Product Test: ENVE M60 FORTY WHEELS

Enve’s M60 Forty wheels pay tribute to the sport of mountain biking by honoring human-powered ascents and technically challenging descents alike. The 60 Forty name represents the ideal rider’s inclination for descending versus climbing. With a “ride style ratio” of 60 percent descending and 40 percent climbing, this wheel is designed for heavy-duty trail or enduro riding.

Tech features: The M60 Forty wheels use Enve’s proprietary carbon fiber rims with a unique shape and construction that they claim improves durability and impact-resistance. The rims are made from hand-laid carbon that’s made entirely in Enve’s Ogden, Utah, factory. This newest-generation wheel also features a beadless tire retention system that allows Enve to create a more precise rim, allowing riders to use lower air pressures without worrying about air loss or pinch flats.

The carbon hoops are laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs with DT Swiss Aerolite bladed spokes to complete the package. Our wheels tipped the scale at 3.2 pounds.

Field test results: When Enve set out to build the M60 Forty wheel, they wanted to build a wheel that fell right in the middle of the previous XC and AM offerings to satisfy the needs of the largest cross section of riders. With a weight that rivals cross-country race wheels and claimed durability that can hang with the most aggressive wheels on the market, we simply had to give them a spin.

Eliminating the bead hook from the top of the rim sidewall allowed Enve to make a more reliable seal, which proved very handy when installing the wheels on our Intense Tracer 275 test bike. We mounted multiple tires to the rims, and each time we were pleasantly surprised that we could easily inflate them with just a floor pump. While the tubeless- ready system is a little rudimentary, using only Gorilla tape and a simple valve, it gets the job done. Just be sure you do your prep work.
Enve also claims the hookless bead system mechanically improves durability and impact-resistance. While our six-week testing period can’t speak to the long-term durability of the wheels, we had several impacts from sharp- edged rocks that would have dented many aluminum rims out there, and our M-Series rims are still running true.

We tested the Enve wheels on a combination of heavy-duty cross-country rides with plenty of pedaling, some aggressive shuttles, and even a day or two at Big Bear Mountain, ripping laps on gravity-park-style trails. We were very impressed with the incredible ver- satility of this wheelset.

The light and stiff rims are the stand- out performers here. Their responsiveness is immediately noticeable when swapping from a basic aluminum wheel. The acceleration and cornering stiffness of nearly any bike will be improved by going to a pair of these hoops.

To complete the package, Enve enlists the help of DT Swiss, a company known for building wheel components that simply work. While you could build your dream Enve wheelset with a fancy, color-matched pair of Chris King or Hope hubs, we prefer the hubs we’ve had absolutely no issues with. Ever. And that’s DT Swiss hubs. Rather than thinking of Enve’s wheel- sets as pre-built or manufactured, think of them as the nicest set of hand-built wheels you’ve ever had, using the finest components to come up with something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Our only gripe was that the decals began to peel on the first ride. While this is a minor and completely cosmetic problem, we’d prefer to see a more durable graphic on a $3000 wheelset. After all, if you’re going to spend this kind of coin on a wheelset, you might as well show it off a little.

Bottom line, if you have the means, this $3000 wheelset will make your bike feel faster instantly. These hoops deliver every ounce of performance they promise, albeit at a hefty price tag. Do you need them? Probably not. Do you want them? Absolutely. ❏

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