I have 2 pairs. Thus I am twice as fast as the paupers.
Wow, 3 threads in as many days where strangers are asking me to defend my purchases. More chips than Harry Ramsdens...
I don't think anyone is asking people to defend their purchases? This was started from a link from one of the biggest biking websites who have tested a couple of sets of Enve wheels & had a couple of very public failures.
The debate was then sparked about whether they actually improve the ride & make you go faster in real terms, or just look pretty & have the feel good factor.
It's fair to say I think everyone is in agreement they do feel different. However, different doesn't always mean faster. We've had some fairly spurious improvement claims & then we had the "i'm fast" gem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyTyjQbvylg
I have the 26" Enve AM wheels... They definitely do feel very different, much more direct, but I am still undecided after 3 months if they are better or worse than alloy wheels. I think the flex in most alloy rims is maybe desirable? I do love how the Enves look and I also dropped about half a pound of rotating weight, but I am not entirely sure I would buy them again, for example if I went to 27.5"... Probably just stick with alloy.
You have raised an interesting point, which I have in the past too about wheel flex. Maybe on a 29" they make more sense, as 29" wheels can be a bit floppy otherwise.
I have found the carbon wheels can be too stiff in some occasions, such as holding a line on a long rooty, off camber section. Stiff wheels cause the bike to feel like it's pinging off the roots, making it harder to hold the line, rather than wheel flex allowing for some movement.
There is some information out there from Vouilloz who used to run crazy low tension in his wheels to allow for wheel flex as it was faster, and more recently with the Syndicate riders running lower spoke tensions to try & bring some flex into the wheels. Being stiffer doesn't necessarily mean better in every instance.