Written by Mark Brusso, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Team Director & Racer [MTB & Cyclocross]
Cyclocross season is now fully upon us. For 2012 I wanted to try something different. I was looking to step out of the realm of aluminum a little further and see what carbon in the cockpit was all about. I was also looking to dedicate a full set of wheels to file treads for those days where the course was high and dry, and the lower profile tire would roll with the greatest of ease.
So I decided to get an order in with Duke’s Cycle on a set of Enve Classic 25 tubular wheels, with an Enve 110 mm road stem and an Enve compact road bar. It was the best decision I made in terms of upgrading my Cannondale Super X. Those three components made a HUGE improvement in the ride of my cross bike. So much, it felt like I wasn’t even making that foreign feeling transition over from the mountain bike.
Enve lets you customize a special order wheelset, almost any way you want offering choices from premium hub manufacturers such as Chris King and DT Swiss. I decided to go with the DT Swiss 180 Carbon Ceramics as I’ve been running DT Swiss for years on my Mountain Bikes, and I am fully sold on the brand in terms of performance, reliability and serviceability. Out of the box, the wheels came straight and true as an arrow and required no truing and have stayed that way after several races this season.
The Classic 25 wheels exceeded my expectations in terms of stiffness and feel. I knew I would be making a great investment with them, alreading being spoiled all season on the Enve 29XC wheels on my Flash 29er. Enve is doing a lot of things right these days, and they are known for certain features such as their bladder-less rim construction, unidirectional carbon materials, and pre-molded spoke holes. Every little detail is taken care of and it all adds up to one smooth rolling, light and snappy set of wheels. The fact the raw carbon rims look great with the white hubs is icing on the cake.
And the stem and handlebar? I never knew upgrading to carbon in that area would make such a difference in the ride. All the harshness and bumpiness that cross is known for was dampened down to a pleasant plush ride. It was like adding suspension on the front. The bar’s integrated plugs are very very clean looking and the cable routing grooves make cabling easy and neat. Matte black on matte black always looks great, and it matches the wheels perfectly. If you have the opportunity to make an upgrade, and want to try something that will perform above and beyond the norm, my suggestion is to try an Enve product.
No matter what area of your bike it goes on, you will see and feel an improvement in both looks and performance. You’ve just got to ask yourself… “How much fun do you want to have?”