ENVE has announced the launch of its all new, completely redesigned Carbon Road Hub, which features a one of a kind full- carbon hub shell that’s 100% manufactured in-house at the company’s facility in Ogden, Utah.
ENVE introduced its first road hub back in 2015, which received a Eurobike Design and Innovation Award. Even back then, it represented a first of its kind, US made, full carbon hub shell and flanges that was specifically designed to work in conjunction with the brand’s patented molded-in spoke holes.
“Our first carbon hub project was an exercise to challenge ourselves and our capabilities. We wanted to know if by employing our carbon expertise, molding 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,” says VP of Product and Consumer Experience, Jake Pantone.
“While ENVE’s first generation carbon road hub was indeed lightweight and replete with all the bells and whistles common to premium hubs, the decision to source the internals and drive system greatly limited the hub’s shell design”, adds Pantone.
As such, ENVE’s three main objectives for the Carbon Road Hub redesign were as follows:
To further enhance its SES series of aero wheels, ENVE says they’ve increased the flange spacing and diameter of its new Carbon Road Hub in order to improve both drive and lateral stiffness performance. Moreover, to further optimize wheel “builds”, the carbon whizzes in Ogden have opted for paired spoke holes in the hub flange as means of improving bracing angles.
“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,” says 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. 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,” adds Pantone.
The second major change is a complete redesign of the hub’s axles, which feature a bearing pre-load system ENVE calls its Perfect Preload.
“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”, explains Pantone.
According to ENVE, Perfect Preload ensures optimal preload on the bearings for the service life of the hub, which is achieved via a calibrated wave washer and snap ring.
A wave washer sits between the bearing and a snap ring installed on the axle, wherein the system produces a consistent and dynamic pre- load setting that eliminates bearing slop and the need for riders to adjust pre-load. Since pre-load is optimized and fixed, bearing performance is maximized, reducing premature bearing wear.
The new Carbon Road Hub will be available as a hub set only, which sells for $1000, or as part of ENVE’s SES rim brake wheelsets for $3000.
ENVE says, this latest pricing reflects a decrease in MSRP from the previous generation carbon road hubs and wheelsets.
“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,” says ENVE”s managing director Jeremy Venz,
To learn more about ENVE’s new Carbon Road Hub, you can visit the company’s website here.
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