ENVE Composites (Ep.23)

On today’s podcast, we present a rather quintessential American Success Story that goes by the name of ENVE Composites. If you ride bikes and have a thing for high-quality gear, you already know ENVE. But you almost certainly don’t know the whole story.

Last week I headed to Ogden, Utah, to visit ENVE’s headquarters and tour their factory, and I then sat down for a conversation with three people who have each have played (and continue to play) an important role in ENVE’s past, present, and future — ENVE’s CEO, Sarah Lehman, ENVE’s chief engineer Kevin Nelson, and ENVE’s product manager, Jake Pantone.

Topics & Times:

  • Introductions + the origins and early days of ENVE (3:25)
  • Sarah talks about the “Cinderella story” of ENVE, including the dark days of cease & desist notices and name changes, and the company’s major decision to keep manufacturing in the US (6:20)
  • Manufacturing with carbon + what it means to “Do carbon right” (29:45)
  • Manufacturing in the US vs manufacturing overseas: misconceptions, challenges, and benefits (36:10)
  • Will an intermediate rider even notice the performance benefits of an expensive carbon wheelset? (46:40)
  • ENVE’s future: what does ENVE’s plan to grow look like, how is “price” related to that growth, and how does ENVE hope to continue to differentiate itself as more companies get into their space? (50:00)
  • Working with the Santa Cruz Syndicate — which Syndicate rider breaks the most stuff? Which rider provides the most product feedback? (1:00:00)
  • Team Dimension Data vs The Syndicate — Which team is providing the most feedback? (1:03:30)
  • Sarah’s best day at ENVE (1:07:57)
  • What’s next? (1:10:00)
  • My Grand Finale Question (1:11:53)


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