Enve G23 Wheels: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
Wheels make the bicycle go and great wheels make that experience a lot better for any rider. There is no question that the Enve G23 wheels are helping make cycling a greater experience, or that they are enhancing performance. They do that in spades. You can read a bit more about this in my last update HERE. Now it is time to give my final verdict on these high end, high performance wheels.
Final Impressions: While I could never question how good these G23 wheels were, I always had a nagging question with this review. That was, “How do you justify the $2800.00 asking price against what the competition is doing? I wasn’t the only person thinking this. Nearly everyone I showed them to, once they heard the price, were asking similar questions. For some context on this point, I had a chat with our contributor, MG, who has another wheel set on test from Cantu.
During our conversation we compared notes about how these wheels rode, their features, and technical stats. While it had been planned to have MG ride the Enve wheels for a direct comparison, a snafu with end caps and a time constraint from Enve prevented that from happening. But even so, we were able to come to a couple of conclusions.
There isn’t anything at all wrong with the Enve wheels. However; when you start poking around, it isn’t hard to find very comparable wheels for several hundred dollars less money. The Cantu Rova wheels MG is testing are well under $2000.00 for the set. That’s hard to ignore. With nigh on a thousand miles on the Cantu wheels, MG has complete confidence in them, and no issues with them that would point to such a vast difference in price here.
At the end of our discussion we both had a hard time justifying the reasons we would go with the Enve G23’s. There is the U.S. manufacturing of these wheels, the high degree of precision of the design, and the benefit of specific carbon layup to ward off vibrations. These are all benefits in one way or the other. Many wheel sets in this category do not feature some of these attributes. The person seeking a high performance wheel set will have to decide, in the end, whether what Enve offers is worth the price tag.
At The Finish: The Enve G23 wheels are a fantastic performing set of wheels. They did everything I asked of them and I would have complete confidence in these wheels in any situation I might face on gravel or back roads. In terms of what I look for in a set of wheels, I cannot imagine needing more, except maybe that the rims could be more aero. But that is such a minute complaint that it seems silly to even mention it.
However; we are not going to dance around the fact that the competition has done their homework and the gap between what Enve does and what the competition is bringing to the table, (Many times for hundreds less), is hard to ignore. It makes spending what Enve asks for these a bit hard to swallow. Yes- they probably are the very best you can get for gravel riding, and for “the best“, you’d expect a premium price. It makes reviewing a set of wheels like this easy, and it is also hard at the same time. Here’s the bottom line- Get these if you want the best money can buy. These are as good as it gets as far as performance, weight, and durability are concerned. Look elsewhere if you have to get the most you can for your dollar, and you just cannot justify, or afford, the Enve G23’s.
NOTE: Enve Composites sent over the G23 wheel set to RidingGravel.com at no charge for test and review. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.