The market for cycling wheels is packed with older, storied companies, with decades upon decades of experience in building, testing, and racing wheels. And yet, relative newcomer ENVE rapidly earned a reputation for fantastic cycling parts. From their cutting-edge, USA-made wheels, to their strong, stiff, just-right-dimensions cockpit components, they almost always seemed to hit the bulls-eye. The ENVE Foundation 65 road wheelset maintains that tradition, too.
Although one area in which many customers wish ENVE could improve, though, is price. Which is where the new Foundation wheel series comes in. Engineered to the same meticulous standards as any other ENVE product, the Foundation series brings ENVE quality – as well as the company’s very generous Lifetime Incident Protection policy – to a more generous price point.
The Foundation 65 rims are virtually identical to ENVE’s top-shelf SES-series rims, with the exception of using a slightly less-complicated carbon layup that adds a very small amount of weight. Developed in a wind tunnel used to refine Formula 1 aerodynamics in Europe, the 65 set achieves remarkable aero efficiency, although since it does not come with staggered front/rear depth differences, they lose a touch of speed in identical wind conditions compared to similar-depth SES wheels. Otherwise, the same hookless beads, molded carbon spoke holes, and tubeless compatibility that make ENVE road wheels so remarkable are all still to be found here.
The Foundation 65s also utilize a simpler, somewhat heavier hub and spoke set, with longer spokes compensating for a 5mm-shorter hub flange. The internals are nearly the same, however. The same durable ratcheting mechanism as found in ENVE’s best hubs is still inside, and while they’re not the same premium stainless steel ones, the bearings used are still from elite supplier NTN.
All told, if you’re willing to give up the tiniest bit of rolling efficiency, the Foundation 65s are fantastic road wheels at an enormous savings compared to the SES-series 4.5s or 5.6s. The Foundation 65 wheelset weighs in at 1641g, or approximately 100g heavier than comparable SES-series 5.6 wheels, depending on specific configuration. The internal rim width is 21mm, and is recommended for use with 25-28mm-wide tires. The wheelset is for disc brakes only, and uses a CenterLock rotor interface.
Aero Technology: Foundation - Same rim geometries front to back, derived from SES rim shapes
Tubeless Compatible: Yes
Anti-pinch Flat Technology: Wide Hookless Bead
Molded Spoke Holes & Valve Stem: Yes
Spoke: Sapim CX Sprint
Hub Model: ENVE Foundation Road
Hub Bearings: NTN Premium Steel
Wheelset Weights: 1621g
Warranty: Lifetime Incident Protection & 5 Year Factory Warranty