Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Great Example Of Tubeless Wheels Circa 2011

I recently did another "State Of Tubelessness" article here, which you can re-read if you'd like. In that post, I make mention of " .... seeing more things like this cropping up. Stan's-like tape, latex sealant based on Stan's, and a UST bead spec tire on a traditional hook bead rim, without the licensing of the  "UST Label ". "

Today I present a great example of what I was talking about. The new Velocity "Blunt SL" rims built into a wheel set on Velocity branded hubs by Velocity U.S.A.  What I want to focus on is the "business end" of these wheels, namely, the rim well and bead interface. This seems to me to be where a lot of companies are going with regards to tubeless compatibility.

As can be seen here, the rim well is slightly "U" shaped, there is a bit of a "bead seat", and of course, the "hook bead" for clincher use. Velocity specs a high pressure tape which they use to seal off the spoke holes. (Sound familiar?) There is a valve stem, of course, and latex sealant is spec'ed, but not provided from Velocity.

This allows a rider to use "tubeless ready" tires tubeless. On the Blunt rim, a 35mm variant on this theme, the system works well. Obviously, using a non-tubeless ready tire is going to be a crap-shoot, but anything tubeless rated would/should be a go here. Even UST tires, one would suspect.

You can see why this is appealing. UST spec rims play best with UST spec beaded tires, a small part of the 29"er tire market. Stan's stuff is optimized for non-tubeless tire conversions, while many tubeless ready tires will work as well. However; not all tubeless ready tires, (especially UST), will play well with Stan's BST technology. This way- Velocity's solution- walks a "middle ground, which hits most tires well. Will it work?

We'll see. I plan on swapping out a few sets of tires on these, and you'll be able to see the results on Twenty Nine Inches later.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I've had good luck with stans and non-ust tires on my 29ers' but I have ust tires on a couple of 26rs and I really wish WTB would get there 29" tires on the band wagon. They are heavier but they mount easier and the stans last for a whole season and is usually still liquid in the ust tires but not in the "getto" conversions I have to change it every 2 or 3 months and it's only gubers left over