Free Shipping Canada-Wide $100+

login user iconshopping cart icon
April 17, 2024

ENVE Bikes Showdown: Melee Vs MOG Vs Fray

Here at NOMAD, we're always on the lookout for the best new innovations in cycling technology...and yes...we may be a wee bit fanatical about it... While we strive to have a bit of something for everyone, we have a soft spot for the latest road and gravel advancements and things that just feel special. Since we rocked our first set of ENVE wheels a few years ago, it's fair to say that ENVE was a brand with a special feel. With a heritage rooted in collaboration with elite frame builders and top tier athletes, ENVE Bikes offer an unparalleled fusion of lightness, stiffness, and durability, catering to a diverse range of cycling disciplines including the road-focused ENVE Melee, the versatile ENVE Fray, and the gravel-centric ENVE MOG.

ENVE Composites USA, is famous for creating carbon fiber products that have helped to revolutionize the world of cycling. Headquartered in beautiful (it really is) Ogden, Utah, the team has pushed boundaries with tubeless technology and aerodynamic designs, thanks in part to the expertise of ex-Formula One aerodynamicist Simon Smart. These guys are serious about advancements in carbon fibre and bicycle component design.

Because we're excited about it, we'll endeavour to delve deeper into the features and capabilities of each ENVE bike in their now 3-deep line up, following the launch of the ENVE Fray on April 11th. You guessed it - these aren't your friendly neighborhood beer bikes, but rather finely crafted companions that enhance your cycling experience, whether you're chasing speed on the road, conquering rugged bikepacking excursions, or embarking on long rides with comfort and efficiency that finds demand as group shootouts slowly give way to meandering coffee rides with your cycling buddies. Regardless of how you categorize yourself as a cyclist, ENVE's proprietary technologies and unwavering commitment to innovation and quality ensure getting dropped is down to the engine, sorry about that...

More seriously, this comparison is a journey through the history of ENVE Bikes, spotlighting the distinct characteristics that make any one of the ENVE Melee, ENVE MOG, and ENVE Fray models your best bet. Whether it's the rigorous in-house creation process at ENVE or the cutting-edge design and technology that sets ENVE apart for you, our exploration will highlight why more cyclists are discovering ENVE road bikes and ENVE SES wheels.

ENVE Melee Overview

ENVE Melee frame set with wheels


The Melee was primarily designed for road race and performance seekers. It's used by the UCI Pro Team TotalEnergies so it's unlikely you will find it lacking in stiffness, agility, and overall ride feel. Despite it's clear design as a racer, the ENVE Melee is fully a modern road bike, compatible only with disc brakes and optimized for use with electronic drivetrains (though some mechanical drivetrains are compatible). The bike is designed to integrate seamlessly with ENVE SES Wheels and is optimized for 27 to 32mm tires (for the diehards that haven't gone wider on the tires - it's arguably faster and provides much greater comfort).

As you've come to expect from bikes in this price range, the front end fully hides the brake and shifter set up with ENVE's In-Route system. And, since February, ENVE now has a fully integrated carbon stem and handlebar option should you really want to make it slippery in the wind.

Key Features and Compatibility of the Melee

  1. Frame and Fork Material: Both the frame and fork of the ENVE Melee are crafted from ENVE M.O.D Carbon, ensuring a lightweight yet robust construction ideal for anything you can throw at it.
  2. Frame Sizes and Fork Rakes: Available in seven frame sizes ranging from 47cm to 60cm, with five fork rake options (55, 51, 47, 43, 39), allowing for a highly customizable fit.
  3. Weight and Dimensions: The frame weighs approximately 850 grams for a 56cm model, painted without hardware, supporting agility and speed.
  4. Tire Compatibility: The Melee offers impressive tire clearance, accommodating up to 35mm, with optimal performance for tires sized 27c to 32c. This feature allows for versatility in road conditions and speed/handling tradeoffs.
  5. Drivetrain and Brake Integration: Compatible with a variety of drivetrain brands and configurations, the Melee also includes an integrated front-end design for seamless internal routing of brake hoses and drivetrain cables.
  6. Bottom Bracket and Seatpost: Utilizes an INBOARD T47 Bottom Bracket and an ENVE Aero Seatpost, enhancing the bike’s aerodynamics and stability.

ENVE Melee Ride Characteristics

  1. Road Responsiveness: The Melee bike was designed to minimize wind resistance with aerodynamically optimized tube shapes to reduce drag, but that didn't come at the expense of handling in real world conditions. A fast bike isn't fun if it feels sluggish and we're pleased to inform that as soon as you begin pedaling the Melee, you'll notice the instant connection it creates between you and the road. With every pedal stroke, the bike feels like it wants to go faster, motivating you to exert more effort and increase your speed with ample responsiveness.
  2. Mountain Goat: With a frame weight of just 850 grams, the Melee bike truly shines when it comes to conquering challenging ascents. Sure, you can find fractionally lighter frames out there, but lightweight with responsiveness is the target and the Melee delivers. When paired with a set of Enve SES AR bars, which  are flared to provide excellent leverage and control when powering up out of the saddle, the bike is deceptively strong on steep ascents.
  3. Descent Ready: The Melee truly comes into its own on fast descents with stable geometry and the typical power of hydraulic disc brakes (whichever groupset you choose). If you're like us, you aren't going to be sitting on your top tube and plummeting down (be safe, please!), but we all crave confidence to throw the bike into fast switchbacks and the Melee won't disappoint. The only disappointment here is the lack of proper descents where we ride most of the year.

ENVE MOG Overview

ENVE MOG frameset with wheels

The ENVE MOG, a trailblazer in gravel biking, features a frame and fork made from the same high-modulus ENVE M.O.D Carbon found on the Melee road racer, ensuring both durability and responsiveness. The frame, weighing just 950 grams (rather light for a gravel bike) for a 56cm model, is designed for agility and comfort on rugged terrain. The weight and aerodynamic features suggest a gravel racer, but it's also loaded with storage options, making it suitable for your biggest bikepacking adventures when you've taken the weekend off from racing through the muck.

The integrated cockpit and ENVE Seatpost are, of course, also crafted from carbon, offering an optimal blend of stiffness and shock absorption. This bike not only promises a thrilling ride across diverse landscapes but also provides extensive customization options from handlebars to seatposts, catering to personal preferences and riding styles. Similar to the Melee, ENVE did you a favour in providing ample space for wider tires. In this case, meaning you won't need to worry about 650B wheels because you can run a 50mm (!) width on a 700C wheel.

Key Features and Compatibility of the MOG

  1. Storage and Mounts: The ENVE MOG is equipped with in-frame downtube storage called the 'Cargo Bay' with a 600ml capacity, as well as top tube mounts, and up to three water bottle cages, making it ideal for long day rides and overnight bikepacking adventures.
  2. Tire Compatibility and Clearance: The MOG supports  a minimum tire size of 700 x 36c, with an optimal range of 700 x 40c-44c, and can accommodate up to 700 x 50c, providing flexibility across different gravel conditions.
  3. Drivetrain and Braking Systems: The bike is compatible with a variety of drivetrain setups including mechanical, electronic wired, and wireless systems, ensuring versatility in customization.
  4. In-Route System: The MOG also features integrated front-end cable routing for a sleek look and enhanced aerodynamics because let's face it - most of us still want to go fast when we should be enjoying the scenery.

ENVE MOG Ride Qualities

  1. Dedicated to Gravel: There is no question that the ENVE MOG was designed to be taken on adventures, with geometry that balances comfort, and handling that you can take down your local singletrack. The good news is that it's plenty racy enough to be your gravel racer, while also being right at home on full day (or week) bikepacking adventures.
  2. Versatile: Sure, the geometry makes this a gravel bike, but the ample space provided for tires up to 50mm wide on 700C wheels, mean you'll be able to set your own rules in prioritizing comfort, speed, or handling.

ENVE Fray Overview

ENVE Fray Road bike without components

Can't decide between the ENVE Melee and the ENVE MOG? Need something in between? Enter the the ENVE Fray. The Fray merges the aerodynamic prowess of the road specific Melee with the robust versatility of the gravel oriented MOG, creating a superb all-road machine. Once again, crafted from ENVE's renowned carbon fiber, the Fray's frame weighs in at a mere 900 grams for a size 56, painted without hardware. This bike is not just about lightness; it's tailored for endurance, equipped with a taller head tube to offer a more comfortable ride, albeit at a slight aerodynamic cost of 4.4 watts compared to the Melee. Its geometry supports a more upright and relaxed riding position, making it accessible to a broader spectrum of cyclists.

In terms of real-world application, the ENVE Fray excels in providing a blend of speed and comfort. Its design facilitates smooth handling on long sweeping corners and mountain passes, and its slightly relaxed geometry allows for enjoyable rides on varied terrains, from smooth tarmac to rougher, mixed surfaces. The integration of modern road bike aesthetics with functional features like internal cable routing and versatile tire compatibility makes the Fray a top choice for riders looking to push their limits while enjoying the journey.

Key Features and Specifications of the Fray

  1. Frame and Tire Compatibility: Designed for long rides, the Fray can accommodate tires up to 40mm, optimizing it for both paved roads and light gravel.
  2. Storage: The frame's versatility is enhanced by the inclusion of Enve's Cargo Bay (taken from the MOG) for efficient gear storage and multiple bottle cage mounts (including the popular bento box top tube placement), ensuring readiness for any adventure.
  3. Drivetrain Compatibility: The Fray supports a wide range of groupsets from Shimano and SRAM. Though it is optimized for electronic groupsets, the bike can accommodate select mechanical groups as well.
  4. T47 Threaded Bottom Bracket: Similar to the Melee and MOG, the ENVE Fray Road Bike utilizes a T47 Threaded Bottom Bracket. Why is this noteworthy? Well, press fit bottom brackets have been known to have some issues - think creaking and maintenance - so a solid threaded system is like a plan for your future sanity.

ENVE Fray Ride Qualities

  1. Road Performance: On paved roads, the Fray's agility shines through. Its design facilitates quick maneuvers and responsive handling, which is ideal for cyclists looking to maintain speed and efficiency in road races or during intense training sessions.
  2. Gravel Handling: The bike's slightly longer wheelbase and more slack geometry come into play when tackling gravel. These features provide a significant confidence boost when descending at high speeds on less stable surfaces. The Fray manages to maintain a smooth ride, absorbing bumps and shocks, which enhances the overall control and reduces rider fatigue.
  3. Balance and Versatility: What sets the Fray apart is its ability to strike a perfect balance between sharp handling and the ability to 'float' over rougher terrains. This dual capability ensures that whether you are on a tight, curvy road or a loose gravel path, the bike remains stable and enjoyable to ride. This balance makes the Fray suitable for a wide range of cycling disciplines, appealing to both road racers and gravel enthusiasts alike.

ENVE Bikes: Getting Recommendations

With the Fray now added to the mix, we suspect the choice of bike will be relatively easy for most riders. ENVE bikes, including the Melee, MOG, and Fray models, showcase distinct features that cater to diverse cycling demands. Each model integrates ENVE's proprietary technologies and design philosophies, tailored to enhance the riding experience across different terrains. All are excellent bikes catering to a different type of riding.

ENVE Melee, Fray, and MOG geometry comparison

If you've been inspired to further explore or possibly own one of these remarkable bikes, check out our product pages for full details and potential build combinations. We're here to assist in putting together your dream machine and can build bikes to fit a variety of budgets, just ask us and we'll get to work.

Recent Posts

Ready to Ride?

Want to be the first to hear about our upcoming adventures or just want 10% off your first order?
Sign Me Up!
Sign Me Up!
Guelph, ON
(888) 303-3344
(888) 303-3344
Facebook LogoInstagram LogoPinterest Logo