In the world of American hand made carbon rims Enve stands out as both a leader and innovator. Commanding top dollar for their rims means that not everybody will be riding a set. Having just built a pair of the Enve AR Disc rims I am reminded why people will seek out this company for their custom wheels. The set that I just built up were of exceptional quality, which you would certainly expect at this price point. There are features common to Enve that really help in arriving at a world class wheel. One would be the spoke holes which are not drilled as an after thought but are actually part of the molded design. This ensures that their placement is uniform through out the rim which helps to facilitate very even tension in the initial stages of the build. Details like this would only be recognised by a wheel builder, but are evidence that Enve understands the process intimately. The next thing that any wheel builder would immediately notice is how round and true the rim is when beginning the build at low tension. Both rims I recently built were quite round and flat which goes a long way in attaining a uniform finished tension. Once again, this is something that a buyer may not be aware of when just looking at a pair of completed wheels. The exterior finish of those AR Disc rims were impeccable. Again, something that would be demanded for sure at this level. Another design consideration is the depth of the front rim verses that of the rear one. Enve has decided upon a slightly deeper rear wheel which means the rim has a depth of 55mm while the front rim is 49mm deep. This will provide some additional stiffness in the rear wheel as well as certain aero benefits.
What about weight? The AR Disc has an ideal weight for it's intended use. These rims are for both road and gravel terrain which means they might be subjected to a bit of a beating now and again. The rear is 450 grams and the front is about 440 grams. This will build up a very light weight set of wheels, but not too light which might be of concern for some gravel riders.
Enve has certainly participated in the trend toward wider rims and these were designed to exploit widths of 28 to 30mm tires. Perfect for light gravel excursions or a plush ride on the pavement. Both rims have an internal width of 25mm which will create a nice tire profile if your riding 28's or slightly wider tires. These rims are of course tubeless ready for those who wish to jettison themselves from tubes.
Enve describes this rim as "conceptualised for the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix through their partnership with Team Dimension Data". I am certain that the rims that were tested for that particular event were with tubular tires, yet I am convinced that all of those positive design attributes will also be realised on the very similar clincher version.
These rims appeared to exhibit a great degree of intrinsic strength, as after I stress relieved them toward the end of the build, they barely went of of true at all. That's a really good sign!
So, if you are thinking of investing in some really nice carbon rims for your gravel machine these might be the answer. Light, strong, aero, and plenty of bragging rights in the peloton!