ENVE has announce that its ‘all new, completely redesigned’ ENVE Carbon Road Hub is now shipping. ENVE’s latest road hub features a ‘one of a kind full-carbon hub shell’ that like all ENVE rims, is 100% manufactured in Ogden, Utah, USA, at ENVE’s carbon manufacturing facility and headquarters.
In 2015, ENVE debuted as an aftermarket hub manufacturer with the launch of its first road hub, which received a Eurobike Design and Innovation Award. ENVE’s hub featured a first of its kind, US made, full carbon hub shell and flanges that highlighted ENVE’s patented moulded-in spoke holes. The original ENVE road hub, like many today, was built on and around a foundation of existing internals licensed from DT Swiss.
“Our first carbon hub project was an exercise to challenge ourselves and our capabilities,” said ENVE’s VP of Product and Consumer Experience, Jake Pantone. “We wanted to know if by employing our carbon expertise, moulding techniques and philosophies, we could create a full carbon hub that wasn’t just lighter than other hubs on the market, but better in every way.
“Today, we launch the next generation ENVE Carbon Road Hub which builds upon the best attributes of our first generation hub, while addressing the former’s shortcomings. We are confident that the new Carbon Road Hub challenges the best hubs on the market in the contest for drive stiffness, reliability, weight savings, and durability.”
ENVE’s three main objectives for the Carbon Road Hub redesign were:
- Optimize hub flange geometry and spacing for system like wheel performance
- Best in class reliability
- Refined ride quality
To further enhance ENVE’s SES aero wheels, the ENVE Carbon Road Hub’s flange spacing and diameter have been increased to improve both drive and lateral stiffness performance. To further optimize the wheel builds, ENVE opted for paired spoke holes in the hub flange.
“The benefit of this design is that the paired spoke hole pattern of the hub flange allows us to achieve bracing angles that are closer to tangent, improving efficiency and ride feel,” commented ENVE’s Chief Engineer, Kevin Nelson.
In terms of reliability, ENVE has made two major changes to the road hub with the first being a shift from ceramic to premium grade stainless steel bearings.
“Consumer feedback consistently identifies hub reliability as a number one priority when considering their next hubset,” added Jake Pantone. “For this reason, we nixed the ceramic bearings and opted for custom stainless steel bearings and races that not only roll smooth on day one, but have proven to maintain that performance for thousands of miles without service.”
The second major change is a complete redesign of the hub’s axles which feature a bearing pre-load system called Perfect Preload. Pantone continued, “Generally speaking, there are two primary methods for establishing bearing pre-load, straight stack-up, or some form of adjustable pre-load mechanism.
“From our experience a straight stack-up design can cause premature bearing wear and fatigue if everything doesn’t stack up perfectly all the time. On the other hand, our customers consistently complain about bearing play associated with poorly adjusted pre-load mechanisms which left unattended, can create larger problems down the road. Our solution to this problem is Perfect Pre- Load.”
Perfect Preload aims to maintain optimal preload on the bearings for the service life of the hub. Bearing preload is achieved via a calibrated wave washer and snap ring. The wave washer sits between the bearing and a snap ring installed on the axle. This system produces a consistent and dynamic pre-load setting that ‘eliminates bearing slop and the need for riders to adjust pre-load’.
Because pre-load is optimized and fixed, bearing performance is maximized, helping to reduce premature bearing wear.
The redesigned Carbon Road Hub will be available as a hub set only for US$1000 or in complete ENVE SES rim brake wheelsets for US$3000. ENVE adds that this pricing reflects a decrease in MSRP from the previous generation carbon road hubs and wheelsets.
According to Managing Director Jeremy Venz, “Over the last three years we have invested heavily in R&D, manufacturing capabilities, and our own proprietary hub technologies so that we can control our own destiny as it relates to critical wheel components. The new Carbon Road Hub delivers more value and a better ride experience to our loyal customers at a competitive price.”