hard to make a case for these in terms of price unless you value the claimed durability and the specific features of the rim's design. When every gram counts and durability cannot be compromised, yeah..... I can see getting these. They are a premium product and therefore you have to pay the price. If you just want lighter fat bike wheels and don't do anything extreme, well maybe something else would trip your trigger. A Whiskey No. 9 100 rim is wider, almost as light, and costs less than half as much per rim as the Enve does, for example.

Both wheel sizes are supported again here, so that is cool. I like the thought that went into making these trail rated, because, who knows? You might end up mountain biking your fat bike someday and knowing the rims are going to handle it is a nice chunk of "mind peace" to have. 

Note: Images and information were provided by Enve Composites.


Elvis said...

no triple mounts on the fork though.

S.Fuller said...

The hookless bead design on a fatbike rim surprises me a bit. I would think you would have issues with sealing and burping on themm at the lower pressures that e typically run fatbike tires at.