ENVE M70 Thirty HV 27.5” Wheels

Mounting and Initial Setup

Like other ENVE rims, the M70 HV’s come with rim tape that’s essentially just appropriately-sized Gorilla tape. This makes for a quick and painless process for sealing up the rims.

As I noted above, I’ve been running a 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF WT on the front, and a 2.4” Maxxis Minion DHRII WT on the rear. Both tires mounted up easily, and the tubeless setup was a breeze; they seated with a floor pump without any struggle. The rims are just the right amount of tight—I got the tires on without any struggle, but once they’re snapped into place, they’re quite snug.

The inner portion of the rims do have a small circumferential bulge in them that helps keep the bead locked into to place. Quite a few rim manufacturers are doing this now, but ENVE’s shape is actually molded into the rim (rather than machined). This helps prevent the tire from burping in hard corners, even when running lower pressures.

The Ride

As I mentioned in the M60 HV review, the defining characteristic of these wheels is that they don’t weigh much. Or more accurately: they don’t weigh much and they’re still pretty dang stiff.

The M70 HV wheelset that I tested weighs in at 1657 g, and as with the M60’s, that falls into the category of “very light, but not unheard of.” Of course, the difference is the stiffness and durability—I’ve never ridden an aluminum rimmed wheel of about this weight that’s even remotely close to as stiff as the M70 HV’s.

This is one of those seat-of-the-pants impression kind of things, but I’d say the M70 HV’s are equivalently stiff to an aluminum wheelset that’s about 250 grams heavier. They’re not quite as stiff as the White Industries XMR / WTB Asym i35 wheelset I rode last fall, but that wheelset weighs about 2100 g, which is almost 450 g more than the ENVE’s.

As with the M60 HV’s, I don’t find the M70 HV’s to be too stiff (a complaint I’ve heard about ENVE’s in the past). Laterally, I’d say they’re on par with a stiff “enduro” wheelset. Vertically, they feel stiffer than most aluminum rims, but that’s largely masked by the relatively large tires I was running.

But it’s also worth noting that the ENVE’s flex a bit differently than an aluminum rim. With an aluminum rim, it feels more like it’s only the portion of the rim that’s closest to the tire’s contact patch that flexes. And this manifests itself when you over-flex an aluminum wheel—the rim will bend in one defined area.

Noah Bodman reviews the ENVE M70 Thirty HV Wheels for Blister Gear Review
Noah Bodman on the ENVE M70 Thirty HV Wheels, Whitefish, MT.

The ENVE’s flex manifests itself more as a “whole wheel” flex. It seems like the rim is stiff enough that it resists flexing in one specific area; when the wheel flexes, it feels like the whole rim is flexing as one unit. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing in terms of providing for the most traction in corners, but so far, my only conclusion is that it’s a bit different.

The rims also have a certain dampness that I haven’t experienced with aluminum rims. It feels as though high frequency vibrations are largely muted, which is also an attribute I’d also associate with carbon frames. This seems to make for a more comfortable, less fatiguing ride.

But like I said at the outset, the defining characteristic here is that, for a wheel that can truly be ridden hard, the M70’s are light. They accelerate quickly, they snap through turns with ease, and in pretty much every situation where I’m putting a lot of input into the bike, the light wheels make it easier.


My twenty five or so days on these certainly isn’t enough to make any sort of conclusions about durability, but so far, I haven’t had any problems whatsoever. I’ll be spending more time on these wheels and I’ll report back with some longer-term conclusions later this year. I can also report that the M60 HV’s, which I have a bit more time on, are also still running smoothly and problem-free (although the hubs like to come loose, and the freehub skips occasionally, but that complaint gets directed at Chris King).

M60 HV vs. M70 HV

If you’ve decided to plop down the money for some ENVE’s, but you’re undecided between the M60’s and M70’s, here’s my take on the decision.

First, consider the tires that you’re most likely to be running. If you’re running 2.1” – 2.3” tires, I’d be looking at the M60, or even the M50. If you’re running 2.3” or 2.4” tires, I’d be looking at the M60 HV or the M70. If you’re running 2.4” – 2.5” tires, I’d be looking at the M70 HV. Of course, the world will still turn if you put a 2.5” tire on an M60, but it won’t be as good as it could be.

Second, consider what trails you’re riding and how hard you are on your wheels. Take into account that both the M60’s and M70’s that I rode are quite a bit stiffer than any aluminum wheel in their respective weight classes. In other words, if you’ve toasted an XC wheelset, that’s not necessarily a relevant reference point. But if you’re the kind of person who rides super rocky terrain and has trouble keeping stout wheelsets straight, then go with the M70 or M70 HV. Similarly, if you’re a bigger rider who struggles to find strong wheels, then yeah, the M70 / HV’s might be more up your alley.

For most people, I think the M60 or M60 HV is probably the best bet for all-around trail riding. The M60 HV weighs about 100 g less than the M70 HV, and they’re still a very solid wheelset. To put it another way, I don’t feel like the M60 HV is undergunned on rowdy, fast, rocky trails.

Bottom Line

The ENVE M70 HV is pretty much the best wheel that money can buy. Yeah, I can come up with some minor complaints about the internal nipples and how I’d like to have some different hub options, but none of those complaints really affects my ultimate conclusion that these things are really, really good wheels. Of course, they’re quite expensive, so there’s that.

For all around trail riding, I’d personally go for the M60 HV. They’re a bit lighter, and still quite stiff. But for true “enduro” riding, or for people that demand a lot from their wheels, the M70 HV is at the top of the heap.


4 comments on “ENVE M70 Thirty HV 27.5” Wheels”

  1. I have been trying to decide for a week now between m70 hv and m60 hv :)
    Thanks for the review…
    I am even thinking to go with the 70hv front and 60hv rear.
    I am light 140lbs, riding a Nomad3. Mostly trail/AM.
    Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35 front and Nobby Nic 2.35 rear. They are both bigger volume tires.
    Do you know which rim will they go better with?
    I used to run an older Enve AM, which I cracked (I blame too low of a pressure). So this is will be a warranty replacement.

    • I’d say it really just boils down to where your priorities lie: if you want a more bomber rim that’ll shrug off a fair amount of abuse, and if you don’t mind a little bit of extra weight, I’d go with the M70HV. But if weight is a priority, or if you spend most of your time on trails where a burly rim like the M70HV is overkill, I’d go with the M60HV.

      In terms of tire widths, I’d say those 2.35 Schwalbes probably work better on the 26mm M60HV’s, but since their fairly wide for their stated width, the M70HV’s 31mm width wouldn’t be total overkill. If you wanted a burlier rim than the M60HV but didn’t want to go too much wider, you could also consider the “regular” M70, which has a 25mm internal width.

      You also mentioned going with an M70HV front and a 60HV rear. If you wanted to go that direction, I’d probably go the other way around – the rear usually takes more abuse than the front, so you could look at doing an M60HV front and an M70 (regular version / non HV) rear. That way your rim widths would be about the same (26mm internal for the M60HV on the front, 25mm internal for the M70 on the rear), and you’d get the lighter rim on the front where the rim weight is a little more noticeable.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Dear Noah, thanks for all your well done biking reviews and the podcast.
    In the podcast you say the biggest advantage of the ENVE wheel set over aluminium is the weigh.
    I often fail to see that weigh advantge.
    For example the set you review above comes in at 1657g (with 31mm inner width). The dt swiss XM 1501 Spline ONE 27.6 / 30mm comes in at 1675 g (according to their website). I’ve looked at burlier rims on the dt swiss website as well and they all had similar weigh to the ENVEs.
    Just because of the high costs I’ll stay with aluminium for the time beeing. If my next YT-Industries bike comes with cabon wheels I’ll be happy to try them (the e13 offering seems to strike a good balance in flex, stiffnes and reliability).
    Best regards

    • Hey Lukas,

      I think the real advantage of the Enve’s (and other carbon rimmed wheels) is the weight *combined* with the stiffness. There are plenty of light aluminum wheelsets, and there are plenty of stiff aluminum wheelsets, but I haven’t found any aluminum rims that are as light while also being as stiff as something like the Enve’s.

      But, like you said, Enve’s aren’t cheap – it’s tough to beat aluminum rims when price is a primary consideration.

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