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The Bike for Roadies Who Don’t Race: ENVE Fray First Look Review

The ENVE Fray brings an all-new endurance-focused chassis to ENVE's lineup that skirts the line between road and gravel.

ENVE Fray(Photo/Mark Wilson)
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ENVE first entered the bike frame game with Custom Road builds tailored to individual riders. Later, the brand began mass-producing complete bikes in the form of its Melee road race machine and its MOG gravel counterpart.

Now, with a place on the World Tour, the Melee is a well-known race bike. It is aggressive and fast, whereas the MOG provides a better platform when conditions turn loose and bumpy.

ENVE’s newest bike, the Fray, aims to somewhat split the difference between those bikes, albeit with a design that leans far more heavily toward road riding than proper gravel.

ENVE Fray endurance bike. Side view.
ENVE Fray in Venom; (photo/Mark Wilson)

ENVE invited me to Paso Robles, Calif., to sample the new rig on 75- and 50-mile rides on back-to-back days. In those 2 days, the Fray showed its true colors as a versatile speed machine that doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff.

In short: The ENVE Fray is a performance bike that thrives for long hours in the saddle on roads, light gravel, or mixed-surface riding. It finds a happy midpoint between the race-tuned Melee and the gravel-centric MOG. It offers performance and comfort for riders who prioritize speed but still appreciate slightly more comfortable geometry.



  • Frame material Carbon fiber
  • Fork material Carbon fiber
  • Tire clearance 40mm
  • Claimed frame weight 900 grams, size 56, painted, no hardware


  • More upright and relaxed geometry fits more people than a pure race bike
  • Generous on-board storage and mounting bosses
  • Well-regarded ENVE quality, fit, and finish


  • Expensive

ENVE Fray: The Basics

ENVE Fray endurance bike sitting near a country road.
The ENVE Fray performed flawlessly on long rides; (photo/Mark Wilson)

Describing what the Fray is and is not is a bit complicated. Even ENVE is somewhat elusive in its description: “All Road or endurance — call it what you like. The Fray is for riders who want speed, versatility, and max performance — infused with a World Tour pedigree; the Fray inspires exploration.”

ENVE says the Fray suits riders who want to spend long days in the saddle and still have big cycling goals to accomplish. They may not need a slammed stem or an ultra-aggressive geometry intended more for top-tier racers.

ENVE Fray vs. MOG vs. Melee chart

With its wider tire clearance and more relaxed geometry, the Fray fits more into the endurance or all-road category than a proper road or gravel race bike. However, its road roots are apparent.

Where ENVE optimized the Melee for 28-32mm tires with a maximum width of 35mm, the Fray’s sweet spot sits considerably wider, 31-35mm, with a max of 40mm. With the MOG, the optimal tire width expands to 40-45mm with a maximum of 50mm.

In the 29-35mm tire range, the Fray is right at home on smooth to rougher roads or occasional light gravel. The bike can handle mixed-surface racing and graded or smoother gravel roads with wider tires.

ENVE Fray vs MOG vs Melee geometry chart

The Fray carries an additional 2cm stack height compared to the Melee for a more comfortable riding position. It also has a 1.6cm increase in its wheelbase and a 0.7-degree slacker head angle. Also departing from the Melee, the Fray includes multiple threaded bosses for storage on the top tube and beneath the downtube. It also has spacious in-frame storage, large enough to accommodate tools and a jacket.

ENVE Fray endurance bike in frame storage detail  image.
Unlike the Melee, the ENVE Fray includes considerable in-frame storage and accessory mounts; (photo/Mark Wilson)

ENVE Fray Builds and Pricing

ENVE offers the Fray as a complete carbon chassis, which includes the frame, seat post, headset, stem, and handlebars. Riders can make it a rolling chassis with ENVE SES, G Series, or Foundation wheelsets. While the frame has a fixed geometry, ENVE offers a variety of components to dial in fit, feel, and features.

ENVE Fray endurance bike stem detail image.
The ENVE Fray has ENVE’s IN-Route cable routing system; (photo/Mark Wilson)

First, the Fray comes in four different fork rakes. All models feature ENVE’s IN-Route system, which completely stashes all cables internally through the handlebars, stem, and frame. Riders can opt for G Series, SES AR, SES Aero Road, or compact road bars paired with Aero IN-Route Positive or Negative stems. The bike can also fit the SES AR one-piece handlebar combo.

ENVE Fray endurance bike seat post detail image.
The ENVE Fray has an aerodynamic kamm-tail-shaped seat post; (photo/Mark Wilson)

The Fray has an aerodynamic kamm-tail-shaped seat post ranging from 275mm to 400mm. It is available in three colors: Venom, Salt, and Ash.

ENVE Fray endurance bike in Salt. Side view.
ENVE Fray in Salt; (photo/Mark Wilson)

Pricing for a complete chassis with a two-piece handlebar/stem starts at an MSRP of $5,500. A one-piece handlebar/stem combo adds $450.

ENVE Fray Ride Report

The ENVE Fray was as light, fast, and responsive as I would expect it to be.

ENVE Fray endurance bike logo image.
The ENVE Fray comes in three colors: Venom, Salt, and Ash; (photo/Mark Wilson)

My Fray came with the Venom paint job, which dazzled under an overcast sky. However, the other two colors, Ash and Salt, looked beautiful in their own right. Looking over the bike, I appreciated the multiple frame mounts and in-frame storage. Many riders stuffed their jackets into the frame along with a multitool as we expected to hit some rain. When we got poured on, gear was easy to access.

ENVE Fray endurance bike in frame storage components.
The ENVE Fray’s in-frame storage includes two small gear bags; (photo/Mark Wilson)

The Fray felt more relaxed on the road than a thoroughbred race bike but still fast and aggressive. It was not so relaxed that it felt too upright to get into a good aerodynamic position. The Fray should feel great for those who don’t need to hit the most extreme aerodynamic positions to gain an edge.

ENVE Fray endurance bike in-frame storage function.
The ENVE Fray in-frame storage is spacious and easy to operate; (photo/Mark Wilson)

Once we left the road and found some gravel, the ride felt a bit harsh. On smoother sections of gravel, the Fray handled impressively and felt comfortable. I felt hesitancy on chunkier sections or fast descents, including ruts and rough gravel. That said, my bike was outfitted with 35mm slicks, which were not designed for that type of terrain.

With wider or grippier tires, I feel like the bike would have checked most of my boxes. ENVE itself says the Fray is not optimized for chunky gravel. So, for riders who want to go more that route, the MOG is a better bet. But for mostly road and a little bit of gravel here or there, the Fray handled like a dream.

ENVE Fray endurance bike in Ash. Side view.
ENVE Fray in Ash; (photo/Mark Wilson)

Final Thoughts

The Fray is ENVE’s bike for the common man or woman. So many riders flock to race bikes that they see on the podium of World Tour races, even though they sacrifice comfort in the name of speed and performance at the highest levels.

Most people don’t need that, and many can suffer from it.

The Fray is still lightning-fast and comfortable for those just under the highest levels of ability and performance. Depending on preference, its solid range of tire clearance and setup options can transform it into a race-ready road bike or a gravel bike.

The Melee and MOG thrive in specific road or gravel race conditions, while the Fray feels like the bike you want to be on for everything in between.

ENVE MOG side profile

ENVE MOG First Impressions: Seeks Adventure, Will Race

ENVE MOG: The famed carbon wheel and component brand launches its first gravel back after two successful road bike releases. Read more…

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