When Enve announced it is now manufacturing complete bicycles out of its Ogden, Utah, factory we immediately considered the Cinelli situation from back in time. That Italian maker had prominent parts spec on many leading brands. Once it entered the frame game a conflict was perceived and OEM parts demand began to dry. Will this happen to Enve?
In reaching out to Neil Shirley, Enve’s Marketing Manager, he said it was certainly considered and even discussed with a few key custom brands during the process and that Enve is confident it won’t affect its position as a, if not the, leading supplier of parts, wheels and forks to a great many boutique brands across the globe. Shirley added that the goal is to bring attention not only to Enve but to all the smaller bike brands in general as well as composites as a frame material. Additionally, he says Enve could potentially be a resource for brands who maybe need advice or are just not set up for the R&D required for their own carbon frame development, something in fact they’ve been doing in some capacity since 2007 for small to medium sized brands. We hear this design, especially the headset and integrated seatpost mast will expand to more brands based in its design.
Shirley said that frame building has been a plan since moving to its new facility in Ogden four years ago. Development on the bike began two and a half years ago.
“That move allowed us to build in-house in the U.S.A. which was a big thing all along as well as being able to directly apply all we know about carbon manufacturing.” The hope is to initially sell 300 frames or complete bikes. If that goal is met Enve plans to ramp up production further.
Enve’s Custom Road has all the features you’d expect from a top-shelf road bike: aerodynamic design, integrated components, premium carbon construction and 35mm of tire clearance.
Additionally, buyers can customize geometry and paint along with wheels and components. Geometry customization is achieved by allowing the customer to mix and match from nine pre-molded carbon frame pieces to get their perfect custom fit. The one-piece bar and stem is available in all “classic” widths and stem length goes from 90 to 130 mm in 5 mm increments.
For paint Enve has four paint design templates and 38 colors. For customers who want paint and design outside of this offering, full custom paint is available directly or a “ready to paint” frame can be shipped to one of several specialty bicycle paint shops with whom Enve has partnered.
The Custom Road is available in two formats, “Race” and “All Road.” Race geometry has a shorter wheelbase and delivers the ride sensations you would expect from a pro-level race bike. All Road features a slightly longer wheelbase and is tuned for larger volume tires aimed at mixed terrain style of riding.
As you might expect, integration is everything here. The integrated seatmast frame is designed for electronic shifting and disc brakes only and to make the integrated, completely internal routing front-end possible, Enve partnered with Chris King Precision Components to develop the AeroSet, headset which features a proprietary interface that creates a net fit with the carbon top bearing cover. Brake hoses and wires are routed through the stem and into the headtube between the upper 1.5” bearing and a standard 1.125” steerer.
Enve’s Custom Road is offered as a complete bike with SRAM Red or Force AXS, and Shimano Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2 electronic and disc brake drivetrains only. Customers opting for a “frame-only” will have the option of buying what ENVE is referring to as a “Chassis” or “Rolling Chassis.” The Custom Road Chassis consists of the frame, fork, headset, seat mast topper, bar/stem combo, and custom Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Travel Case. By adding an Enve SES or Foundation wheelset, the Chassis becomes a Rolling Chassis.
Ready to order? Well, there’s a bit of a process. First go to enve.com and fill out the Bike Builder information for your custom bike then you’ll be prompted for a $250 deposit to secure a future production slot. Orders will then be fulfilled on a first-in, first-out basis. Enve also wants to make it clear that selections made through the builder are not final and will require final sign offs prior to the start of production. After paint, geometry, and build specifications have been signed off by the customer, a 50-percent deposit to which the initial $250 is applied will be required to initiate production. Got all that? Whew. Enve will also work with 22 yet-to-be-named premium dealers who have a history of working with custom bikes and fitment for in-shop purchase and customer service.
So, Enve’s now in the custom frame business. Let’s see what kind of attention it brings and who takes it.
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