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Enve releases new SES Road tyres that it claims make any aero wheel faster

6 Aug 2020
Verdict:

The SES Road is Enve’s first foray into tyre design, developed in partnership with Czech brand Tufo

Enve's new SES Road tyres may be the US brand’s first attempt at the tyre category but the move can be seen as a natural extension from Enve’s primary business of producing premium aero rim and component designs.

As such they are aerodynamically efficient, tubeless-ready and will retail for £70 each. There is even a tanwall option. What’s more, Enve says that the SES Road tyres were developed in collaboration with the experienced Czech tyre brand Tufo, so it would be reasonable to expect these new tyres to be competitive right from the get-go.

Enve certainly suggests they will be. The headline claim is that the SES Road tyres possess an aerodynamically designed tread pattern that is optimised to work with Enve’s SES rims but promises to make any aero wheel faster.

‘Fundamental to our success at Enve has been developing rim shapes that work optimally with the best tyres on the market. Whilst we were driven to make our rims as stable and aerodynamically efficient as possible with other manufacturer’s tyres, there was always that thought that it would be better if we could have complete control over the tire and rim,’ says aerodynamicist Simon Smart, who plays a key role in all Enve’s SES projects.

 

Aerodynamics

Paired with a specifically shaped tyre cross-section (Enve says it is neither too elliptical nor too round) the SES Road tyres include a ‘Breakaway’ tread pattern.

‘The tread acts as a trip edge that energises the airflow so that it remains attached as it flows from the tyre to rim surface on the front wheel,’ Enve says. ‘On the rear wheel, the tread helps to close the wake as the airflow transitions off the tyre.’

The brand goes on to say that the actual tread pattern is not so important, it just needs certain angles and edges to be present on the tyre. As a result the pattern forms a partial Enve logo.

This thinking might seem debatable at first but Enve claims to have proven the results in the wind-tunnel. Further it is not the first to tout the aero benefits of tread patterns. The ‘Lazer Grip’ tread pattern on Continental’s GP5000 tyres is often shown to have a similar effect on airflow.

 

Sizing

Tyre sizing is notoriously vague so in a refreshing step in the right direction Enve will detail how each of its SES Road tyre options – which will come in 25, 27, 29 and 31mm widths – will size up when paired with different internal rim dimensions.

For example, Enve says the SES 29mm tyre will measure 28mm wide on a 21mm internal rim width but 31mm on a rim with a 25mm internal width. It helps legitimise the pioneering ‘WAM’ and ‘RAM’ tyre measurement concept developed by Gerard Vroomen and 3T, meaning we could be moving closer to standardised tyre measurement classifications.

 

Construction details

‘While aerodynamics were a top priority, the SES Road tyres adhere to our “real world fast” design philosophy,’ says Enve. ‘As such, great effort was put into ensuring that the SES Road tyres deliver rolling efficiency that is on par with the leading tyres in the industry while striking a functional balance between weight savings, ride quality and reliability.’

Enve says the SES tyres are comprised of several materials that each bring certain characteristics to the party so that the tyre can achieve its well-rounded remit.

The tyre beads are made from Zylon, a synthetic polymer known for its high strength and thermal stability. Enve says this helps the tyre achieve fantastic tubeless setup performance, helping make the tyre easy to mount and inflate as well as providing a reliable seal with both hooked and hookless rims.

From that foundation a belt of Vectran, the puncture protection used in Continental’s GP5000 tyres, is deployed underneath an ‘SPC Silica’ rubber compound that apparently balances grip and rolling resistance with durability and a competitive weight – a size 27mm tyre is said to weigh 265g.

As such Enve says that while the tyres don’t lead the way in any one area, they offer the best trade-off of all the desirable tyre attributes.

Cyclist will report back with thoughts on the Enve SES Road tyre's actual performance in due course, but on the face of it they seem to be another well-executed product from the brand.

One intriguing final thing to note is the SES ‘Road’ specification. Can we expect subsequent additional designs to meet the needs of Enve’s gravel and MTB wheelsets? Only time will tell.

Price: 
£70 per tyre

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