Earn your own polka dots.
ENVE's SES 2.2 Clincher Wheelset had quite a high profile debut at this year's Tour. Just ask MTN-Qhubeka's Teklehaimanot, who became the first black African to start the Tour and, in his debut at the race, spent a handful of stages resplendent in the polka-dot jersey. ENVE built these featherweight wheels specifically for the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung Team to use while climbing the Tour's formidable peaks, and they're now available for the rest of us to use as we ride for PR's on our most challenging ascents.
Mountain roads bring with them a special set of specifications and necessary robustness in braking capabilities. ENVE tackles those requirements head-on with a brand-new, molded-in, textured brake surface and new, black brake pads for a claimed 30% improvement in braking performance over ENVE's previous models. The new combination also makes for more consistent braking across both wet and dry conditions. When you're sweeping through switchbacks, you can trust the braking surface to do what it's supposed to do: get you through the descent on two wheels.
While designing the SES 2.2, ENVE's primary focus was on stiffness and low weight — essential qualities while pedaling up steep grades. Rather than create two separate rim profiles for the front and rear as it does in the rest of the SES line, ENVE chose to keep the 2.0 rim dimensions uniform. This means 25mm of depth and 27mm of external width across both wheels. They're specifically made to be used with on-trend 25mm tires for a smooth, forgiving, and more efficient ride.
Though the 2.2 has a different profile than its SES siblings, it has the same solid construction and attention to detail we expect from ENVE. ENVE wheels enjoy the reputation of having one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the industry because of a jealously guarded process of molding in-spoke holes, nipple seats, and valve stem holes rather than drilling them after the fact. ENVE routes the carbon fibers around each hole to maintain continuous fiber integrity, which results in both increased rim rigidity and lower weight.
When laced to your choice of Chris King or DT Swiss 240 hubs, this system facilitates higher, more uniform spoke tension than standard bladder molding. ENVE is also able to remove the inner bladder once the molding process is complete, which results in a lower overall weight than processes that leave the bladder in place. This is a lengthy and costly extra step, but it results in a wheel that is perfectly tensioned and significantly lighter than it would be were the bladder left inside.