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AMA with Jake@ENVE

24

Comments

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    _MurMan said:

    @Jake Pantone
    Since you make mountain bike and cross wheels as well, do you find it easier to market to triathletes with the "we make shit that can be thrown off a cliff and not break" technique? It may come as a surprise, but there aren't too many triathletes that know we sponsor arguably the best world cup downhill mountain bike team in the history of the sport. Further, that we've actually made mountain bike rims longer than we've made road wheels. But yes, it's a story that we tell, and yes, our experience making the world's highest performance mountain bike rims certainly informs design on the road wheels. This is why we really started a movement early on that your carbon race wheels should be akin to cinderella's glass slipper. We believe your best wheels should be ridden every day and able to withstand the abuse of daily riding. The 5-Year warranty is just because we can.

    Working in a tri specific shop gave me a lot of perspective on how ignorant/careless triathletes are, most do not take care of anything they own, just ride hard and put it away and expect mechanics to magically fix everything they have abused over the season when they come in for their "1 time a year tune up". We were an Enve dealer (before the shop closed) and sold quite a few Enve wheel sets, more than any other brand actually, on the basis of being able to abuse them more. Thanks for the support, we wouldn't be here today if it weren't for great product and support from those who've experienced the ENVE difference.

    As for myself, I own a pair of 8.9s. Reading some of your comments it seems the 7.8 is a better setup, would there be a huge benefit to getting 7.8s instead or is it a "you already have the 8.9 so it doesn't matter we just dont make it anymore cause they are about equal"? I'll answer the question with one of my own? What bike do you ride and does it allow for use with a 25mm tire. Many frames older than 2015 model year won't accommodate tires larger than 23mm. If you can't run the 7.8 w/ a 25mm tire then you'll be getting less performance than with the 8.9. Therefore, let frame clearances and tire size be your guide. What I will say is that the 7.8 with a 23 or 25mm tire is going to be more stable in the worst wind conditions which means you'll be able to stay aero longer and waste less energy. Therefore, if I was say planning to race IM Worlds in Kona, I'd take 7.8s even if I couldn't run 25mm tires on them because the added stability will outweigh the lost drag performance and rolling resistance.

    _MurManRobert Rankin
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    @Jake Pantone i love your comparison of the 1 year vs 5 year rims!

    On disk brake wheels. Do you feel that it will be optimal for someone to wait for a wheel set and bike frame that are mutually optimized for such brakes or do you see some efficient retrofit designs for existing bikes?

    Optimized is tough to argue with. The ultimate scenario would really be a frame and wheelset designed in unison to achieve the ultimate aero package. That said, our goal at ENVE is to make everyone's bike faster with the addition of an ENVE wheelset. Someday I hope that we'll be able to work witha frame manufacture and design a wheelset and frame in unison. Would be amazing.

    PreachSwanson
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    @Devon Palmer sends in the following question from Twitter, even though he has a forum account that he apparently forgot how to use: "ask him if their cx forks are good".
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    @Jake Pantone putting my marketing hat on for a minute:

    what do you use for measurement tools for any online versus traditional/grassroots marketing efforts? I mean, obviously sales are the biggest driver of any decision (hey, they keep the lights on) but wondering what types of analytics, etc. goes into the decisionmaking process.

    Also, I do know where Ben lives. However, think he deserves that set of wheels far more than I might.
    Resident Gear Guru
    Bike Crash Free Since August 4th, 2014
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    @Aaron Webstey That is a good question. Are the CX forks any good?
    AaronWebsteyKenElPescadoPeladoRobert RankinItsShugGasBomb
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    This is a great AMA.

    The ultimate scenario would really be a frame and wheelset designed in unison to achieve the ultimate aero package... Someday I hope that we'll be able to work with a frame manufacture and design a wheelset and frame in unison. Would be amazing.

    @Jake Pantone - I would suggest that you speak with Cervelo, but if it delays their new launch again the triathlon internet would probably implode.
    Ryan HeislerAaronWebstey
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    Martin said:

    This is a great AMA.

    The ultimate scenario would really be a frame and wheelset designed in unison to achieve the ultimate aero package... Someday I hope that we'll be able to work with a frame manufacture and design a wheelset and frame in unison. Would be amazing.

    @Jake Pantone - I would suggest that you speak with Cervelo, but if it delays their new launch again the triathlon internet would probably implode.
    Yeah? Does Cervelo have a new bike in the works ;)

    MartinRobert Rankin
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    @Aaron Webstey That is a good question. Are the CX forks any good?

    @Devon Palmer @Aaron Webstey All our forks are awesome. Stay tuned, we are actually launching a new fork today! The CX fork is great, just ask anyone who rides one. The original CX fork was actually one product that really helped put ENVE on the map. It was a fork that the aftermarket was dreaming of. It was light, super-strong, and it virtually eliminated caliper brake shutter. All ENVE forks are unique in that they are constructed in one-piece with continuous running fibers from the bottom the drop-outs to the top of the steerer tube. This allows forks to be lightweight without losing strength or stiffness. You can't go wrong w/ an ENVE CX fork or any other for that matter. Love talking CX on a Tri forum!
    M_WareAaronWebsteyRyan HeislerRobert RankinPreachSwanson
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    @Jake Pantone we actually have lots of cross enthusiasts here! Some of them even like cyclocross ;)

    But seriously, @_MurMan crushed it at cross last fall.
    Tad_M
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    So - that series of comments sorta/kinda begs a question you might not want to answer, but I'll pose it anyway. Are there particular framesets or builds that are more well-suited to an Enve wheelset? Conversely, are there setups that don't work well with your products?

    Realizing that you might not be able to answer with specifics, but have there been particular setups where your data says "Boom. This bike and these wheels are a perfect match"? Say, Luke McKenzie's setup at IM WA where he killed the bike on a tough day?

    Thanks for doing this, great info.

    -Ben
    AaronWebstey
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    @Jake Pantone

    Love your wheels and the support you've given to some of my athletes through the years. I know that when my guys are riding ENVE they're riding the best stuff out there.

    Question: when will you have a disc wheel available?
    EmilyCocks
    Do you know who I am?
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    MattMatt Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member
    Re-up for @Jake Pantone
    Matt said:

    Worldwide warranty rate? (vs I was just riding along...)

    I'm guessing it's in the 1-3% of all products sold.

    What's some of the strangest warranty cases you've seen?

    Also, how many times have people asked if you were associated with the colour company?


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    Matt said:

    Re-up for @Jake Pantone

    Matt said:

    Worldwide warranty rate? (vs I was just riding along...)

    I'm guessing it's in the 1-3% of all products sold.

    What's some of the strangest warranty cases you've seen?

    Also, how many times have people asked if you were associated with the colour company?


    If I had a nickle for every time someone asked me if I was related to the color company... well, I'd probably not be answering these questions. That said, slinging color swatches and inventing colors... no thanks.
    Now warranty cases... Oh man, it has been a long time since I've been involved in warranty but I've seen rims returned for warranty by people trying to remove decals with heat guns. They got the rims so hot that the resin system hit gel point again and the tension from the spokes caused the wheels to basically fold in half. What is honestly more impressive are the forks and wheels that come back with virtually zero damage after unfortunate run ins with cars and garage doors. Frames in pieces, wheels and/or fork just fine...

    Robert RankinMatt
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    @Jake Pantone

    Love your wheels and the support you've given to some of my athletes through the years. I know that when my guys are riding ENVE they're riding the best stuff out there.
    Thank you for the support, we work hard for that kind of feedback. Thank you!
    Question: when will you have a disc wheel available? Read some of the discussion further up the thread. We will make a disc wheel someday soon, but we have strong data suggesting that disc wheels aren't the best choice for triathletes racing 70.3 or longer. This is why we haven't made one yet... Also because we want to make sure that the disc is actually faster than our 81 or 95mm rear wheels which to date only a couple have been. Of those 2 discs that tested fasteer than our 95mm rear, they introduce cross wind instability, extra stiffness that inhibits comfort, and more weight (that's a different argument completely, maybe we save that for another day)

    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    Shepherd said:

    So - that series of comments sorta/kinda begs a question you might not want to answer, but I'll pose it anyway. Are there particular framesets or builds that are more well-suited to an Enve wheelset? Conversely, are there setups that don't work well with your products?

    Realizing that you might not be able to answer with specifics, but have there been particular setups where your data says "Boom. This bike and these wheels are a perfect match"? Say, Luke McKenzie's setup at IM WA where he killed the bike on a tough day?

    Thanks for doing this, great info.

    -Ben

    It is a great question. Let's put it this way, we work hard to make sure that no matter what bike you own, you will be better off with ENVE on your bike. Now, keep in mind, Simon Smart is our Aerodynamicist, then research what bikes Simon has designed and developed. Luke McKenzie's bike is one of them... But again, I can't emphasize enough that we've worked hard to make sure that no matter what bike you own, you'll be faster running ENVE.
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    Tad_MTad_M Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter
    edited February 2016
    Great stuff @Jake Pantone . Classy answers to all of our serious and funny questions. I will be aiming for ENVE wheels soon for sure. I just crewed for an athlete who ran your 7.8 set he acquired in Kona at Ultraman Florida. Awesome hardware for sure. Wish I had known in advance to switch out his conti 23mm for the conti 25mm we had in the spares tub. I assume when we are going slow (18mph) that I didn't steal too much time away from him by being a dumb crew chief.
    Keep up the great work!
    Jake Pantone

    #Sworry 2019 - See you there!
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    Taking a page from Matt and posting a re-up:

    How did you land in marketing at ENVE? What's your career background like? Did you need to have engineering / aerodynamics knowledge? Genuinely curious what it takes to work for a brand that's well-known and respected but in a very technical space like wheels.

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    Any new plans for the future provided by the Amer Sports acquisition? Or is it business as usual?

    This is a great thread, thank you for taking the time.
    AaronWebsteyM_Ware
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    regular_markregular_mark Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    @Jake Pantone I apologize for my uncouth humor previously in this thread.

    @JessJones has been riding your wheels and she has ridden A LOT of wheels in her career (mostly racing on Zipp) and she is really impressed by them. Today we rode 5 hours in crazy Oklahoma crosswinds and I was riding 80mm Aerus wheels by Blue and she was riding her Enve race set up. I was getting pushed all over the road and she was flying straight as hell.

    I only asked for free shit because I am poor, and if I had any money I would be buying Enve wheels. Her recommendation is a good one for anyone seriously considering race wheels.

    AaronWebsteyM_Wareespej09Ryan HeislerJake PantoneTad_M
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    @Jake Pantone Best wheels for a ~46kg person who is terrified of blowing over in the wind, and who won't make a lot of money for another 2 years?
    Resident Genius.
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    Taking a page from Matt and posting a re-up:

    How did you land in marketing at ENVE? What's your career background like? Did you need to have engineering / aerodynamics knowledge? Genuinely curious what it takes to work for a brand that's well-known and respected but in a very technical space like wheels.

    Oh man, I was avoiding this one... I am very fortunate to say the least and was in the right place and the right time with the right skill set/ambition, and I knew the right people. I was racing bikes, going to college for a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, and working in a high end bike shop as a sales/marketing manager for the same guys who ended up founding ENVE, Edge at that time... with limited upward mobility in the bike shop, I asked if I could go and work at the startup learning the ins and outs of composites and building prototype wheels, etc... I cut my teeth at ENVE as a composites tech making molded parts, namely seat and chain stays for Parlee Z3s and Crumptons. Then we started actually making rims so then I moved into wheel building and sales more full-time. There was a good 1 year period where I had a truing stand at my desk so I could tension wheels between phone calls and email. Things have certainly changed a lot since then.

    As for working in the bike industry or at ENVE, visit the websites of your dream job manufacturers regularly, making sure you keep tabs on the careers and jobs pages. Work in the bike industry starting wherever you can. I've been in a shop and racing since I was 16, so you get to know reps and people beyond retail. At races w/ expos, try some networking, be proactive. If you want to work at ENVE, and have a college degree, send in your resume. We hire frequently.

    Hope this helps!

    AaronWebsteyneil5youngMattPreachSwansonRobert Rankin
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    @Jake Pantone Best wheels for a ~46kg person who is terrified of blowing over in the wind, and who won't make a lot of money for another 2 years?

    Well if you are seriously terrified of feeling any wind on your wheels then the SES 2.2 is for you. However, I think what you're asking is what's the most stable aero wheel that will provide even a light rider like yourself with predictable and confidence inspiring handling. Answer to that is hands down our SES 4.5 Clincher w/ GP4000 Tires size 25mm. These are more stable and consequently faster wheels than our shallower SES 3.4. Believe me here.... the deeper and more aerodynamically efficient SES 4.5 is a more stable wheel in the crosswinds than the shallower SES 3.4.

    Jump on ENVE website and search for an ENVE dealer who has demo wheels. Riding wheels first is a great way to determine whether or not I'm just full of crap.
    A_drizzleElaine K
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    Any new plans for the future provided by the Amer Sports acquisition? Or is it business as usual?
    The acquisition is very exciting for us, it will allow us to spread the ENVE love to places in the world where we currently are not because we simply do not have the bandwidth to do it all. Basically, this acquisition will accelerate our global presence and hopefully our ability to make even better products. So basically it is business as usual here at ENVE! We have some cool projects in the works are can't wait until the world gets to know about them as well.
    This is a great thread, thank you for taking the time.

    My pleasure!

    AaronWebsteyRyan Heisler
    Director of Marketing - ENVE Composites
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    Hi Jake, has there been any testing done on the 7.8s running a disc cover versus not? I currently have 8.9s and am thinking about upgrading to 7.8s and adding a cover for races. Would this be of any benefit to a 23mph avg for long course?
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    2.) When's a disc coming? Someday... We haven't produced one yet for various reasons. Namely because we want to produce one that is better than our 95mm or now 81mm rear wheels used in the 7.8 and 8.9 wheelsets. What we've seen in our testing is that there are very very few instances where a triathlete would go faster on a disc wheel than our 8.9 or 7.8 in a 70.3 or IM distance race. Since our customers and professional athletes are primarily 70.3 and IM athletes, we have deployed development resources elsewhere. Now that we sponsor world tour team Dimension Data, we'll likely have a disc wheel in the next year or so. What we've seen is that the benefits of a disc wheel aren't fully realized until an athlete is riding at speeds upwards of 29mph, a speed that triathletes racing long distances spend very little time at.

    Jake,
    What you say here is very interesting, and I've read similar things before from Enve (saying 8.9 was faster than a disc) and from Reynolds (saying Aero 90 is faster than a disc) but I've never found any good evidence to explain this.

    Correct me if I'm wrong :
    - a disc is faster at all yaw angles and doesn't stall as badly as a deep spoked wheel does.
    - it takes less watts to spin a disc than a spoked wheel.
    - a disc gives a bit more side pressure for sure.
    - a disc is heavier.

    Given the two last characteristics are not really a big deal unless the triathlon course is VERY VERY hilly or a wind is crazy and you can't keep your bike straight, we are left with less translation drag, less rotational drage, less chances of reaching wheel stalling point --> so I'd love to understand the science behind the reasoning when you say a 7.8 set is faster than a disc when you go <29mph. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being sarcastic of anything, I would really love to understand the science behind this and honnestly if I'm proven a 7.8 rear wheel is faster than a disc I'd rather ride it than a disc !

    Thanks a lot in advance for your honnest answer on this.

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    I try a little "up" in case Jake missed my question regarding the comments on disc wheels he made ? Thanks
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    what are you wearing "Jake from Enve"?
    KenElPescadoPeladoAaronWebsteyTad_Mbalsdorf
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    @Jake Pantone I'm noticing a heck of a lot of pulsing on my rear wheel and there seems to be a slight bulge outward on both sides of one spot on the wheel where some accumulated brake pad dust can be seen. 

    Since triathlon is expensive and I bought the wheels second hand, am I sh*t out of luck since I'm not the original owner? Is there any kind of repair that can be done?
    Brent_R
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    Hi Jake, has there been any testing done on the 7.8s running a disc cover versus not? I currently have 8.9s and am thinking about upgrading to 7.8s and adding a cover for races. Would this be of any benefit to a 23mph avg for long course?

    @Jake Pantone
    Bumping this thread as I would love to get an answer to this question. I have a set of 7.8s on order and need to buy the various things that go with new wheels. Cassette. Tires. Tubes. And a possible disc cover if it would be beneficial. I currently race with a covered rear wheel so I'm used to it.

    Also what tires would you recommend? I currently race with 23mm GP4000sII. Should I stick with that in 25mm? Go with 25mm GPTT? Or possibly the Turbo Cottons?
    Beer-fueled triathlete
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    MattMatt Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited August 2017
    Regarding the GP4000sII: the 23c measures closer to 25mm and 25c is closer to 27mm when inflated (source). Your frame might be the limiter, so check the maximum clearance there too!
    Tad_MCraig_D

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