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Get stuck into the Melee: Enve launches first mass-market race bike

The Melee marks a new approach for the American brand, providing something to bolt its carbon wheels into

Joseph Delves
21 Jul 2022

American component manufacturer Enve has released its first stock-geometry frameset. Called the Melee, it’s aimed squarely at the racing market and features aggressive angles and aerodynamic profiles.

The Melee ‘chassis’ – comprising frameset, bars, stem and seatpost – is available to order now for £5,300.

Enve is best known for its carbon wheels, but in 2021 launched its first frameset, the Custom Road. Created in Ogden, Utah, it was a fully customisable bike produced in limited numbers that could be geared towards racing or all-road riding.

The new Melee is similar in style, but expands on the small batch creation of this first offering, shifting to overseas manufacturing and a much greater production volume.

‘When we decided that the time had come for Enve to expand into bicycle frames, we knew that we needed to make our first bike here in Ogden and that we wanted it to be custom,’ explains Jake Pantone, Enve’s VP of product and brand.

Mass production and race focus

‘At the same time, due to the nature of custom, availability would be limited,’ Pantone says. ‘Our US manufacturing facility provides us with the unique opportunity to design, prototype, and iterate at a much higher rate than we can overseas.

‘The Custom Road is the result of this process, and it established a sound foundation upon which we've been able to create the Melee.’

Offered in seven standard frame sizes from 47 to 60cm, the Melee aims to be an out-and-out racer. With this in mind, its design uses monocoque construction to pursue the race-focussed attributes of weight, stiffness and aerodynamics.

‘The Melee is a no-holds-barred modern race bike built specifically to meet the performance demands of the discipline,’ says Pantone. ‘While capable of racing at the highest level, the Custom Road prioritises customisation and personalisation over specific race performance metrics.’



Despite being aimed at racers, the Melee remains on-trend in its ability to accommodate wide tyres. With a versatile maximum clearance of 35mm, its geometry has been optimised for tyres between 27 and 32mm wide.

Each of the seven frame sizes is married to one of five different forks, with size-specific rakes to standardise handling across the range.

Optimised for Enve wheels

Attention to the frame’s profile comes by way of a minimal frontal area, kamm-tail tube shapes and full front-end integration. Enve has also tried to optimise the frameset to its wheels, meaning the Melee should pair best with the firm’s own rim profiles.

While it may produce an increasing range of components, Enve is not quite yet jumping into the complete bike market. Instead, the Melee will be available as a ‘chassis’, including proprietary parts specific to the design.

Each chassis comprises frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem and seatpost, and these can be selected in different lengths to tailor the bicycle’s fit.

Help on getting the right combo can be had from Enve’s online Best-Fit Calculator, which should point you in the direction of the correct frame size and the components to match.

The Melee is available in just a single colour, ‘Damascus’ (a sort of semi-metallic grey steel), and can be yours for £5,300 and will be available to buy immediately from saddleback.co.uk.

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