Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Let's Talk Wheels
One of the quandaries facing you when you convert to road tubeless is choosing the right wheel. Ultimately, there are three ways to ride road tubeless:
1. Tubeless Compatible Legacy Wheels These are the clincher wheels designed without spoke holes, long before road tubeless was invented. Such wheels include the Specialized/HED tri-spoke design, all disc wheels, and most other clincher wheels that do not have conventional spokes. Occasionally, you will find conventionally spoke wheels without spoke holes as well. With these wheels, you don't need any conversion system, just a valve stem and some sealant.
2. Converted Clincher Wheels This is what I run. I have a great set of Ritchey Protocol WCS wheels that weigh in under 1500 grams. I installed the standard Stan's tape, and have never had a problem. I did have a little issue with the Vuelta XRP Cross rims that came with my cyclocross/commuting bike. These rims were pinned together instead of welded, which can lead to all sorts of problems.
3. Dedicated Tubeless Rims Shimano has jumped on board with their Ultegra and Dura Ace rims, although I find them both overpriced and overweight. DT Swiss has a decent offering, as does Campagnolo and their wheel building subsidiary, Fulcrum. Finally, Stan's does have a new, dedicated road rim called the Alpha 340. They offer both a range of wheels and they sell the rim. Additionally, they offer this rim to other builders. Personally, I would love to get my hands on forthcoming I25sl wheelset from Industry Nine which feature the Stan's rim, straight pull spokes, and their amazing road hubs. Sadly, the only mention I can find of this product was in this article at Bike Rumor.
Posted by Jason at 2:56 PM