Saddleback Staff Rides – Charles' ENVE Melee

09 March 2023

By Charles Coleman

"Here’s my personal ENVE Melee build in all its glory! I've been after one of these frames since ENVE produced the Custom Road Bike – a frameset that’s made to fit wider tyres, but still delivers a race geometry and feel."

Check out our video, or read on, to learn why Charles Coleman, one of our very own Master Wheel Builders, has chosen the ENVE Melee and how he has customised his build.


"Most of the riding I do these days involves gravelly, potholed country lanes and I need a bike that will sail effortlessly through that sort of terrain. The Melee fits into this category of what I describe as ‘lane surfers’ perfectly. It’s built with Shimano’s Dura Ace R9200 groupset, with 54/40t chainrings and an 11-30t cassette to help with the hills.


I've used the ENVE SES AR Handlebar, which is really compliant, with a flare that perfectly suits riding in the drops. I wasn’t sure about its shape to begin with, but I was completely sold after the first proper descent I rode. The bar is mounted to ENVE’s integrated SES Aero Road Stem in the 130mm size, as per my geometry.


I've had a pair of ceramic R45 Chris King hubs for years, so I reused the internals of these in a pair of disc hubshells and axles. My usual choice of rim is the SES 3.4, however the 4.5s just look great in this bike and completely suit it.


I've fitted a 28mm tyre, which measures out at 30mm fitted. I've ridden Specialized tyres for a long time and really like how they perform, so I'm hesitant to move away from them. I'm currently running them at around 50psi, although I haven’t had much time to experiment with pressures yet, it’s been too wet recently! I was planning to fit wider tyres for the spring but the 30mms were out of stock at the time. Now, I think I'll see how the 28s feel before I change them out.

My Melee is finished off with my personal favourite accessories of Arundel Mandible bottle cages, a Fizik Antares saddle and Cannondale’s Knurltack Bar Tape."

Full spec:

FrameENVE Melee 54cm
HandlebarENVE SES AR Bar 40cm
StemENVE SES Aero Road 130mm
SeatpostENVE Carbon Seatpost 400 x 0mm offset
WheelsetENVE 4.5 Disc/Chris King R45D hub (ceramic bearings)
GroupsetShimano Dura Ace 12sp, 54/40t Chainrings, 11-30t Cassette
TyresSpecialized S-Works Turbo T2/T5 tubeless 28mm
Bottle cagesArundel Mandible
Bar tapeCannondale KnurlTack