If we speak with pride of our project Among the Giants (ATG), it is because we fully believe in it and we invest our time and efforts each time we organize a new adventure. The results we have obtained during these four editions and the trust that great brands have put in us are, undoubtedly, synonymous with the great work that has been done.
From the first moment that ENVE told us the decision to be present in this new episode of ATG with one of their Enve Custom Road Bikes, we could hardly believe it. The first units to be shipped to Europe were not planned to arrive until the year 2022/23 and, in spite of that, we were going to have the opportunity to test it exclusively in an epic scenery and surrounded by what we like the most: the giants.
Tribute to the historical Jeep
When we received the bike, we tore the packaging of the bulky box in a matter of seconds. Our impatience to discover what was hiding inside the package could not wait any longer. A gleaming All Road army-green paired with gloss and matte finishes was sneaking up on us. An exclusive design inspired by the unique 1940 US Navy Willys Jeep to honor the important role it played during WWII.
Before us we had a Custom Road designed, manufactured, painted, and assembled at ENVE’s headquarters in Ogden (Utah), simply perfect timing to accompany us on our last trip with ATG in the Ötztal Valley, Austria.
The first sensations when pedaling with the ENVE are comfort and smoothness. You can quickly see from the height of the head tube and the wheelbase that the geometry chosen for this variant prioritizes stability and control on the ground.
As we already explained in the article in which the brand announced the launch of the Custom Road Bike, what ENVE seeks is to provide their customers with an aerodynamic bicycle frame that is also very versatile and can adapt to all kinds of situations. The model is available in two versions: Racing and All Road. After testing it for several days in a purely climber’s terrain and putting it to the hardest tests under all kinds of weather, we believe that so many months of research and development have been worth it and the brand can be proud of what they obtained.
On the most demanding climbs and, despite not being extremely stiff to provide extra comfort, the bike allowed us to climb with agility and fluidity. As for the descents, we enjoyed great stability and smooth cornering, which allowed us to enjoy a lot every turn and, even more, alongside a disc brake system and SES ROAD 31c tires. We would like to take this opportunity to mention that, until now, we had not had the opportunity to test these tires and we were really impressed, especially with their good grip on rainy days.
Doing an analysis about the purpose for which this all-terrain (but not gravel) variant of the ENVE is designed, we believe that the frame and, specifically the bike as a whole, has all the qualities to be a great competitor with the rest of the strongest brands on the market.
As a comment, if you are used to riding a bike in an aggressive geometry, maybe at first you might feel a bit strange because of the somewhat higher position of the front part (characteristic of the All Road version) but in a matter of minutes, you will easily adapt to the comfort, safety, and softness it brings.
Bike build details
We were delighted with the One-Piece SES AR handlebar with the integrated stem. The aerodynamic design, the shape, and the small opening in the lower part of the drop allow you to grab the handlebar in a very pleasant manner. In addition, the hidden cables, the integration of the bicycle computer mount, the camouflaged Di2 charging connector, and the very successful design details that go with the set, make this cockpit a unique piece.
Regarding the integrated seatpost system (Integrated Seat Mast and Topper), it allows a margin of 35 mm to make small adjustments in terms of the height of the saddle. On a custom-built bike like this, everything has been designed by and for you, but being able to count on that extra level of fit is always a good thing.
Along with the seatpost, the bike came with a Selle Italia SLR Boost saddle customized exclusively for ENVE and we must confess that they are a perfect match.
We would also like to highlight the great job they have done in collaboration with Chris King to manufacture a specific headset for the North American brand of custom frames, which they have named AeroSet™ Headset.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that despite the fact that we declare ourselves unconditional fans of the Shimano Dura-Ace, this model was mounted with a disc Shimano Ultegra Di2 group which does not leave indifferent thanks to its excellent performance and great reliability, especially in weather conditions like the ones we had.
The step forward that ENVE took with the launch of its Custom Road Bike and the intention of positioning themselves within the market for high-end custom bicycles is evident. The guys from Utah did a tremendous job with this project and we are convinced that it is only the first step on a long and successful journey.
The brand, which is until now recognized for the quality of their wheels and components, in a few months will be a reference as a manufacturer of custom bicycles.
So far, the number of orders that the company has received is exceeding their expectations, and manufacturing capacity is limited, so having one in the short/medium term is not going to be an easy task and only a few will end up getting one.