July 21, 2022 | By Mark Wilson
ENVE Composites unveiled the Melee, its second complete carbon road bike. It’s built with performance and racing in mind.
Cyclists’ mouths collectively watered last year when ENVE Composites dipped its toe into the realm of complete carbon bikes with the highly personalizable Custom Road rig.
For a brand that made its name on producing top-tier carbon wheelsets and components, it marked a significant new initiative for ENVE to pivot from a components-only company to a full-service bike brand.
It took another stride in that direction Thursday by unveiling yet another complete carbon bicycle: the Melee.
The company says the Melee combines high-performance features like aerodynamics and weight reduction with added versatility to serve as a dedicated road race bike that won’t shy away from mixed surfaces.
While ENVE built the Custom Road with race-ready specifications, the bike didn’t necessarily dial in critical elements of design like overall weight and stiffness that are crucial in modern competitive race bikes.
Also, the fully customizable build and design process of the Custom Road meant that rolling out a ton of the bikes wasn’t particularly feasible.
The Melee, which comes in only one color, may not be as customizable as its older sibling. But the fine-tuned performance metrics of the bike give it a leg up for racers.
Additionally, the Melee is available in seven stock sizing options ranging from 47 cm to 60 cm, along with five unique fork rakes to keep handling consistent and responsive in every frame size.
Dropping the customization elements of the Custom Road will allow ENVE to produce many more of the Melee model. The Melee is also manufactured overseas instead of at the brand’s Ogden, Utah, headquarters.
The Melee features monocoque construction to cut weight and improve efficiency. It uses Kamm-tailed tube shapes that complement ENVE’s SES rim profiles and comes with full front-end integration to keep things aero.
The bike’s geometry works best with tires ranging from 27 mm to 32 mm, but the frame can accommodate wheels up to 35 mm, opening the frame up to cyclocross and even gravel riders.
The Melee isn’t as customizable as the Custom Road. But it still includes a large spectrum of parts, accessories, and decal options riders can use to make it their own.
ENVE sells the Melee in a “chassis-only” assembly that includes the frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem, and seat post. Riders can select each of these individually to choose their perfect fit and spec.
Buyers can select drivetrains through retail partners and various SES wheels to round out each build. But each will cost extra. ENVE also offers a custom decal kit to add some personal flash.
Buyers can use ENVE’s “Best-Fit Calculator” to match their fit stack, reach, and saddle position with the correct frame, stem, spacers, and saddle offset. When they’re done, they’ll have a customized component configuration.
The chassis-only Melee costs $5,500 MSRP.
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