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Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8
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I can get a good deal on these and plan to buy a set in the near future, but can't decide between the two.

A few factors:
  1. They'd be exclusively used on my tri bike due to having disc brakes on the road
  2. I tend to do longer distance races
  3. Live/ride mostly in the Denver/Boulder area
  4. I weigh around 155-165lbs
  5. I'd expect I'm on the lower end in terms of power output right now, but plan to focus on improving that this year (also just got a power meter)
  6. Have never owned deep section wheels

I was leaning towards the 7.8 but I'm not sure how worried about crosswinds I should be? Is there a noticeable big difference between the two in winds? If I can't put down a lot of power is it even worthwhile getting the deeper option?

What would you choose and why?
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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A solid disc wheel on the rear is faster.
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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Since it’s all Tri bike, definitely the 7.8. The 7 front isn’t that deep compared to some fronts that are 80-90mm. (I have both the 5.6 & 7.8)

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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
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I've got the 7.8's and they are exclusively on my Tri bike. Training and Racing. Never felt any real issues in wind. If it's really windy you might notice it a bit, but otherwise they do well in crosswinds.

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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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i have 4.5 and 7.8 and notice a huge difference in the wind.
4.5 is fine in most anything, the 7 front can be sketchy. what that means to you depends on you. if you want aero at all costs go 7.8 but given you've never used deep wheels the 5.6 might be the safer and more versatile option and won't be giving up that much aero
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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Can you rent bike wheels from a LBS for a day, or borrow from a friend for a ride?

I went w 60/90, and the first couple rides were awkward for me. But after that, I always second guessed not buying 90/90

Even on my road bike, I wish I was deeper than 45/45. Faster is better :)
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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I weigh on the lower end of your spectrum and have 7.8s on my tri bike for training and racing. I have never felt they were too deep.

Move on. Keep training. Be an adult.
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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and more stable

jimatbeyond wrote:
A solid disc wheel on the rear is faster.

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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [mvenneta] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for all the feedback. Leaning even more so towards the 7.8 again. Financially, a disc is not an option right now.



mvenneta wrote:
I went w 60/90, and the first couple rides were awkward for me. But after that, I always second guessed not buying 90/90

This is kind of my thinking. I expect the more I ride the more I'd get use to whatever is under me and I'd rather grow into something than grow out of something.
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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texarado wrote:
mvenneta wrote:

I went w 60/90, and the first couple rides were awkward for me. But after that, I always second guessed not buying 90/90


This is kind of my thinking. I expect the more I ride the more I'd get use to whatever is under me and I'd rather grow into something than grow out of something.
This was my original thinking too... I started out with 60/90 and regretted it almost immediately. When I upgraded later, I jumped to 90/disc.

IMHO, there should never even be a debate about going deeper. Just go deeper.

I got hit with some probably 20-ish MPH crosswind gusts Saturday at PCB when going through exposed gaps between high-rise condos. My 90/disc bike simply didn't care. The first gust was a bit of a surprise, because I was not expecting it. But it did not destabilize the bike or shift me sideways at all.
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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I completely disagree with the other posters here. If you're new to deep section wheels, I'd get a set of Jet 6 Blacks to train on and Jet Disc for races. Depending on how windy it is in Denver, I'd even consider a Jet 4 front.

I'm fortunate enough to have a full set of Zipp NSW 303s, 404s, and 808s. These (well meaning) guys talked me into them.... I weight 155 lbs. I'm a pretty average cyclists in all respects (power/weight, handling, etc.) and live in a place with gustier than average winds (San Francisco). I have balls of steel and used to race cars and kept at it after my fair share of carnage.

I almost never ride the 808 front, and so far this season, I haven't raced on it (2 OLY races). I just don't feel comfortable riding it in most conditions I encounter with any regularity. I generally ride the 303 or 404 front. If I could ONLY have one front wheel, it would probably be the 303 to be honest, but definitely not the 808. When I ride the 404 in conditions windier than 10-15 mph gusts (pretty common here), my shoulders are stiff as hell from holding tension in them. I also sit up more often and descend more cautiously. I'd be willing to bet I'm faster on the 303 in most conditions. I don't know about Enve, but I don't really find there to be all that much difference between the 404 and the 808, but the 303 is a totally different wheel.

If I could rewind the clock, I'd but a set of Jet 6s, with a Jet 4 front (for windiest days) and a Jet Disc rear (for races).

I know there are guys here who could probably ride an 808 through a hurricane. I'm not one of them. And before you pull the trigger on the 7.8, I'd test them out on a windy day. You said you're a middle weight, pretty average cyclist. I don't think the 1 min of time savings from a 80mm front vs a 45 or 60 are likely to net out in your favor unless you have a lot of experience riding deep wheels.

I love deep wheels as much as porn stars love dick pumps. But just like you don't want too much wheel, you don't want to overpump your dick.
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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Why is a rear disc not an option?
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [texarado] [ In reply to ]
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texarado wrote:
Leaning even more so towards the 7.8 again. Financially, a disc is not an option right now.

jimatbeyond raises a valid question... If you are looking at Enve wheels, and you are shopping for speed, and you are rejecting a disc because of cost, then you have set up some false choices. I would not consider Enve unless you simply wanted Enve for the sake of Enve. I have never read anyone convincingly argue that Enve are the fastest wheels.

If I were in your shoes, I would buy a set of HED Jet Plus (or Black) wheels for half the price and be way faster than the Enve. Either get a Jet 9 & Disc or Jet 6 & Disc. You could even get three wheels for less than a set of Enve wheels. And, any combination of HED Jet wheels you chose would likely be faster than either set of Enve wheels.
Last edited by: exxxviii: May 15, 19 5:53
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Re: Enve 5.6 vs. 7.8 [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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Enve is the choice because of the very good deal I can get on them. I've read plenty of bad things about Enve over the past month or so that would 100% put me off if I was paying full price.

If it wasn't for the deal I'd likely be looking at a set of Flo's or whatever other "cheap" options there are. This is also why disc isn't an option.

I also don't expect to buy any other variations for at least a few years... but we'll see how temptation and budget works out there. I'm thinking if I go for the 7.8 it'll work for the majority of cases, but if it does happen to be too windy I can just throw the stock wheel on the front to get by.

wintershade wrote:
I almost never ride the 808 front, and so far this season, I haven't raced on it (2 OLY races). I just don't feel comfortable riding it in most conditions I encounter with any regularity.

Do you think think the lack of comfort comes from not riding them enough though? i.e. my point around thinking I'd end up getting used to whatever I end up riding. Initially it might be a problem but over time it'd just become the new normal and become comfortable.

We generally don't get that much wind here for it to be a problem in training. The biggest risk for me would be the chance of bad weather in a race... but that's where it matters the most so I do see the problem there. I'll just have to force myself to go out on a normal bad weather day to see how it feels (regardless of the wheel choice). I also have the benefit of being able to stick to pretty flatland on the tri bike and then if I want hills I just head west on the road bike, so I'm not sure I'd have the same descending problems as you being in the bay area.
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