Enve have launched a new off the shelf frameset and we just managed to get a good look at a complete bike, and it is a stunner!
The new model is the Melee which I thought was a strange name for a bike and had to quickly check on google it meant what I thought and sure enough it means “a confused fight or scuffle.”
So, is it confused or, as Knights found, the ideal go to weapon of choice when you do not know what the ride will hold?
This is Enve’s follow up to their full custom road offering and many are describing it as ‘mass produced.’ We cannot see these outnumbering the Tarmacs, Canyons and Cannondales out in the real world, this is truly a far more boutique offering.
Enve have years of experience manufacturing some of the most sought-after carbon components in cycling so they should be able to turn out a well-constructed frame. Enve’s recent in-house manufacturing of the custom road frame will have helped develop the construction techniques and design of this frameset. The challenge for a component manufacturer when making a complete frameset package will be making the whole work and the Melee appears to offer a very versatile bike.
When you are designing your own frame including bar, post, headset and stem you should be able to achieve decent routing and Enve appear to have done an excellent job on the Melee. The cable integration is lovely and routing compatible with mechanical and electronic drivetrains, although not Campagnolo (unless you go 1x) as the front derailleur requires full length outer.
T47 threaded BB is confidence inspiring for all those with bad experiences of press fit and BB30 in recent years.
Available in seven sizes with five different fork rakes as well as your (or your bike fitters) choice of Enve bar, stem, and D-section aero seat post to achieve a perfect fit. Talking of fit Enve have a clever online fitting tool but let us be honest if you are going to be buying an Enve frameset you already have your fit figures off a professional.
Weight seems particularly good at circa 850gr for a 56cm frame, for one that can fit tyres up to 35mm (although optimised for 27-32mm). This tyre clearance is a real highlight as it means great versatility and you know the aero will be good from how highly Enve’s rims and wheels perform so this could prove to be an excellent all road machine one day and an aero road bike the next with just a switch of tyres.
Okay let us talk price, the first thing most people will ask. We know haters are going to hate, it is an Enve, so we did not expect cheap. The Enve Melee is £5300 which is a lot of money but consider competitor’s offerings. A Specialized Tarmac SL frameset is £4450 and does not include a handlebar, a Colnago C68 Disc is £6099 with no bar, stem or post, a Pinarello Dogma £5500 with no bar and stem. Considering the Melee comes with an Enve D-Section aero seat post, Enve bar and Enve stem, all in choice of sizes this represents about £800 worth of parts so compared competitors it is on point.
Colours: Any as long as it is Grey - not a whole lot of choice there however coloured decals are available, and this has been a popular approach with mountain bikes for a long time now and can make a real difference. It is not like Enve are known for their shouty colours.
In the flesh this bike is stunning, it features great attention to detail and lots of size options to help the owner achieve a perfect fit and it appears to be versatile. Unless it turns out not to ride all that well, which is highly unlikely with Enve history, then this does indeed look like a great one choice go to bike for any ride and a perfect home for your Enve wheelset.