The all-new ENVE Melee road bike takes what they learned with their Custom Road bike project from 2021 and created a production bicycle built for racers.
It’s a fully modern take on the road racing bike, designed to be responsive, aerodynamic, durable, and functionally comfortable. It’s also integrated, yet easy to customize to fit the rider, two seemingly opposing traits made easier thanks to ENVE’s position as both frame and component manufacturer.
The frame itself promises to deliver the best possible ride by leveraging their years of expertise with carbon fiber. From zoned construction to yield stiffness here, compliance there, and impact protection where needed, it all comes together in a bike made for today’s racers.
The tube and overall shaping is designed to complement their SES wheels, optimizing system aerodynamics. They say it performs well at the usual testing benchmark of 30mph, but also at mortal speeds of 20mph.
The key difference between this and the Custom Road is the intent. For starters, the Melee is intended for mass production, not custom frame sizes and geo. While the Custom Road is US-made like their wheels & rims, this stock-size carbon Melee is made by ENVE in China where they produce carbon bars, forks & seatposts.
Second, where the Custom Road was designed to allow that custom geometry, the Melee prioritizes speed, using a monocoque design that allows for narrower tube widths and more aero shapes.
An integrated cockpit hides all wires and hoses from the wind, but you’ll be able to choose the handlebar width and stem length at time of purchase.
This is a big deal, actually, because you’re not getting something chosen by a product manager because it fits the average, then having to spend more to get something that fits. Instead, you’ve got the full ENVE catalog to choose from.
Simply swapping the wheelset changes the bikes intention. From the climbing friendly 2.3 series, through the 3.4 and 4.5, all the way to the deep-section 6.7 for time trials and domestique leadout work.
The frame and fork will fit up to 35mm tires, with the recommended range from 27mm to 31mm. ENVE says anything under 25mm will adversely affect handling and geometry.
The bike uses a threaded T47 bottom bracket and a new kammtail aero seatpost that’s custom for this frame. It’ll come in 0mm offset (275mm and 350mm lengths) and 20mm offset (350mm only).
The Melee will work with all Shimano mechanical drivetrains, and all wired and wireless SRAM and Shimano electronic drivetrains, for both 1x and 2x setups. It’ll also work with Campagnolo mechanical 1x drivetrains, but not 2x because of the front derailleur cable routing.
Sadly, it’s also not compatible with Campy EPS groups…the connectors are too big to fit through the chainstays, and ENVE said they prioritized 35mm tire clearance over EPS compatibility. With ENVE now an official wheel partner with Classified Cycling, you could even get a 1x build with 2x range.
ENVE Melee pricing, weight & geometry
The ENVE Melee is sold as a chassis with frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem and seatpost. With seven stock frame sizes and five fork rakes to choose from, plus the entire range of stems and handlebars, chosen a la carte, there’s definitely a setup that will fit you.
To make it easier to decide, once you input your desired frame size and stack and reach figures (via bar and saddle position measurements), they’ll have an online tool to narrow down the choices to the components that will create the best fit.
The Melee will come in one color, Damascus. No custom paint options will be offered at launch. But you will be able to design and order custom decals for a bit more flair.
Other options at time of checkout include bar tape, a K-Edge integrated stem mount computer mount, wheels, tires, saddle, and even a custom Scicon rolling bike case for traveling.
Claimed weight is 850g +/-2% for a size 56, painted, without hardware.
MSRP is $5,500 (€5500 / £5300). Chassis and complete bikes can be ordered by working with your local dealer or ENVE Ride Center, ordering any drivetrain and other parts directly through the dealer.
That’s a lot of cheddar for a very open mold looking frame.
$5500 is a lot for what is essentially an SL7.