Test Riding the Enve Melee

Minimal in every respect. Is Enve is the new benchmark in aero ride quality?

Posted by Philip Cavell


New kid on the block, driven around by the very opposite. Irony is not lost.

Enve Melee - First Ride

I went into a lot of technical detail on our Enve Melee page, so I won't repeat it here. Suffice to say that this is Enve's first pass at making a complete bike and expectation is quite rightly wound to the right on the dial. Enve's wheels and components occupy have a superb reputation which is hard won and easily lost.

Target Rider
My days of battling elbow to elbow are at least a couple of decades and two spine surgeries gone - ergo, I am no longer Enve's target audience for their new project.
Nevertheless as I step out on to a damp autumn morning on Enve 4:5 wheels and a complete Enve cockpit, there is an immediate calming sensation coming up from the leave-strewn highway. The geometry is not super-aggressive (I am riding a 56cm bike) and I feel balanced and controlled in the most hostile environment - wet London roads.

Where the Enve easily impresses is right in the US engineers original bullseye - the bike feels phenomenally light (7kg) and eerily quiet. Quiet is is important because it means the bike is functioning properly in an aerodynamic pocket of controlled space in the world. All is well.

The Hard Yards
The ride of the Melee is actually astounding - and I use the word advisedly. This is where I think Enve have done the hard yards - integrating and designing their new fuselage around their class-leading 4:5 wheels, aero bar/stem/seatpost and beautiful SES 30mm Enve tyres. I am not sure how far the tyres (which blow up to 32mm) soften the innate tension of a high-modulus monocoq chassis. But the net result is a very puzzling trick of immense ease of speed with total control and lack of vibration from the road. The Melee really does deliver quite magnificently addictive sensations back to the pilot - even an old one on a damp morning, one coffee short of his quota.

"The net result is a very puzzling trick of immense ease of speed with total control and lack of vibration"


Recalled to The Mothership - Phil outside Bloomsbury


Art-Director, Vaughn, directs his old-timey model


The Melee has been sought out and viewed like a rare bird at Cyclefit


About the author

Philip Cavell, Co-founder

Co-founder, bike fitter and bike designer, author. Phil rides a Seven Axiom XX custom titanium bike and an Airnimal Joey folding bike. He wrote The Midlife Cyclist and enjoys walking his dog, reading, politics and the outdoors. Phil's specialism is working with clients who have complex and frequently chronic issues. Phil is most at home working in a collegiate, multi-disciplinary team, to help clients resolve intricate issues.

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