ENVE has today launched its first bike ever, the Custom Road. Available in either racing or all-road geometry options, with maximum tire spacing changed to fit, each bike is tailored to fit each customer’s fit using a modular pipe-to-pipe construction. Each bike also gets a custom paint job.
Prices start at $ 7,000 for a frame set, and rise to as much as $ 12,500 for a top Shimano Dura-Ace or SRAM Red AXS eTap-equipped bike.
Until now, ENVE has focused exclusively on producing wheels, forks, finishing kits, tires and a handful of other parts.
Unlike most custom bike builders, this background puts ENVE in a unique position, offering ̵
Why has ENVE made a bicycle?
ENVE has experience in producing frames, after collaborating with brands such as Parlee, Independent Fabrications, Santa Cruz and Cervélo to develop disposable bicycles and prototypes.
The brand also supplies individual pipes and forks to custom frame builders (and will continue to do so).
Based on this experience, ENVE revealed that the inspiration to build their own bike came primarily from customer demand, and a desire from the company to expand beyond components.
The actual decision to pursue a road bike was said to have come during testing of the brand’s SES AR wheel set at Carrefour de L’Arbre (a famous cobbled sector from Paris-Roubaix)
The special wheel set is designed to optimize aerodynamic performance when used with wider tires, which can provide a smoother and faster ride on tougher roads.
ENVE points out that in 2016/17 when the wheel set was released, there were few real ‘motorcycles’ with clearance for tires wider than 28 mm, hence the inspiration to design the bike.
With that in mind, the ENVE Custom Road (and, to be clear, it’s called ‘Custom Road’ – no fancy model name here) is an all-round road bike with moderate aero features.
ENVE Custom Road geometry
The bike is available in two main geometry options: race or all-road.
However, since all of these bikes are tailor-made to order, there can be significant changes in the geometry of each bike.
In summary, however, the barrel geometry has a shorter wheelbase and a steeper head angle to provide “archetypally aggressive and responsive chalk geometry”. The bike is designed to use 25 to 28 mm wide tires.
The all-road geometry is a bit longer, with a slacker head angle and increased tear to keep the trail equal to the race geometry when using tires up to 35 mm wide. The generous clearance puts the bike stuck in a gravel-adjacent territory, to use our favorite phrase at the moment.
Establishing an optimal bicycle adaptation is done via a consultation process that covers the rider’s current and previous bicycles, any bicycle adaptations and special circumstances (eg injury).
A comprehensive table of five layers “fits” for both geometry options is then consulted based on a rider’s ideal stack and range. The bike is then specially built to order from this point.
Custom Road has been tested with a wind tunnel and has all the modern tropics of a do-it-all aero-optimized bike, including a smooth transition between the head tube and fork, flat profiles on each side of the down tube and completely hidden cables.
There are no specific claims about the bike’s aero properties. However, ENVE added an interesting treat in its press release, saying that “custom fit will allow riders to be in a more [aerodynamically] optimal position, achieve greater efficiency ”, which is absolutely true.
Although most riders will be able to achieve an aerodynamically efficient and comfortable fit by changing stems or handlebars, such changes can be detrimental to handling.
If aerodynamic efficiency is your main goal, a fully customized frame will allow you to fit in a long and low position without sacrificing handling. Conversely, if you want a more upright position, this can also be accommodated.
How is the ENVE Custom Road frame constructed?
Each frame is constructed using a modular pipe-to-pipe construction at ENVE’s headquarters in Ogden, Utah. In ENVE’s words, this design style allows the brand to “build a frame with virtually all frame stacks and frame configurations”.
ENVE emphasizes that the custom element on the bike only applies to fit – the goal of the program is to get a perfect fit, instead of specializing a bike that suits each customer’s needs.
With ENVE Custom Road, the brand aims to bridge the gap between real first-class motorcycles and those offered by artisan builders who usually only work in steel or titanium.
There are other brands out there that make similar bikes, but as an all-in-one fully integrated ‘system’, Custom Road differs from each other.
ENVE points out (rightly) that there is a declining return when it comes to weight, and achieving low weight was not a main goal for the adapted cycling program. Too light bikes “suffer from ride quality and long-lasting durability”, according to the brand.
Custom Road could hardly be described as lush, ENVE says “the weight of each [bike] will vary depending on the size of the bike and paint, but an unpainted 56cm frame weighs about 850g ”.
The bike is based on ENVE’s new SES AR cockpit in one piece, which is designed to match the bike. This was first teased at ENVE Builder’s Roundup in July last year.
ENVE has also worked with Chris King to produce the all-new Aeroset headset.
Like many modern fully integrated bikes, Custom Road routes hoses and cables down the side of the guide tube through holes in the headset and top bearing. The Aeroset is a suitable premium alternative for such a premium bike.
The bike is built around an integrated seatpost. These often raise an eyebrow when used on a “stock bike” because they limit the fits (and you only have one chance to get it right!) And can turn resale into a nightmare.
Given that each bike from ENVE is specially built according to the customer’s specifications, which involves a full bike fit, we are willing to drop the eyebrows to a standard height here.
The seatpost is topped with ENVE’s seatposts, which provide 35 mm vertical adjustment. This should be a large selection of adjustments, even if you make significant changes, such as changing the pedal system or saddle.
Mudguards – brilliant, brilliant mudguards
We are really excited to see the bike specified with screen mounts as standard. Shockingly few carbon motorcycles have screen mounts, let alone high-end motorcycles like this.
The fasteners are nicely integrated as threaded sockets on the back of the seats.
Looking at this example and many other recently released bikes, I think we can all be confident and finally agree that having well-designed display mounts does not in any way detract from the performance or aesthetics of a high-end bike. For a long time, the trend can continue.
ENVE Custom Road paint options
The bike is available with four different ore templates and a mix of 38 standard colors and two designs. The colors range from really lairy to more subtle options – there really is something for everyone.
There is also the option to choose from four different funky color-shifting ‘specialty’ finishes, which have a $ 500 prize pool.
Custom paint-matched bottle cages are also available for $ 400.
Finally, for those who need something different from others, fully custom paint jobs start at $ 1500.
Specifying your custom building – including paint visualization – is done via an online app similar to Orbea’s MyO or Treks Project One program.
Each bike is delivered in a custom Scicon bike bag that allows it to be packed without turning the bar. It also has room for the bike’s seatpost without having to lower the saddle (although ENVE has not specified over which size range).
ENVE has also worked with Selle Italia and K-Edge to deliver a custom saddle and front mounting that fits the bike.
ENVE Custom Road price and build specifications
ENVE Custom Road is available as a frame set that includes saddle and cockpit, a rolling chassis including wheels, or as a complete bike. The bike is only compatible with electronic drives.
As you might expect, both the chassis and complete bikes are based on ENVE’s various wheel options – in short, it will pair SES AR wheels with wider tires and standard SES or Foundation wheels with tires up to 29 mm wide.
Cheaper Foundation wheelsets are also available, hitting about $ 1k off the price.
- Frame set: $ 7,000
- Rolling chassis (SES wheel set): $ 9,500
- Rolling chassis (foundation wheel set): $ 8,500
Complete bicycle costs
- Shimano Dura-Ace or SRAM RED AXS eTap build with SES wheelset: $ 12,500
- Shimano Ultegra or SRAM Force AXS built with SES wheelset: $ 10,900
- Shimano Ultegra or SRAM Force AXS built with foundation wheelset: $ 9,950
No international rates are available because the program is currently only offered in the United States.
$ 12,500 is obviously a conspicuous sum of money that is out of reach of 99.9 percent of riders. But given that this bike is tailored to each rider’s specification and includes a bespoke paint job, you can reasonably argue that it, somewhat surprisingly, provides better value compared to something like a similar specialty warehouse .