The ENVE AG25 and AG28 Wheels are Made with Utah Gravel Riding in Mind
Gravel bikes have rocketed to the forefront of bikes most asked about in the shop. There are myriad reasons for this, but one of the most common uses for us in these parts is to connect road with gravel, gravel with singletrack, and singletrack with chunk. Sometimes, a gravel bike with what amounts to a road bike wheelset isn't substantial enough for whatever we come across. Lucky for us, the ENVE AG25 and ENVE AG28 wheelsets seek to be just the right wheelset for our circumstances.
AG: Where Gravel Meets Mountain
AG, meaning "Adventure Gravel," feels in a lot of ways to be a melding of ENVE's G Series gravel wheels and ENVE's M Series mountain wheels. Much of that comes down to the rim shape, at 21mm deep is closer to an ENVE AM30 wheel than even the ultralight ENVE G23. The shaping, with its external spoke nipples, is reminiscent of an AM30 wheel as opposed to the G23. ENVE has even built the wheel to meet their M Series mountain rim impact testing protocols. But besides that, it seems to take what we like from the G Series and seems to make it just a touch burlier.
Like the G Series, the AG wheels feature ENVE's patent pending Wide Hookless Bead, which spreads impact loads just a bit more when compared to a traditional hookless bead rim. They claim that it optimizes tubeless tire reliability, particularly in those wince-worthy moments where rims hit rocks. It does so at a lightweight 360g for a rim. A complete wheelset weighs in at 1480g, regardless of whether you choose the AG25 or the AG28.
The AG25 is the Utah brand's 700c option using a 25mm internal width and 33.5mm external width, with a suggested tire range from 32mm to 50mm wide. The AG28, with its 650b/27.5" diameter, is designed with a suggested tire range from 45mm to 57mm (2.25"). This is thanks largely to its use of a 28mm internal rim width and 35.5mm external width.
Regardless of the wheelset, both AG25 and AG28 wheels utilize ENVE's Foundation hub that's also found on wheels like the ENVE 45 and 65. Based on ENVE's top-end hub, it uses the same overall hub design as ENVE's Alloy hub with a simpler shell design and NTN steel bearings. It features a 40t ratchet with 9 degrees of engagement.
When riding gravel bikes the way we do in Northern Utah, one quickly realizes the importance of building compliance into the wheelset of a rigid bicycle. In testing the rims, the Utah company used data acquisition equipment to gather empirical data alongside personal assessments of ride quality. After using over a dozen carbon variations, ENVE settled on the final carbon laminate seen here that they claim is the best balance of weight, handling, and toughness available at $1600.
THE ENVE AG wheels are designed with the durability to withstand everything from the baby rocks of gravel roads to riding through rock-strewn singletrack. And it does it with ENVE's Lifetime Incident Protection program and five-year limited warranty for peace of mind regardless if you damage the wheel while riding or in an accident. Pretty good in our eyes.
Durability can sometimes be a concern when riding gravel wheels past their intended use, particularly in the rocky and rooty singletrack found around here. The ENVE AG25 and AG28, therefore seem to be an excellent companion for whatever lies ahead. Even still, it is impressively light and tuned toward compliance more so than many other wheels out there. Stay tuned for a future review on these as we put them through their paces and find out what they're all about.
Not sure which to choose between the ENVE AG25 wheelset and the ENVE AG28 wheelset? We have both in stock. Give us a call or send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we're happy to help you find exactly what you're looking for.