The M5 is Enve’s lightest and most narrow mountain bike wheel. Built for cross country racing, but said to be strong enough for everyday riding and training purposes, a set of 29″ M5 wheels weighs in at less than 1,400 g paired with the Industry Nine Hydra CL hubs. With an internal width of 25 mm, these wheels work best with tires ranging from 2.2″ to 2.4″ wide.
Setting up the wheels was pretty straightforward. Standard rim tape and valves are included although they are not the proprietary insert-type used by Enve’s more aggressive wheelsets. The hookless tire bead, which means these hoops are technically the M525, helps to eliminate pinch flats. It was quick to seat the tire bead. The 2.3 Schwalbe Racing Ray and Ralph tires I used could run a few p.s.i. less than in other wheels without the fear of bottoming out on the rim.
On the trail, the wheels accelerate quickly and provide precise steering that allows you to commit to a turn or line with confidence. When the trail gets rowdy and rough, the M5s do a good job keeping things under control. With only 24 spokes front and rear, and XC tires, I was avoiding some lines I would normally take with a more robust setup.
These wheels were a dream on the climbs. Not only are the M5s very light, they are also quite compliant, especially for a carbon wheel. Bumps and roots get soaked up and allow you to maintain traction. Your back will thank you at the end of a long ride. The wheels also come with Enve’s lifetime incident protection, so even if you find yourself on the wrong trail in a bike park and ding up your hoops, Enve has you covered. (enve.com)—Matt Stetson