Blueprint: Enve Aims to Eliminate Pinch Flats

Enve's New M Series Wheels Promise To Do Away With Pinch Flats For Good

When Enve first started producing wheels they had a lot to learn. At first rims were breaking, and when they fixed that, the wheels became so stiff that pinch flats were a regular occurrence. With Enve’s new M Series wheels, they now claim they have fixed the pinch flat problem as well, and from our tests, their claims seem to hold true.

Enve M Series Gen II

The generation II M7 Series sets lofty goals. Photo: Satchel Cronk

The new M Series Gen II has taken the experience Enve has gained over years of carbon wheel manufacturing, and put it into a lineup that allows riders to choose width, strength and flat protection with a number of combinations. Developing everything from a an ultralight XC wheel to a full-on downhill hoop, with inner rim widths ranging from 25-millimeters all the way up to 40-millimeters, Enve has everyone covered.

Options offered from the second generation of M Series Wheels

Most exciting for the new wheels is Enve’s pinch-flat reducing technology–and, apparently, pinch-flat eliminating technology in the M7 and M9 series. When a pinch flat happens it’s because a harsh impact causes the tire to deform enough so the rubber comes in contact with the edge of the rim, essentially pinching the tread between the rim and the obstacle you just ran into. In a traditional rim, the edges are a narrow 3.5-millimeters, causing that harsh impact to be concentrated on a very small surface area, and thus more easily cutting through the tire.

How pinch flats happen.

With the new M525, M630 and M635 rims, Enve added another millimeter to the edges of the rim, and rounded out the corners to help dissipate and absorb forces from an impact. Not only has the update resulted in reduced pinch flats while riding, but it has also made the rim stronger, so if the rim does end up slamming against a sharp corner, it is less likely to crack.

The really compelling results are found in Enve’s new M7 and M9 series though. Geared towards more aggressive riding styles, the M7 and M9 wheels have received an engineered rim strip that fits snuggly on the carbon rims, widening the leading edge to 5-millimeters and absorbing impacts, so much so that in Enve’s testing lab, they couldn’t produce a pinch flat. Check out the video, it is impressive. On top of the added benefits of not having to worry about pinch flats, the new rim strip can easily be removed when working on the wheel, but when in place completely seals the air chamber, thus doing away with the need for any sort of rim tape. Perhaps more impressively, the added rim strip adds almost nothing to the weight of the wheels, with the 29-inch M730 boosted wheelset weighing in at 1,745 grams.

Enve’s Protective Rim Strip shown on the right.

The new M Series wheels from Enve will be shipping globally on October 20th. Watch the video for a full rundown on Enve’s innovation, how they test their product, and our results from riding and trying our hardest to pinch flat the new M730 wheel. For the M5 and M6 series, prices will range from $999 for rims to $2,980 for a wheelset with Chris King hubs. The M7 and M9 rims will go for $1,049, with high-end Chris King equipped wheelsets retailing at $3,080.

Numbers behind the wheels.

More numbers on weight comparisons between brands.