By  Stan Portus – 9 December2019

ENVE's new SES Rear Disc Wheel has arrived at Saddleback, offering the ultimate aerodynamic advantage for triathletes and time trialists. 

The much anticipated ENVE SES Rear Disc Wheel has arrived at Saddleback. The new rear disc wheel is the result of over five years development from the ENVE team, who have deliberated over every single minute aspect of the wheel. The result is the absolute fastest wheel for professional and top tier amateur athletes who are seeking the ultimate aero advantage.

Part of the reason that the SES Disc has been in development for so long is that contentment for ENVE wasn’t going to come from anything less than a significant step forward from the SES 7.8, a wheelset proven time and again on the World Tour and at the Ironman World Championships. 

The incredible performance of the new rear disc wheel comes in part from it being tubeless compatible, like the rest of the SES line up. However, building a tubeless compatible disc wheel presents certain challenges, as ENVE engineer Clint Child explains:

“The bead stiffness of a quality tubeless compatible road tyre applies enough pressure to the rim that it relieves laminate tension and the wheel moves out of dish.”

When inflated the pressure from a tubeless tyre moves the alignment of the wheel out by 2mm. But by using a unique carbon laminate design and precise tooling offset in manufacture, the SES Disc is actually pulled into the correct alignment when inflated resolving the issue and creating a better running wheel.

Tim O'Donnell Kona 2019

ENVE’s reputed carbon mastery extends to the wheel’s one-piece moulded design that’s free from bonding with exception of the hub shell. This has been achieved by using a PMI foam core sandwiched between spread tow carbon fibre fabrics. PMI is an advanced foam that offers all the same benefits of traditional honeycomb cores but has a higher impact resistance and superior sheer strength, while spread tow carbon construction maximises weight saving without compromising on strength and durability. The result of these combined technologies is an incredibly strong disc with a very respectable weight of 1225g.

ENVE manufactures all rims at its own facilities in Ogden, Utah, but to ensure that the wheel offered the best aerodynamic advantages they worked with renowned Northamptonshire-based aerodynamicist Simon Smart. Based at the same facilities as Mercedes, Smart used the Mercedes AMG Formula One wind tunnel and state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis to refine the wheel’s shape for optimum performance at the high speeds.

To this end, ENVE has made it clear that this wheel will provide an advantage for time triallists and triathletes who average over 27mph. For speeds under this pace, the fastest option remains ENVE’s flagship SES 7.8 open spoke deep section wheel.  

Cameron Wurf in the wind tunnel

For compatibility with the very best TT and triathlon bikes, the Rear Disc Wheel is available in rim and disc brake versions. The rim brake version features ENVE’s unique braking track that offers excellent performance in wet and dry conditions, and improved modulation that requires 30% less braking power on the lever.

The wheel features a carbon-alloy hub. The non-drive side shell is made from carbon fibre while the drive side is made from machined aluminium. The disc specific wheel features the same 40 tooth ratchet style hub as the rim specific version but is Centre Lock compatible and the whole hub is made from alloy to withstand the force that is exerted on disc hubs under braking.

The new ENVE Rear Disc Wheel is available now at an RRP of £2900 for both disc and rim specific versions and is covered by ENVE’s five-year warranty and Lifetime Incident Protection programme, which covers you with a repair or replacement should your wheel get damaged. 

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