ENVE has unveiled its latest road bike dubbed the Melee, touting it as “a purpose-built road bike designed and engineered to meet the high-performance, and versatility demand s of today’s road racers.”
In 2021, ENVE launched its first complete bike called the Custom Road, with the goal of evolving from an aftermarket wheel and component specialists to offering full bike. Unlike the US-made Custom Road, which is fully customizable, the Melee is offered in seven stock frame sizes from 47 to 60 cm that’s manufactured overseas at ENVE’s factory.
“When we decided that th e tim e had come for ENVE to expand into bicycle fram es, we knew that we needed to make our first bike here in Ogden, and that we wanted it to be custom. At the same time, we understood that due to the nature of custom, availability of the Custom Road would be limited. Our US manufacturing facility provides us the unique opportunity to design, prototype, and iterate at a much higher rate than we can overseas – especially over the past several years. The Custom Road is the result of this process, and it established a sound foundation upon which we have been able to iterate and create the Melee,” stated VP of Product and Brand, Jake Pantone.
“The Melee is a no holds barred modern race bike built specifically to meet the performance demands of the discipline. The Custom Road, while capable of racing at the highest level, prioritizes customization and personalization over specific race performance metrics such as weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics. The Melee features a monocoque construction which allowed us to refine the tube shapes, reduce weight, and increase the overall efficiency of the Melee,” adds Pantone.
While mixed surfaces have nearly always had a presence in road racing, it hasn’t been until recently that all surfaces could be tackled on one bike. Versatility has come to define the modern race bike. ENVE’sMelee features a generous max tire clearance of 35 mm with the geometry and handling characteristics optimized for tires between 27 and 32 mm.
Along with ample tire clearance, aerodynamic performance and integration are the expectation. ENVE’s Real-World Fast aero philosophy and technologies guided the development of the Melee. Real-World Fast as defined by ENVE means that the Melee has been designed with a holistic approach to performance. The trade-offs of any one performance variable, be it aerodynamics and weight savings, or stiffness and compliance are balanced to ensure a fast, efficient, and confidence inspiring ride.
In practice, the Melee features all the aerodynamic trappings expected to achieve top-of-class efficiency –minimal frontal area, Kamm-tailed tube shapes, and full front-end integration.
Additionally, ENVE has designed the Melee’s tube shapes to complement their own SES rim profiles. As a result, airflow transitions from wheel to frame surfaces in harmony to ensure a composed and stable ride experience in variable wind conditions. In terms of construction, the Melee is made using various forms of uni-directional carbon fiber following ENVE’s Material Optimized Design (M.O.D.) process.
“In simple terms, Material Optimized Design means designing and manufacturing products that play to the strengths of carbon fiber. The materials, fiber weights, and fiber angles used in the laminate are selected and manipulated to achieve zone specific performance within the part. Carbon is the key ingredient, and we use the best we can get our hands on, but ultimately the process it is subjected to makes it an ENVE product,” explains Pantone.
Fit and geometry are another area that ENVE has paid special attention to with their new bicycle. The Melee is available in seven frame sizes, with five unique fork rakes to ensure that riders of all sizes will have the same responsive handling the Melee is intended to deliver.
When ENVE introduced the Custom Road in 2021, they introduced the ENVE Chassis. Simply, an ENVE Chassis is the canvas upon which you can assemble your dream bike. An ENVE Melee is available as a “Chassis Only”, which includes the frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem, and seatpost. The bar, stem,fork and seatpost are proprietary to the Melee and selected àla carte to ensure that customers get the exact fit spec they need from the start.
To aid in the fitment process, ENVE has created the ENVE Best-Fit Calculator. “Your road bike needs to be an extension of your body and we want people to achieve that seamless feel from the first pedal stroke. Our calculator aims to simplify the fitment process for the fitter and customer alike. The calculator functions simply by pairing a rider’s fit stack, fit reach, and saddle position numbers with a frame geometry, stem length, stem rise, spacer stack, and saddle offset. The output provides the rider with several frame and component configuration options that the rider along with their fitter can analyze to determine the rider’s ‘best-fit’option,” says Pantone.
For additional personalization and tuning, the Melee customer can then select their ENVE SES or Foundation wheelset of choice. For maximum weight savings, a customer may choose ENVE’s SES 2.3. For versatility, a pair of SES 3.4, and a rider seeking top aero performance may select the SES 4.5 or SES 6.7.
Finally, by working with the local ENVE Ride Center or retail partner, drivetrain components and accessories are selected, and the build completed.
The Melee is available in one color, Damascus. Like their custom wheel decal program, ENVE gives customers the option to design a personalized decal kit for their Melee using ENVE’s Custom Decal Configurator. Once the custom decalorder is complete, the kit is delivered direct to the customer with tools and instructions for installation.
The Melee is available now in select sizes and markets around the world. The ENVE Melee Chassis retails for USD $ 5500, €5500, £5300, which includes the frame, fork, headset, stem, handlebar, and seatpost.
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