Posted on Aug 19, 2022 by Cory Benson
ENVE continues to expand their off-road wheel offerings with a new set of Cannondale Lefty front hubs to join their standard, yet elusive MTB hubs. During the XC World Cup we noticed that the mechanics at Cannondale Factory Racing were particularly protecting a bike with a new Enve wheel construction that some of their team members were testing, but it turns out the team had already shared a few photos of the new Enve Lefty center alloy mountain bike. Could there be a carbon version coming too?
ENVE MTB Hubs Receive Lefty Prototype
We were told first by the mismatched Enve wheelset Henrique Avancini was testing earlier in the season at Nové Město—both separate tires and rim decals.
After first releasing an extremely light and undulating full carbon road bike rim brake hub set in 2015, Enve has continued to refine lighter and stiffer carbon hubs for road bikes.
In 2019 Enve road hubs added a much more affordable alloy option, even adding center lock disc brakes for the 12mm thru axles. But even though they said the mountain bike was in development, no standard larger mountain bike axle options have yet been offered, except…
The latest generation of M-Series M5 XC and M6 Trail mountain bike complete wheels have quietly added the option of Enve Alloy MTB hubs for the same $2550 price as Industry Nine Hydra hubs. (Not sure why you might choose Enve Alloy over i9 Hydra?)
But Enve doesn’t even have pictures of the alloy MTB hubs on their website. And separate Enve Alloy MTB hubs are still not available either.
Alloy mountain bike hub prototype… for Cannondale only
But now we have seen them in person. We know Enve mountain bike hubs are for sure in the works, even for single-sided Cannondale Lefty forks.
The Cannondale Factory Racing XC team pros always balance racing and training on the new hubs versus the standard high flange alloy Cannondale Lefty hub. Several riders seem to have raced the new hub/wheel at the more tame XC World Cups where they also raced the hardcore Scalpel HT hardtail.
But by the time they got to the more technical Czech course of Nové Město na Moravě and upgraded to Scalpel Hi-Mod full suspension, everyone was back to the current wheels.
We spotted Henrique Avancini testing the new hub on the Czech course, but even by the time the shortened and less technical XCC race started he was back on the production wheelset…
ENVE MTB hubs… what do we know?
Cannondale Factory Racing let their professional photographer get close to us, so we can dig a little deeper into the details we can see. The new alloy Lefty hubs share the same semi-twin 24-hole lacing as the alloy road disc wheels.
In fact, without a straight leg on this XC race fork, we can actually get a better view of the hub on the spot compared to typical spy shots behind a normal set of fork legs.
This prototype alloy Enve MTB hub for the Lefty opts for a 6-bolt rotor, but we can probably just meet the compatibility requirements of the oversized, single-sided Lefty hub and axle interface. Looking at the rear wheel of the CFR team bikes, they all used center-lock rotors—although we couldn’t confirm any Enve Alloy MTB rear hubs tested.
The prototype hub for the Lefty also features a larger stepped aluminum hub diameter at the non-drive flange compared to the smoother curves of current Enve Alloy road disc brake hubs, again likely to compensate for a larger diameter bearing specific to asymmetric. loading on the left.
But even a look through the front wheel at the non-disc/drive-side flange of this prototype Enve Alloy MTB hubs suggests that there is also a reinforced section to accommodate a larger bearing. It’s no huge surprise in the move to the larger diameter 15mm thru-axle and wider Boost spacing of MTB hubs, as well as the higher impact forces a mountain bike is at. is submitted.
So, now we know that at least some Enve Alloy MTB hubs really exist. When will we see more?