by Lars Hundley
A couple of weeks back I saw an email come through from Jan Heine’s Rene Herse tire brand (recently renamed from Compass Tires) confirming that their tires were safe and compatible with Enve wheels.
The email mentioned that Enve had put out a service bulletin stating that tires with cotton, silk or other natural fiber sidewalls with open tubular style of construction were not suitable for some of their wheels. I didn’t really think much about it, because I run tubeless specific Specialized 2Bliss Ready 28mm tires on my Enve SES 4.5 AR Disc wheels that are not natural sidewall tires.
But then on Monday, I saw a different article on Bicycle Retailer about the same subject. That article specifically mentioned Specialized, which led me to realize that I was riding one of the exact tire / wheel combinations that ENVE says is not compatible and can blow off the rim.
Bicycle Retailer wrote in their article, “Challenge’s response could be summed up as ‘it’s not our tires, it’s their rim.’ In particular, Challenge said that Enve’s SES model rims have a sharp hook that can cut sidewalls. It said its investigation found the problem can occur with a variety of tires, not just its models.”
Frustratingly, I am not able to even locate the original service bulletin on Enve’s site. There is one service bulletin called Enve and the ERTO Standard that seems like it would be the right one, but it generates a “page not found” error when you click on it.
The good news is that Road Bike Action’s coverage of the service bulletin does list specific tires and types of tires to avoid. If you are running recent Enve wheels tubeless, I recommend that you check that page to make sure that you aren’t running a potentially dangerous tire and wheel combination that could cause a blowout and potential crash.