ENVE Custom Road Bike: First Look
By Stan Portus – 26 March 2021
ENVE has announced its entry to the road bike market with the Custom Road, a modern road bike manufactured at its Ogden, Utah, USA headquarters. Currently available only in the USA and direct from ENVE the new bicycle is as exclusive as it gets. But you can find out more and set your eyes on the build here.
Available exclusively in the USA and only direct from ENVE, the new custom and hand built Custom Road Bike is one exclusive ride.
There is currently no immediate plan for the Custom Road to be available in the UK. But a brand with industry leading expertise and knowledge such as ENVE dropping an entirely new product is no small news, so we wanted to give you an insight into this new bike.
The ENVE Custom Road is a modern road bike featuring a frame design that hits the sweet spot between being aerodynamic, lightweight, and versatile, whilst achieving what ENVE aims for with all its products: real world speed, comfort, and performance.
On top of this the ENVE bike comes with all the trimmings you can expect from a modern super bike. It has integrated components, premium carbon construction, and clearance for up to 35mm tyres. It is exclusively available for disc brakes and electronic drivetrains. To top it off, customers can personalise everything from geometry to paint, to components and ENVE wheels.
The introduction of the ENVE Custom Road marks a new chapter for ENVE and builds upon the success and knowledge the Ogden, Utah based carbon manufacturer has reaped since its beginnings back in 2007.
The Custom Road may be the first complete bicycle frame from ENVE, but ENVE has been involved in the manufacture of frames since its very beginnings.
ENVE has collaborated with Parlee on numerous projects over the years, most recently with the Parlee Z0 road bike. ENVE has also worked with Santa Cruz developing the rear triangle for the Santa Cruz V10, the first full-carbon production DH bike to win the World Championship. The Cervélo P5X was also developed in collaboration with ENVE. Cervélo’s experience with ENVE SES wheels led them to commission ENVE to help develop the P5X’s front end.
Consequently, ENVE is no stranger to bike manufacture and knows what it takes to build a superb bike. This time round, with the Custom Road, ENVE has been able to build a bike to its own exact specification and to meet the demands the team at ENVE, and people the world over, are beginning to make of their road bikes.
ENVE’s vision for the perfect modern road bike extends back to the research it undertook for the game changing ENVE SES AR line of wheels in 2015. Originally designed for taking on the cobbles at Paris–Roubaix but ideal for anyone trading the tarmac for rougher terrain, the SES AR wheel rim shape is optimised for larger tyres and minimises aerodynamic losses whilst offering notable gains in stability, traction and confidence.
At the time there were only a few bikes that accommodated larger capacity tyres and most of these were billed as Endurance bikes which, when it came to geometry, left something to be desired for performance orientated road riders and racers. It was at this point ENVE started making notes of what its ideal bike would be.
These notes led to ENVE’s definition of what a modern road bike should offer:
• Custom fit
• Personalised design
• Clearance for larger capacity tyres
• Functional integration
• Electronic drivetrains
• Disc brakes
All of these features coalesce in the ENVE Custom Road Bike to create a bike that offers what many riders expect from modern bikes whilst joining the dots between what large bike brands and artisan builders offer. The Custom Road shares the leading performance tech you can expect from some of the most established names in cycling with the customisation and hand-built prestige of small-scale production.
Every Custom Road is tailored to fit its rider perfectly, but as a starting point the Custom Road is available with two core geometries offering two distinct personalities: “Race” and “All Road”. ENVE explain the difference between the two:
“The Race geometry has a shorter wheelbase and delivers the ride sensations you would expect from a pro-level race bike. The All Road features a slightly longer wheelbase and is tuned for larger volume tires making it an ideal solution for mixed-surface adventures.”
Both geometries can accommodate a 35mm tyre creating a super comfortable ride and making it ideal for mixed-terrain rides and races, such as the Belgian Waffle Ride.
ENVE know that aerodynamics are expected from modern road bikes as they bring energy saving speed, stability and confidence. Consequently, the ENVE Custom Road was developed in CFD and its aerodynamics were confirmed in wind tunnel testing.
Just as the ENVE SES Road Tyre is designed to complement SES wheels, so too is the Custom Road, helping create a holistic system of ENVE products that work in harmony. The tubing of the Custom Road when paired with SES wheels is designed to balance aerodynamic and structural efficiencies for a fast and efficient ride.
The Custom Road is designed to be as aero efficient as possible whilst striking a balance with being lightweight. While each Custom Road weight will vary due to the fact that the bike is fully custom, an unpainted frame in 56cm weighs 850 grams.
“At this weight,” ENVE explains, “we feel that the ride quality, stiffness, and durability strike a refined balance while delivering a premium ride quality.”
The result of all these factors coming together is that the Custom Road is a truly versatile bike, mirroring the return of all-round race bikes that do away with the need for dedicated aero bikes and climbing bikes. Of course, the Custom Road goes one step further with its true rideability on the rough stuff.
The ENVE Custom Road features a high level of integration for improved aerodynamics, ride quality and clean looks. Using the design of the ENVE SES AR handlebar, which has a wide flare and aerodynamic profile, ENVE has created an integrated stem and handlebar design for the Custom Road. This allows all wires and hoses are routed internally out of sight and out of the wind for optimal airflow over the bike’s tubing.
The one-piece bar/stem is also manufactured alongside the Custom Road frameset, so ENVE is able to customise the stem length and bar width to the customer’s needs. The stem length is adjustable in 5mm increments between 90mm and 130mm and the bars are available in widths between 38cm and 46cm.
ENVE has worked with computer and accessories mount experts K-Edge to create a mount that integrates with the handlebars and can house a Shimano EW-RS910 bar-end type junction box with charging port.
As can be expected, a road bike frame from one of the world’s best carbon manufacturers should be paired with the best componentry. This is why ENVE partnered with fellow US manufacturer, and Saddleback brand, Chris King to develop the AeroSet, a premium headset for the Custom Road. The new headset features a proprietary interface that fits with the carbon bearing cover. Brake hoses and cables are routed through the stem and into the headtube through the 1.125" steerer tube and 1.5" bearing.
Due to the fact that the bike is custom built, ENVE opted for an integrated seat mast post that is built to the specific fit of the rider. The post has a tuned carbon laminate that gives a more refined ride quality and lower weight than traditional seat post designs. The post allows for 35mm of adjustment if a rider’s requirements change over time.
For those lucky enough to order direct from ENVE, the Custom Road is available as a complete build with SRAM Red or Force AXS, or Shimano Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2 disc groupsets. It is also available as a frameset or rolling chassis, with either SES or ENVE Foundation wheels.
Dedicated to quality and only achieving the best, ENVE manufactures its carbon fibre in-house at its Ogden, Utah, USA headquarters, where it can oversee every aspect of production to create the very best, premium cycling equipment. The Custom Road is no exception. It is the next step for ENVE and shows ENVE’s dedication to improving its craft while expanding its breadth as a manufacturer.
There is currently no date set for when the Custom Road will be available in the UK. But in the meantime, you can sign up to our ENVE Custom Road mailing list where we will notify you of any developments to do with the bike and any updates on when you can expect to see it in the UK.
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