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ENVE MOG First Impressions: Seeks Adventure, Will Race

After releasing two road bikes, ENVE drops its first gravel bike: the MOG.

ENVE MOG side profile(Photo/ENVE via Avery Stumm)
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If you love ENVE wheels and gravel riding, then you might want to take a look at the Utah company’s latest offering.

Cyclists and bike brands of all kinds tap ENVE for its high-quality wheels and cockpit components. So it was surprising when the brand moved into carbon frames in 2021. Today, ENVE follows its Custom Road and Melee road bikes with the MOG, which aims to accommodate the versatile demands of gravel, from racing to bikepacking.

“With the MOG, we introduce ENVE’s definition of the modern gravel bike,” Jake Pantone, VP of Product and Brand, said in a news release. “As avid gravel riders and racers ourselves, our aim was to create a platform that delivers the versatility, simplicity, and performance that we, along with today’s gravel riders, demand.”

ENVE MOG with bikepacking gear
The ENVE MOG can serve as your next bikepacking rig; (photo/ENVE)

ENVE MOG Gravel Bike Basics

Materials and Methods

While many frame brands boast about the specific brand of carbon fiber they use, ENVE concentrates on the process of laying unidirectional carbon fiber in the most efficient and effective manner. The brand coins its method Material Optimized Design, or “MOD.”

“The materials, fiber weights, and fiber angles used in the laminate are selected and manipulated to achieve zone-specific performance within the part. Carbon is the key ingredient, and we use the best we can get our hands on, but ultimately the process it is subjected to makes it an ENVE product,” stated Pantone.

For the record, ENVE uses Mitsubishi carbon fiber.


ENVE MOG frame geometry chart
ENVE MOG Geometry Chart; (image/ENVE)

Unlike many gravel frames, the MOG uses three different forks so that every size maintains consistent handling characteristics. ENVE offers six stock frame sizes from 49 to 60 cm and three different forks with varying rakes. This keeps the trail consistent.

ENVE also limits the bike to 700c wheels with a 50mm tires tire clearance. “Fans of 650b gravel wheels may ask why the wheel size was removed from the scope of the MOG,” Pantone said in the press release. “After years of riding and evaluating 650b, it became clear that, like on the mountain bike, the one set up that was more confidence inspiring and more fun than high-volume tires on a 650b rim was high-volume tires in 700c. From there, we committed to designing the MOG so that one could run large 700c tires while eliminating the need for flip-chips or other solutions to accommodate two different wheel sizes.”

To aid in the fitment process, ENVE has the ENVE Best-Fit Calculator. This online tool aids customers in choosing the correct frame sizes with various stem lengths, heights, and seat post setbacks.

ENVE MOG Gravel Bike Configurations

In a departure from most bike brands, ENVE only offers the MOG as a chassis only through its dealer network. This includes the frame, fork, headset, handlebar, stem, and seat post. ENVE dealers and customers can build their dream gravel rig from that platform. The MSRP is $5,500.

ENVE MOG integrated front end
MOG integrated front end; (photo/ENVE)

The MOG employs en-vogue integrated routing for cables and hoses. ENVE offers four different compatible handlebars and two different seat posts (including a dropper post). Currently, ENVE has one model of its aero stem but will release an integrated positive rise stem that will add 40 mm of stack in May.

“Knowing that there is a broad range in how people are using their gravel bikes, varying from racing to adventure riding, or a combination of the two, it was also important for us to offer a range of component options that allow each rider to tailor the MOG to their needs through handlebar and seat post options,” said ENVE Marketing Manager Neil Shirley.

The ENVE MOG is compatible with 1x and 2x drivetrains and employs a user-friendly T47 threaded bottom bracket.

ENVE Mog downtube
The ENVE MOG comes in just one color, though with many options for personalized decals; (photo/ENVE via Avery Stumm)

ENVE only offers the MOG chassis in one color, as seen in these images. Customers can add custom decals, however, adding a dash of color and personalization to the head tube, stem, down tube, and seat tube graphics.

But Is It Aero? Is it Light?

Jake Pantone of ENVE
Jake Pantone, far right, explaining our cycling editor’s ENVE MOG test bike; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

I attended the ENVE MOG launch in Solano Beach, Calif., and wondered about “aero” since it seems to be all the rage in “high-performance” gravel bikes. While “aerodynamics wasn’t the main priority for the MOG,” the company said, the bike does use tube shapes taken from ENVE’s aerodynamically efficient road frames and uses the same system for the internal routing of wires and hoses.

Pantone explained during a MOG presentation that the most important things for aerodynamic efficiency were rider position and hiding things, which gives reason for the integrated front end outside of clean aesthetics.

We know you want to know. Yes, the ENVE MOG is light. A 56cm frame hits the scales at 950 g.

ENVE MOG Details

ENVE also appeases adventurers with the ENVE Cargo Bay, which provides in-frame downtube storage. Two included bags cushioned and silenced the 0.6 L of storage capacity. The unique closure mechanism proved reliable and rattle-free. The Cargo Bay also revealed a Velcro flap that secured internally routed wires and hoses to the wall of the downtube. This kept them out of the way and silent.

Downtube protector on the ENVE MOG
“Not all who MOG are lost,” on the downtube protector; (photo/ENVE)

The MOG uses a round seat post so that the more adventurous and brave gravel hounds can utilize a dropper post. And the MOG has threaded bosses to accommodate every fender and storage solution a bikepacker could want. Finally, ENVE utilizes an integrated downtube protector and chainstay guard on the MOG.

Ride Feel First Impressions

Pantone and ENVE engineering explained that they didn’t want a “gravel racer” or a “gravel adventurer” to require two bikes. The geometry numbers display this desire to the trained eye, but the ride is what matters.

On my very short stint on the MOG, I did feel that. It wasn’t twitchy on high-speed road descents in a group, nor did I feel the need to tighten up when I bombed a section of broken blacktop and then hopped the curb to access a dirt trail parallel to the road. I didn’t have to think or concentrate hard on any handling issue. Again, my ride on the MOG was very short, but this was my first impression.

If I was forced to lean on the side of “racy” or “stable,” I chose stable relative to other gravel “race” bikes I have tested. This was mostly due to how the front end felt. With 38c tires and ENVE G23 wheels, the MOG test bike also felt more vertically compliant than other “gravel” race bikes I have tested with the same wheelset, tire size, and tire pressures.

ENVE MOG Gravel Bike Conclusions

It’s hard to differentiate between high-end bicycles; they are all so good. interpretations about what carbon layup, frame angles, and tubing shapes are optimal can be argued endlessly. And gravel is the youngest discipline in cycling, which suggests years and years of such discussions. Making a judgment call on one very short ride, a presentation, and provided information is a fool’s game.

ENVE has a proven track record, and I have followed the development of all its products since the brand emerged. I have a deep testing history with the brand. And discussions with product engineers, experience on their Melee road bike, and impressions gathered during the launch made me comfortable in claiming that the MOG will prove a standout gravel bike for both adventure-seekers and high-performance riders.

I look forward to testing an ENVE MOG long-term to render a full review.

Oh, and what does MOG stand for? Mother of Gravel, Mission of Glory, Move Over Guys, Must Overcome Gravel? Much like the usage of the bike, the interpretation is up to the rider.

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