ENVE Fray Endurance/All-Road Bike First Look


ENVE Fray Endurance/All-Road Bike First Look

Released today, the Fray is ENVE’s new all-road/endurance road bike. The Fray is positioned in ENVE’s lineup between the Melee and the MOG, with a geometry optimized for tire sizes between 700 x 31c and 700 x 35c, and clearance up to 40c.

Petor stumbled on one of the first production Fray bikes ahead of its release for a long weekend in Girona last October. Below, he shares a first look and some initial ride impressions…

Quick Hits

  • Not a gravel bike
  • Definitely a bike for riding all on roads
  • Performance centric construction
  • Comfort-oriented road geometry
  • Clearance for 700x38c on a double and 700x40c on a 1x drivetrain
  • Compatible with fenders
  • 12×142 rear spacing with 12×100 front
  • T47 bottom bracket
  • In-frame storage compartment
  • Frame weight 900g (+/- 2% on a 56cm frame)
  • Pricing:$/£5500 / €5995 / AUD $9,999 including frame, fork, headset, stem, handlebar and seatpost


A few months ago at ENVE’s second edition of Girodeo hosted by The Service Course Girona, when half of my bike (the back half) got held up at customs, I was kind of stranded in and amongst some of Europe’s finest gravel without a bike. After lots of calling around looking for anything rideable, I made peace with the idea of riding some kind of very average and probably ill-fitting aluminum gravel bike on a weekend that I’d been looking forward to riding my STURDY at for over two years. Until one morning at breakfast something better showed up…

ENVE’s top secret and as yet unreleased new all-road bike, the FRAY. While not designed as a gravel bike but rather a high-performance, mile-munching endurance road bike, the Fray DOES fit 40c tires when using a 1x drivetrain. The Fray I got to try out was a 2x running 38c Hutchinson Tundra tires, which are definitely on the smaller side of what’s ideal for the agricultural paths made from broken bricks and lumpy rocks that lace the Catalan countryside resulting in a good amount of big sidewall cuts on the descents.

Aside from that, its geometry, while fairly relaxed, and with a generous stack height is not as slack as you’d expect of even a very conservative gravel build. The FRAY is very much a performance road bike with ample tire clearance, which by my estimations should make it a relevant and super interesting bike for a lot of people.

Geometry and Handling

Looking at the comparative geometry chart with the Melee and the MOG, the Fray has a shorter reach and more stack than either as well as a little more BB drop with a fraction longer wheelbase than the Melee. In practice, this was a comfortable geometry on the road, but wasn’t ideal on chunky Girona gravel yet was still rideable.

If I’m honest, I didn’t have a nice time riding the Fray on long swoopy gravel descents where I would have enjoyed riding a MOG. After a long ride, I was pretty beaten up and the technical sections felt more technical than they would have on the appropriate bike. The Fray fairly stiff performance-centric bike designed for the road, so although it will handle some gravel it’s not designed for gravel riding. There are a few moments where I did however really enjoy riding the Fray, on the patches of road at the beginnings and ends of rides where the surface played to its strengths. Those things said- this is a first impression rather than a review.

Cruising out of Girona gently uphill on tarmac the Fray was both comfortable (owing to its relatively upright geometry) and the ample 38c tires it was fitted with as well as the relatively flexy D-shaped aero seatpost, and at the same time noticeably stiff and light. It felt fast and planted and ready to go.

I didn’t ride enough on the road to know how it would feel after a long day in the saddle but my hunch is that most of the comfort and compliance were derived from big rubber and a relatively flexy seatpost. With the range of rims and tires available within Fray’s recommended tire size, there’s a lot of versatility in dialing ride feel, although my ten cents would be to run a wide, stable rim like Enve’s SES 3.4 paired with something like Schwalbe’s big, light sticky and supple, fast rolling Pro One Tubeless in a 34c to make the most of the Fray.

I’d love to have spent a week riding the Fray set up that way, on the road, over mountains, with a relatively upright fit to take in the views on the way up, and plenty of supple rubber to isolate me from the tarmac, and inspire confident descents in the drops.

Rather than being a different thing (an “all-road” bike in a separate category from a “road” bike), the Fray feels to me like what a modern road bike should be. A road bike for road cyclists rather than racers, which probably includes the majority of road cyclists.

I guess there are specific and niche race applications for the bike on mixed-surface road races where the surface is either bad or includes some off-piste riding, but where the race is essentially won or lost on the tarmac. However, I think this bike’s fanbase will be club riders, people racing road ultras like the TCR, and riders looking to go far and fast.


The fray features a modular, in-frame cargo solution, with two anti-rattle, super light neoprene bags – one which pushes up, and the other that pushes down inside the downtube. In practice, it’s actually a surprisingly useful feature offering 0.6 liters of storage inside the frame in an optimal location for weight distribution.

That’s enough for an Equipt sardine, crappy generic mini chain link pliers, a bottle of sealant, Dynaplug pill, Albion ultralight insulated jacket, and three Nakd bars, which is everything I’d need to carry with me on a long ride, without the need for any bags. Having it in the frame means it’s always there, and easily accessible by flipping a little lever just below the water bottle cage. It means duplication of repair kit stuff if you have multiple bikes potentially, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The in-frame storage keeps repair essentials clean and dry, but it also opens up the frame for ease of access to cables/hoses for internal routing through the frame, and grants access to an internal attachment point for the cables and hoses to stop potential rattle in the frame. There’s provision for additional storage with a small top tube bag attachment point on the top tube, and mudguard eyelets front and rear. There’s a part of me that thinks the fray would make a pretty great lightweight road touring bike with a tailfin on the back although that’s pretty much the only option for a rack, the frame design with a long head tube leaves plenty of space for frame bags, without losing all its water carrying capacity, as there are also water bottle bosses underneath the downtube near the bottom bracket.

Fit and Compatibility

Shorter and taller than ENVE’s out-and-out race machine, the Melee, the Fray is available in 7 stock sizes with a range of 4 fork rakes to choose from and a number of seatpost, stem, and bar lengths and widths.

While that’s not a totally custom fit, there’s plenty of scope within those options for something that fits well and handles well according to a majority of peoples’ bike fits. More people will be running the Fray with a slammed stem owing to its 20mm more stack than the Melee, so if you need a super low front end because you’re looking for a more aggressive bike, the Melee is a better choice.

The Fray works best with Enve’s stem, bars, and headset which are included as part of the frameset (they form part of the cable management system) as well as Enve’s aero seatpost which is D-shaped and as such is the only seatpost that will work in this frame. It’s designed to be used with 1x or 2x road groupsets, although the chainstays are on the shorter side at 415mm. I’d imagine shifting to be smoother and quieter with 2x and the bike I tested was fitted with a 2x Shimano groupset which worked well.


  • Heaps of clearance for a road bike
  • Short and tall will cater for a different bike fit to the melee
  • Loads of practical features like mudguard eyelets
  • Integrated cupboard
  • Long ride-centric geometry
  • Several sizes and combinations available to dial in fit
  • Stiff, performance-oriented ride feel
  • Lovely seatpost flex
  • Climbs and descends nicely


  • Race stiff (I felt this acutely on gravel)
  • Relatively expensive for an off the peg road bike


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