Tubulars are different than clinchers. Lighter, which means better acceleration and faster climbing. Stronger, which means better able to withstand rough roads, or no roads at all. ENVE mates a tubular rim surface to their SES 3.4 rim design in the SES 3.5 Tubular wheelset.
If you're a climber or a punchy rider, or a cyclocrosser, the tubular 3.4 is for you. The front rim is but 340g, the rear 380g (and that's including the internal nipples). The difference between the two is design. Both are fast; the front has a 35mm depth and 26mm width for better handling, and the rear, because it doesn't affect steering, is 45mm deep and 24mm wide. And for those unfamiliar with wide-rim technology, it also affords a greater gluing surface, which means the chances of rolling a tire are greatly reduced, and the greater support also reduces rolling resistance. The shape is also tuned for wider tires—ideal size for lowest rolling resistance and best aerodynamics is 22-23mm wide, though wider tires also work very well, too.
The 3.4 wheels are not only fast, they are also strong. Instead of having an unsupported rim wall, which is necessary in a clincher, there are no unsupported sections of a tubular rim. Not only is this stronger, but it also means that pinch flats are less likely.
Because ENVE only works in carbon-fiber, they've learned how to maximize the benefits of the material. Cutting holes for spokes can weaken the rim structure, so their spoke holes are molded. They also worked hard to find the right mix of carbon-fiber at the brake track. The result is that rim temperatures can actually be lower than those on aluminum rims. Lower temperatures means better braking, because the rims aren't melting the pads, greater safety because the glue isn't being heated up, and greater strength, because the structural integrity isn't compromised by heat.
Because the ENVE wheels are a system, they've included brake pads with the wheels. In addition to the brake pads, which are mandatory for the warranty, the wheels are delivered with titanium-shafted ENVE skewers and two sets of valve extenders—you'll need tires with removable cores.
We've been discussing rims, but these are wheelsets. As such, there are two hub options. One is a DT Swiss 240 and the other is a Chris King R45 with ceramic bearings. Both are compatible with Campagnolo 9/10/11 and Shimano SRAM 10/11. Both are built 20/24 with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes, radial lacing in front, two cross in back. The DT Swiss weigh 1335g for the set, while the Chris King weigh 1320g.
ENVE stands firmly behind their products. Not only do they have a five-year warranty on their products, but they also have a lifetime crash replacement policy where they'll replace any ENVE product for 50% of MSRP, provided the customer has the paperwork to prove original ownership.
ENVE's 3.4 Tubular wheelset is so light and so fast, it flattens the ascents and downhills the descents.