404 NSW vs ENVE 4.5 SES vs BORA 50s?

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angrylegs
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by angrylegs

Has anyone put some time into riding these and able to compare at least one of them with the other?

I've been demoing 303 and 404 NSWs. The 303s as expected are a little snappier on climbs, but my overall speed, even including climbs, is far higher with the 404s. They're a lot of fun. Even though I like to climb and was seriously considering 303s or 3.4s, I'm now sold on the deeper profile rims for an every day, usually fair weather wheelset. The braking on the ZIPP NSWs (I have been on the 404s, not the 454s) is great - a far cry from some Reynolds wheels I tried maybe a decade ago. Perfectly happy with rim brakes on these.

I'm a Campy guy though, and have always lusted after BORAs. I hear the braking may be even better, but the aero qualities a fair bit less - the 404s are stupid fast. I'm really attracted to the ENVE SESs as well, but I have read the braking is nowhere near as good (may have been rectified on the SES).

Can anyone shed any more light on experiences with these three wheels? Hopefully you've ridden at least two of them, but at this point I'll take any input anyone has.

Thanks!

wintershade
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by wintershade

I cannot speak to the other brands, which is what I know you want (comparative experience). But I own Bora 50 One Clinchers with the new 3AC brake track. I love them. The ride is incredibly smooth (much more pleasant than my Shimal Mille) and I like the whisper quiet hubs. I've heard the Zipp and DT Swiss / Enve hubs are rather loud. The braking of AC3 is on bar with Shimals in the dry, a hair easier to modulate but progressive with a nice bite. I have only ridden them in the wet a couple times, and I'd say performance is more than acceptable, just a slower initial bite. They are excellent wheels. I find the ENVEs are rather common in Bay Area, so I also like the exclusivity factor and unique lacing pattern.

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Noctiluxx
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by Noctiluxx

I just sold my 404 NSW's and currently ride on two pairs of Bora Ultra 50 AC3 clinchers. The Bora's are much better in cross winds, much stiffer, hubs engage faster, and of course, quite a bit lighter.
As for the NSW 404's, they do brake better, are wider allowing tires up to 28mm, if thats your preference. BTW, both wheels ended up being replaced do to bad hubs. The NSW's had less than 500 miles on them when the rear hub failed. The Bora's rear hub went out with around 2000 miles on the wheels. Both Zipp and Campagnolo warranty department stepped up and replaced the wheels fast. In Campy's case, I got the newer AC3 version to replace the old ones. Also I don't see any advantage in owning the AC3 brake surface wheels over the previous Diamante. Of course I live in Southern California and rarely, if ever, ride in the rain.
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Calnago
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by Calnago

@Noctiluxx: curious as to what happened to your Campy rear hub. How did it fail? I’ve never seen a failed one before.
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angrylegs
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by angrylegs

I appreciate the feedback! Positive words for the Boras. My heart belongs to Campy. Did you find them about as fast as the Zipps, either via recorded data or just overall feel? And yes, the Zipps are heavier. I found them fast when rolling though. Still wondering about the Enve SESs. I have som Tune hubs I could build a wheelset with, and if I went with ENVE I'd use those.

1415chris
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by 1415chris

And more detsils on NSW hub please, if you don't mind.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

@angrylegs: The Boras are just my favorite wheel, bar none at any price. But I haven’t compared them to the Zipp NSW and am quite curious that @Noctiluxx found the braking on the Zipp NSW’s to be superior since I just think the braking on the Boras is superb. I did ride some Enve 6:7’s last week (I know, not the same) but the braking did not leave me impressed.
And someone mentioned the sound. Campy hubs just sound so sweet, and are trouble free and super easy to maintain with cup/cone bearings. Just can’t beat ‘em. DT hubs sound like a tractor to me, and the bracing angle for the spokes isn’t so great if you’re a bigger rider. The G3 spoking if the Boras is rock solid. Gentlemen... start your engines.

I guess I need to test a set of the NSW’s if I get the chance. The new Bontrager XXX Aeolus are another wheel I would like to test.

I’m not really concerned about the minute aero differences that may exist as long they ride well, and are solid and stable.
Last edited by Calnago on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

I really have not heard an negs on Boras.. I like my Enve 4.5 the new track is nice, but it eats pads compared to the old one. I'm ok with that because the wet braking is vastly improved. They can be kind of noisy though. The 404 I tried felt really sluggish to me.. and are effected by side winds just as much as my Enve 7.8.

nemeseri
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by nemeseri

I own the 303 NSWs and I've ridden on them for 12k miles now. I think they are light, have amazing braking and very easy to handle in cross winds. I only had two issues with them: the hubs have an unusual sound (I got used to this easily) and it's a bit hard to set up the rear brakes in a way to stop vibration during hard braking in corners. For me the 404s would be too heavy and probably more prone to cross winds.

I'd buy them again, but please note that I've only tried reynolds tubular carbon wheels, so it's possible that there are better wheels out there.

If you are really concerened with aero benefits, don't forget about the 105% rule (https://silca.cc/blogs/journal/part-5-t ... rodynamics). With the zipps you can probably run 25mm tires and still enjoy full aero benefits. On the boras, because of the 24,2mm rim width, there will be probably some penalty going over 23mm. But to be honest I'm not entirely sure that there is any real world measurable difference between these wheels regarding aero performance.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

@angrylegs: Your “heart belongs to Campy”. Did you really need to start this thread? :)
I have friend who’s killing me with questions about which wheels to buy (among other things) for his new bike, which will have Shimano Dura Ace, and even that goes back and forth. I’m having a difficult time recommending anything other than Boras these days, even if it’s for a Shimano build.
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Noctiluxx
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by Noctiluxx

Calnago wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:01 pm
@Noctiluxx: curious as to what happened to your Campy rear hub. How did it fail? I’ve never seen a failed one before.
Not sure. The rear hub had too much play. I assumed it needed it some tightening but my mechanic could not resolve the issue. The rear wheels was shipped to their service facility in Minnesota where they determined it needed replacing. In two weeks I had new wheels and an extra front wheel :wink:
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Noctiluxx
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by Noctiluxx

My buddy races a lot local crits. He had Enve ses 4.5's with Enve hub on his aero Factor One, version II. His bike is pimped to the gills with Sram e-tap, ceramic speed BB, paully, chain, and lube. To my surprise I saw him two weeks ago with Reynolds aero 65 wheels. He told me the Enve's flexed a lot and were terrible in cross winds. He absolutely loves the Reynolds. Go figure.
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jimaizumi
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by jimaizumi

I second the flexy Enve arguement as I, myself have a pair of 4.5's laced to Enve carbon hubs and they are flexy. So flexy to a pont that I have to widen the calipers quite a bit just to keep the rim from rubbing against the pads. I do give the wheels credit for rolling smoothly though... Some are saying that the spokes can't be pulled too hard in fears that the it may damage the spokes holes on the carbon hub, who knows..

Bora's are a good choice and if you're not too bothered by the graphics, the Racing Speed 40t's are also a good choice.

I guess this is the reason why Dimension Data has their wheels laced to Chris Kings..
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calleking
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by calleking

You mean that the flexyness would be solved with Chris King hubs?
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jimaizumi
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by jimaizumi

@ Calleking, I'm not suggesting anything but logic would suggest that a stronger spoke tension should also alleviate in some of the flexiness.. I tell you, my spokes are pretty soft, took them the LBS to see they could tighten then all around and they refused on fears over what I just mentioned in the above post.
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by Weenie


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