In the time of Covid-19, everyone has had to get creative, and none moreso than those who want to host a show. This last week Enve Composites hosted a virtual Builder Roundup, complete with virtual tours of their impressive facility in Utah, and lots of pictures of beautiful bikes that were decked-out in Enve bits. We'd definitely encourage you to head over to their Builder Roundup page to see all of the photos and in-depth looks at all of the bikes–including videos of the builders talking about their bikes– but we wanted to give you a little taste and talk about some of the highlights that stuck out for us.
In no particular order, here are our favorite bikes from the Builder Roundup!
Strong Frames All-Road
Carl Strong has been building bikes longer than most, and his experience shows in this classic road bike. This bike stood out for its blend of clean lines, very creative paint, and great use of Chris King's matte bourbon to tie in with the headbadge and elements in the paint. The Enve SES 5.6 wheels with tanwall tires also contribute to this bike's fresh look, and we like it. A very cool bike that deserves a closer look!
Prova Cycles Mostro
While Mark Hester, the man behind Prova Cycles, hasn't been building all that long, his technical ability, use of 3D printing for frame parts, and impeccable eye have made his bikes hard to miss. The Mostro, shown here, is designed around 55mm tires while keeping the position of a traditional road bike. It looks like a bike that would allow its rider to go pretty much anywhere with speed and comfort, and we love the details like the match-anodized Silca Sicuro bottle cages, Chris King matte slate headset that ties in with the Enve G-Series rim decals, and of course, the organic-looking dropouts and chainstay yoke components!
Desalvo Cycles Titanium Gravel
We can't help but be fans of the bikes that Mike Desalvo builds. His shop is right down the street from our headquarters, and his bikes inevitably have a clean and simple look that is at once beautiful and unassuming in a way that's hard not to like. This bike stands out from the majority of Mike's bikes, with new graphics, and a paint job that's just plain rad! It's hard not to smile when we see this bike, and we like that! We're also happy to see that while it would have been easy to use a black Chris King headset and hubs, the bike eschews the easy route once again, and goes with silver. The Enve G-Series rims also tie-in perfectly with the Sram Force eTap drivetrain. Nice!
Calfee Design Mountain
Calfee design has been building and repairing carbon frames since what seems like about the beginning of the material's use in bicycles, and that experience shows in this rigid mountain bike. The seat and chain stays show the kind of forming that comes from a deep familiarity with the material, and when combined with the company's usual wrapped tube junctions and external patch-style bosses, they give the bike a truly unique look. We just love that in a world where so many bikes look similar, Calfee continues to make bikes that are clearly different; and, on top of that, those bikes actually ride great and last!
English Cycles Road
Rob English is another builder whose bikes are hard to mistake. His pencil-thin seat stays, frequent use of seatmasts, and often heavily customized front ends make his bikes stand out, and this one is no different. We really like how he's managed to make a very aero/modern stem and headset system work visually on a steel frame. No one would accuse this bike of looking traditional, but the complete package does work visually. Check out the nice details like the polished stays, and fully integrated internal cable routing (no small feat on a steel bike!).
Sklar Bikes All-Road
Another builder who has created a very recognizable aesthetic is Adam Sklar, and we like the look he's created for himself. This matte raw ti and black bike is low-key, but has some sweet details: Chris King matte jet parts, Cane Creek eeWings cranks, Enve G-Series rims, and super-subtle graphics all tie this bike together to create a visually unified bike that would surely be as much fun to ride as it is to look at.
The first thing that jumped out when we looked at Speedvagen's GTFO was its subtle, apparently blank tubes. Large swathes of matte paint give the bike a stunning look (though one whose utility on an adventure bike we might tend to question) that is classic Speedvagen. On closer inspection, the bike does have some typography, but it's well-hidden enough to not detract from the overall impression, which is hard to beat. This is another one of the bikes that went with silver parts, and given this bike's subtle contrasts, we think the choice to do so was the right one. This bike is a great example of how Enve's G-series rim can be used for an allroad/adventure bike. These rims make a fantastic rim for this use because of their wide hookless bead that protects the tire at low pressures, their great ride and very low weight. This bike is definitely one that we keep coming back to because of its almost architectural look.
The classic cruiser lines of Curtis Inglis's Funduro are just fun, and the bike is beautiful, but maybe more importantly, the bike stood out for us because of the breadth of its component choices. This Funduro has a sample of parts from the majority of the manufacturers we sell: Chris King covers the hub, headset, and bottom bracket duties; Paul Component shows up with dropper trigger, and Set-n-forget thru-axle; White Industries comes through with an M30 crankset; King Cage covers the bottle cages; and of course Enve Composites covers just about everything else.
Mosaic Cycles RT-1d
There are other bikes with amazingly creative paint, and other bikes with arguably very cool features, but this is classic Mosaic, and that seems to mean that it's just jaw dropping. Every bit of this bike is incredibly clean, the paint is impeccable, and it just looks fast. Like the English, this bike uses what enve refers to as the Integrated Front End. New product? Maybe, and it uses a special Chris King headset, so we're definitely curious to see more. It definitely helps contribute to the bike's overall streamlined appearance.
So what do you think? If you liked any of these, be sure to head over to the Enve Builder Roundup page because there are many more amazing bikes that we didn't feature here, but were very tempted to!
Thanks to Enve Composites for the great photos, which are theirs.
This weeks wheel build of the week features another great pair of Boost MTB wheels built around the Whisky parts No 9 36W carbon rim. The Whisky rims are a modern carbon all-mountain / trail rim featuring a 30mm internal width designed to run tires in the 2.3 to 2.6 range. That makes these rims a great value for money alternative to other more expensive rims from IBIS, Santa Cruz or Zipp.