This exciting gravel-specific wheelset was curated by Fair Wheel Bikes for its excellent balance of features, including their low overall weight, durability, and affordability. When the roads less travelled call, having a dependable, purpose-driven wheelset provides confidence in the ride while allowing you to focus on the adventure of the backcountry. The graduation to a carbon rim for gravel and light off-road riding is justified on several levels. The material itself provides both stiffness and a measure of vibration-dampening, resulting in increased control and some added comfort. Relative to their aluminum counterparts, carbon rims can be built wider with less weight penalty. Wider rims increase the functional air volume of tires, allowing you to run lower pressures with less risk of pinch flats and better cornering response - all pertinent concerns off the pavement, where traction is significantly reduced. The low sub-1400 gram weight of this wheelset yields quicker accelerations and improved climbing performance, since the back roads are rarely consistently straight or flat.
The FSE / Carbon-Ti Gravel wheelset is offered in three different spoke count options to please all types of riders. Generally, the low 24/24 count option is intended for lighter riders, and the high spoke count option is for heavier riders. Though it's not quite that simple, and relative strength of the rider should be considered. A higher spoke count (in the rear wheel especially) can benefit strong, punchy riders with increased lateral torsional stiffness for better response under hard efforts.
ENVE has been working hard on expanding their SES platform to meet the needs of riders across multiple disciplines. Expanding their scope into the endurance road market, Enve has developed the 3.4 AR and 4.5 AR (All Road), an aerodynamic rim set optimized for 28-32mm wide road tires. These rims are a direct response to the modern evolution of the road bike, with disc brake specific design and wider rim beds for larger tires. Beyond the obvious comfort factor that is afforded by a wider road tire is the increase in traction, which allows more confident handling while allowing riders to really take advantage of the increased stopping power of disc brakes.
As with all of ENVE's SES rims, the front and back rims feature different profiles, optimized to tackle the different wind resistances between the front and rear of the bike. The front rim is .5mm wider and 6mm more shallow improving handling and cutting wind more efficiently. The rear rim, with it's slightly more narrow profile and 43mm depth, decreases pressure drag and smooths out air coming off of the trailing edge.
The X-Hub SP Disc Hubset from Carbon-Ti, designed for straight-pull spokes, is unquestionably an excellent example of their design and machining prowess. Featuring an ingenious tool-free bearing preload adjustment system, the X-Hub SP can be adjusted to perfection in seconds by simply turning the clever adjustment cone and tightening the set screw. Expertly machined from 7075 T-6 aluminum, the X-Hub is both lightweight and robust, two huge necessities for gram-conscious riders who often find themselves pushing their components to the limits. The rear hub is equipped with a durable 56 tooth driver for quick engagement, with options for Shimano or Sram XD drivers. These hubs are compatible with standard ISO 6-bolt brake rotors.
Sapim CX-Rays have been our first choice in spoke for high end custom wheels for several reasons. They have an excellent reputation when it comes to longevity, are some of the lightest available without compromises on affordability or fatigue life, have an incredibly stringent quality control process, and a notably long fatigue life. As a straight-pull spoke, the CX-Ray SP is less prone to the premature fatigue failures often seen in classic J-bend spokes, and gives the wheel a unique look that we find quite appealing. We selected sleek black spokes because they pair so well with the black hub and understated FSE 3K carbon weave rims.
The CX-Ray spokes are paired with Sapim's Secure-Lock nipples to ensure that even over the roughest terrain, your spokes remain tension-ed and your wheels remain true.
If you're looking for a custom version of this wheelset or want to discuss if this is the right set of wheels for you we are happy to talk. Please contact us directly for inquiries.