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So far it’s a solo ride.

Understanding Enve's New Hubs & Innerdrive™ System

Peter Harrington |

You could be forgiven for not setting your alarm for this release. No disrespect to Enve, but hub design tech rivals counting sheep for its ability to lull most riders into a soft, untroubled slumber.

However, to sleep through news of Enve's updated hub and curiously-named Innerdrive™ System would be to miss some compelling tech. For those short of time, the headline summary is that Enve released an update to its SES and G-Series wheel hubs today, complete with an all-new, 100% ENVE drive mechanism shrouded in a premium straight-pull hub shell. 

The new Enve hubs boast a raft of improvements over what we'll call 'Gen 1', including refinements to the hub shell geometry, multi-engagement options, the introduction of a standard spoke length per wheel, less weight, anti-twist spoke holes, and the headline Innerdrive™ System.

Ratchet Fantastic

Enve is pretty punchy about Innerdrive™, writing in its press release that the new tech "represents the pinnacle of bicycle drive mechanisms." That's some claim. And it all rests on the system's oversized steel ratchets that boast 100% teeth engagement with zero flex when compared, say, to a pawl-based hub system. At a diameter of 42mm, the generous size of the ratchets also reduces stress on their teeth. 

But Enve has gone even further, offering four interchangeable ratchets to allow riders to tune their hubs for their personal performance needs, whether maximizing efficiency, response, or reliability. We can see how different riding disciplines would benefit from the ability to tune the hub, specifically, long-distance rides, vs. the demands of sprints and crits, for example.

For those interested in the new ratchet options, they include:

  • 40t - 9° Engagement
  • 60t - 6° Engagement (Stock Road/Gravel Offering)
  • 80t - 4.5° Engagement
  • 100t - 3.6° Engagement

Enve Wheels With Innerdrive System hubs

Handily, Enve provides some guidance on the specific attributes one can expect from each ratchet, noting that "higher tooth count and engagement don't equate to greater performance for all users." Here's Enve's ratchet explainer: 

  • 40t - Lowest drag, least amount of maintenance
  • 60t - Balanced performance for drop bar applications
  • 80t - Balanced performance for mountain applications
  • 100t - Highest engagement, lowest pedal movement,
  • requires most maintenance for optimal performance
  • (80t and 100t options land in Q2 of 2024)

And in case you were worried, in Gen 2, the system boasts the addition of a ratchet retention clip to retain the drive rings when the freehub body is removed. There’s also a new threaded drive-side end cap for better freehub body retention when the wheel is removed from the bike.

Auto-Adjust Bearings

Enve introduced Perfect Preload™ in 2019. It's a common sense system that eliminates the need for bearing preload adjustments (a savage let down for bearing feelers everywhere). In Gen 2, the older system's wave washer-retaining circlip gets the boot, further enhancing the system's reliability.

Lighter, Quieter

Enve's new hub cuts 60g from Gen 1. It's not a lot, but when you're pushing for the summit, that 60g will feel even sweeter than the thought of a 3-foot bocadillo and a double espresso at the top. 

While we're here, it's also worth mentioning that the new hub boasts a straight-pull design, with equal spoke lengths drive and non-drive, non-contact spoke crossings, an anti-twist spoke design, and an 8-10% lateral stiffness increase over previous j-bend hub shells. Because the new straight-pull hub shell puts space between each spoke, it also prevents wayward wheel noises and creaks.

As befits such a well-designed wheel, the hubs boast premium-grade stainless steel bearings and races, non-contact inner bearing seals to reduce rolling resistance further, and full-contact outer seals to ensure debris-free performance and bearing longevity.

The new hubs are now available as part of the Enve SES and G-Series wheel lines. Shop them below.

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