Have you ever heard the noise that a carbon fiber rim makes when it fails? If you listen really closely when it happens, you might just be able to hear the sound of money being sucked right out of your bank account. Some riders have even reported hearing a flushing toilet over the noise of crunching carbon at the moment of impact, but that's never been substantiated. A few things we do know, however, is that carbon rims are expensive, and that expensive certainly doesn't equal indestructible. Scary combo, right? It is for many riders, which is one of the reasons that the folks at ENVE now offer their ''No-Questions-Asked Lifetime Incident Protection
'' on the US-made carbon products that fill their catalog.
It's exactly what it sounds like, too: ENVE will replace their damaged component, no questions asked, regardless of if it was a JRA kinda thing, a cased jump, a big crash, or even if the dog thought your M6 Series rim might taste delicious.
Okay, they'll probably make sure you're the original owner, and they might ask for a proof-of-purchase, so maybe it should be called the Two-Questions-Asked Lifetime Incident Protection, but it's still pretty good.
ENVE's products aren't exactly inexpensive - rims go for $999 USD on their own, and wheels range from $2,550 to $3,000 USD depending on your hub fetish - but we all know that doesn't mean that they can't fail.
When spending that sort of coin, I'd want to be looked after and I bet most of you feel the same.
''Originally, it was a typical five-year warranty covering manufacturing defects, materials, and workmanship. And we've been confident enough in our product to cover ride damage since 2011,'' ENVE's Jake Pantone told me earlier today. That started way back in 2007, a time when a five-year warranty on wheels was almost unheard of.
"We also had our Lifetime Loyalty Guarantee,
" he explained, a program where ENVE would sell you a replacement component at 50-percent off the retail price, regardless of how it happened. "In practice, those incidents when we charged people happened very rarely,
'' Pantone replied when asked how common that was, which brings us to today's announcement.
Thing is, there are a bunch of companies who've been selling carbon wheels for years and have made sure that customers know they have a no-questions-asked replacement policy. I don't know about you, but if I was dropping thousands of dollars that I don't actually have on a set of carbon wheels, I'd probably choose the ones I know will get replaced free of charge; you'd have to be pretty brave to do otherwise. Pantone explained over the phone that while ENVE has essentially been doing exactly that for years now, it wasn't something that many people knew about. Today, it becomes official.
It's not just rims; all of ENVE's carbon products are covered, mountain or road.
Let's pretend for a few minutes that we're all in the market for a new set of carbon wheels. Would ENVE's No-Questions-Asked Lifetime Incident Protection sway you towards their catalog?