Here’s the technical nitty gritty.
On the Vaya, I use DT Swiss’s ratcheting skewers–in Ti.
My 11-32 XX cassette:
Avid HSX 2 piece rotors.
108 grams with bolts.
Stan’s Crest, set up for tubeless, with DT240 hubs and CX-Ray spokes, brass nipples
730 grams in the front.
Same setup for an ENVE wheel (taped, with valve stem).
750 grams in the front.
Fully assembled, the Crest wheels with Bontrager CX0 38c tires, tubeless, come in at 1260 grams (front) and hte ENVEs are 1280 grams.
The rear is a slightly different story.
The Crest in the rear, no cassette or brake rotor, comes in at…
The ENVE comes in at 824.
The complete rear build comes in at 1568 for the ENVE…with a bit too much sealant in it.
The tires mounted up and seated perfectly on the ENVEs, first time. I did about 90 seconds of shake and bounce, and they’re holding air perfectly.
Knowing the weights, is the ENVE wheelset an upgrade? That’s a rider-specific thing. For me, the ENVEs win out for a couple of reasons:
1. They look amazing.
2. From a ‘pick the ultimate part for your bike’ perspective, there is no question that the ENVEs are more desirable.
3. Most importantly, the Vaya isn’t the lightest bike out there. If I wanted the lightest bike, I’d be building up a Carbon Fiber gravel grinder. What I want is a bike that will do whatever I ask of it, hold up to any punishment, and never let equipment be a limiting factor. I have absolute confidence that the ENVEs will be more durable, withstand more punishment, stay truer, and never cause an issue. My confidence in the Crests is not as unending. If this was for a mountain bike, the added durability of the ENVEs would be a critical, critical component–no weight limit, no worries. On a gravel grinder, the durability should not be understated–with some frequency, you crash through potholes, washes creeks, gopher holes, farm fields, and various other impediments. The ENVEs are simply better suited to the task.
I’ll be the first to admit: 2 of the 3 reasons I prefer the ENVEs are aesthetic-because the Crests are pretty darn good, and pretty darn light. From a cost/benefit analysis, the Crests are hard to argue with. From a “pick the very best part for the job” perspective, I don’t think there can be any doubt about the ENVEs. I posted those reasons in that order intentionally, as I readily acknowledge the ENVEs are a little pie in the sky, at roughly double the cost of the Crests.
The ENVEs are 24mm wide with an 18mm ID and 31mm depth. The Crests are 24.4mm wide with a 21mm ID and a 15.8mm depth. I have not noticed a difference in handling with the 38c tires mounted on 18mm wide ENVEs versus 21mm wide Crests. I do wonder if the double depth of the ENVEs contributes to the perceived aerodynamic change in handling.
And they’re soooooo hot.