The new SES 3.4 features ENVE’s patented SES rim shape with dissimilar rim geometries between the front and rear wheels and has been optimized around a labeled tire size of 25mm. The front rim sits at a depth of 38mm with the rear rim at 42mm. While the original SES wheel models had dissimilar rim widths between the front and rear rim, modern road bikes have ample clearance between the rim and seat/chainstays to allow the front and rear rims to have the same internal rim width of 21mm. While the rim widths are effectively matched front to rear, both the front and rear rims maintain unique profile curvatures to favor the airflow seen at the front and back ends of the bicycles respectively.
“The new SES 3.4 is an impressive ride experience, it is notably more stable in variable cross winds than the original 3.4, it is designed around 25mm tires, and features a much wider tubeless compatible tire bed. These features equate to a more positive and efficient experience on the road. This has always been the goal of the Smart ENVE System, that is, to maximize real world ride performance,” stated Jake Pantone, ENVE’s Director of Marketing.
ENVE explained that during the development of their new SES 3.4 the goal was not simply to reduce aerodynamic drag, but to create a faster wheel through a holistic approach to wheel design. As such, analysis of the numbers actually shows that the latest SES 3.4 is in fact slightly slower on average across all yaw angles when compared to the original SES 3.4. “Drag reduction is only one part of the equation,” stated Aerodynamicist Simon Smart. “In order to make a fast wheel, attributes such as stability, rolling resistance, shape of the tire bed, and the construction of the rim itself must be carefully considered to produce maximum efficiency on the road. The new SES 3.4 carefully balances all these attributes for a net gain in efficiency over other wheelsets in this category.”
The latest SES 3.4 comes in both rim and disc brake specific models. For ENVE, disc brake specific means that everything from the rim shape to the rim laminate is optimized for use with a disc brake road bike. The result is that the disc brake wheel models are lighter weight than their rim brake counterparts without sacrificing strength or stiffness.
Additionally, the new SES 3.4 is tubeless compatible. “We believe in road tubeless,” stated Design Engineer Clint Child. “While the technology has been around for years, road tire and frame technology has finally aligned to allow us as a wheel manufacturer to produce a road tubeless compatible wheel platform that is user friendly and improves performance on the road when the wheelset is paired with a high performance tubeless compatible road tire. This performance can be quantified as real gains in rolling resistance over previously narrow and inner-tube required SES wheel models.”
Located in Ogden, Utah, ENVE Composites is a manufacturer of handmade carbon fiber bicycle rims and components. Partnering with the prominent frame builders of our time and the world’s best athletes, ENVE combines the best composite technologies with real world athlete feedback to provide our customers with the ultimate in performance, durability, and quality. ENVE designs and manufactures 100% of their rims in their Ogden, Utah, USA facility.
Simon Smart, an ex-Formula One aerodynamicist with fifteen years of engineering experience at the highest level of motor sport, has earned global recognition for his co-development of the Scott Foil, Plasma 3,4,5, Giant Trinity, and ENVE’s Smart ENVE System line of wheels and components. Smart’s distinctive designs have ultimately influenced many time trial, triathlon and road bicycle designs on the market today.
Simon Smart has also established himself as one of the best athlete optimization specialists in the sport through his work with triathletes, road racers, and pro-tour teams. Smart’s talents speak for themselves in the results his products and athletes have achieved. Smart’s business, Smart Aero Technology and Drag 2 Zero, are based on the same site as the Mercedes GP – Petronas team headquarters and wind tunnel in Brackley, Northhamptonshire in the United Kingdom.