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Hookless rims on a new road bike - attraction or deal killer?

I'm considering replacing my current bike with a new one (Giant TCR Advanced Pro, as it happens, but my question is not about that). My current sets of wheels are tubeless-ready, but hookless rims give me no choice - tubeless only. So, on a road bike, should I commit myself fully to tubeless?
Practical answers please, from those who have experience - I've read all the web stuff from Enve etc, but I'd like to hear from those of you with actual experience and nothing to sell...
Many thanks
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Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Can't say I've noticed a huge difference in between the 2 other than no flats other than one which would have wrecked any tyre tubeless or not. Currently running IRC Formula pro xguards on my Defy Adv Pro SLR1 wheels and same tyres on my commute bike running Borg31,s both tubeless. Had gavia tyres on the defy to start with, nothing wrong with them one was wreaked and the other wore out. I wouldn't be worried about going tubeless it's not a dark art. For info and insight see link.
    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/pages/tech-page
    Tyre worms are the way forward. I also carry a tyre patch, Co2 inflator and proper tubeless tyre levers.
    I actually holed an old gavia tyre before I changed it due to wear and used a tyre worm to repair it. Drilled a hole in it so sealant couldn't seal it. First ride on tubeless was a 212km Audax. FWIW the TCR is a very nice bike just a bit to racy for me.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 628
    Hookless rims make sense if you're fully committed to tubeless - lighter rims and a flush, more aero fit.
    With tubeless, you're not going to be changing your tyres very often, so the inability to run non tubeless won't be as big a drawback as you might think (basically it turns into fit then leave till they wear out).
    As long as you're comfortable with the range and price of tubeless tyres - and the choice is improving on that front all the time - then no reason not to.
    Also - 2021 TCRs look lush.
  • small_stepssmall_steps Posts: 15
    Many thanks to both of you. I'm feeling reassured, and curious about how much better the ride might be.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302
    Just be aware that GP 5000 TL's are not made for hookless rims, it's specifically stated on the sidewall. Apparently it's due to their very large bead which is to big for the hookless rims to hold in place.
    I'm sure though that the tyres the bike come with will be good anyway so not a worry in the short term.

    The max tyre pressures of the rims will be lower than rims with hooks on so just be aware of it.


  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Giant normally fit their gavia tyres as standard for tubeless rims. Couldn't fault mine, grippy, and did a fair few thousand miles on them. I did lose one after hitting a beer bottle which totalled it. TBH any tyre would have died because of this.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,121
    Hookless rims? Why? Don't bother, sounds like a hassle you can live without
  • small_stepssmall_steps Posts: 15
    The "why" is easy - because they are specced on the bike I am considering. Hence my question to the forum.
    Oxoman, you are right about being fitted with Gavia tyres, and I appreciate the feedback. Still, a shame about Contis - I have a semi-religious faith in them after using only 4000s for a very long time.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    I fell out with gp4000,s and duranos after premature wear or failure, yet loads of people swear by them.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,409
    Well, I wouldn't want those wheels, but it's up to you and what you're after really.

    The advantages of tubeless are 1) being able to run lower pressures without pinch flats, and 2) fewer punctures, in exchange for having to deal with the mounting and sealant complications.

    They don't roll any better than good clinchers with latex tubes, and they're not lighter once set up, that's all marketing.

    Do you get a lot of punctures on clinchers? I don't, but that depends on a lot of things. Do you want to run fat tyres at lower pressures? Again, not for me - but if you have "comfort" issues maybe it's important for you. They won't be faster, other than on cobbles or very bad roads.

    The new Giant TCR looks very nice in all other respects though - I'd ask the dealer to swap the wheels and walk away if they wouldn't or couldn't. Or I might try to flog the wheels on ebay after purchase.

    I suspect the rationale behind beadless rims is the same as for dropped seatstays on aero bikes - they are cheaper to make, but can be sold for more with the aid of marketing (dropped seatstays are cheaper because you can use the same rear triangle for more than one frame size). Same as with the old press-fit BB, it's a manufacturing cost saving that (because it's new) can be marketed as an advantage using the marketing magic of total BS.



  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,549
    One a hookless rim, if you hit something nasty and tear the tyre, you won't be able to boot it and put a tube in. You'll be stranded, trying to get the tyre to seal again.

    At least that's my understanding; I run clinchers with tubes so am absolutely no authority on this.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    I run both and have done for a few years and have never had an issue reseating a tubeless tyre. I've hit enough potholes over the years and never bent a rim yet.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,785
    oxoman said:

    I run both and have done for a few years and have never had an issue reseating a tubeless tyre. I've hit enough potholes over the years and never bent a rim yet.

    But can you put a tube in on a hookless rim - if not what do you do if you split the tyre ?
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • small_stepssmall_steps Posts: 15
    Thanks for the specific question, Roger. That is what I am trying to understand - it is making an one-way bet on tubeless because of the hookless rim, that I am struggling to decide.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    If the tyre splits I've got tyre boots / patches and I always carry a Co2 inflator plus gloves and valve core remover. I only carry spare tube if doing long or multi day rides and have normally ended up giving them to someone else. Only time I've had a sidewall failure was on my mtb running tubes and nothing would have repaired that hole, long run back to car. Not had a tubeless flat other than one to see how effective tyreworms are and how to use. If a big split you can fit multiple worms, which come in a few different sizes. Having replaced a few tubeless tyres I've never had an issue reseating them using a track pump or Co2.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,549
    oxoman said:

    If the tyre splits I've got tyre boots / patches and I always carry a Co2 inflator plus gloves and valve core remover. I only carry spare tube if doing long or multi day rides and have normally ended up giving them to someone else. Only time I've had a sidewall failure was on my mtb running tubes and nothing would have repaired that hole, long run back to car. Not had a tubeless flat other than one to see how effective tyreworms are and how to use. If a big split you can fit multiple worms, which come in a few different sizes. Having replaced a few tubeless tyres I've never had an issue reseating them using a track pump or Co2.

    Ah so you can run an inner tube on a hookless rim?
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,465
    You can run tubes with a hookless rim, but you'll want to use a tubeless tyre because of the stronger/less stretchable bead. To get home after a puncture, it's fine.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Just checked my SLR,1s and whilst they are tubeless and supplied as tubeless setup from the start the rim itself has a slight hook or ridge for the tyre to go onto. Was worth me checking as not touched them in a couple of years, so no sealant left. Took me ten minutes to take off the tyre clean it out find my sealant and remount. Used Co2 as completely removed tyre to clean it out, normally if only taking one side of the bead out my track pump would have done. Not sure why it's been classed as hookless as there is a slight one, probably marketing hype. As Whyamihere says tubeless tyres have stronger, tighter rims. Honestly I wouldn't worry about it, just get the right tools for the job. Decent tubeless tyre levers ( helps protect carbon rims ) tyre worms and applicator ( I carry small and large ) Co2 inflator with 2 refills ( don't screw in till you want to use it ) rubber gloves ( carry them anyway ) I also carry tyre boot and innertube patches just in case a tyreworm isn't big enough. Front wheel on a disc slr,1 weighs in at 1180 grams with tyres / sealant and disc. Pretty light.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,409
    I think the hookless design is maybe new for "this" year? (2021).
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Just looked at the 2021 spec,s and they state there the SLR,1s as are pretty standard on the higher end giant bikes. The only difference appears to between either the disc or rim braked wheels and that's just the hub from what I can see.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,121
    I am trying to understand the rationale for a hookless rim... does it save 10-20 grams or so? Is that the reason?
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302

    I am trying to understand the rationale for a hookless rim... does it save 10-20 grams or so? Is that the reason?

    I think it saves a bit more weight than that. The main reason though is because it's easier and cheaper to manufacture, especially when it comes to carbon rims.

    I'd be amazed though if the consumer will see any of this cost saving...
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302

    I am trying to understand the rationale for a hookless rim... does it save 10-20 grams or so? Is that the reason?

    I think it saves a bit more weight than that. The main reason though is because it's easier and cheaper to manufacture, especially when it comes to carbon rims.

    I'd be amazed though if the consumer will see any of this cost saving...
    I stand corrected, part of the reason the new Zipp 303's are cheaper is due to their use of hookless rims:

    https://www.bikeradar.com/news/zipp-303-firecrest-disc-2021/
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,409
    Which doesn't mean that other manufacturers won't try to charge more for hookless, because it's a "feature".. The ENVE website has a whole bunch of stuff about supposed aero benefits because the bead supposedly pushes the sidewall in a bit, thus creating a less optimal tyre/rim airflow tranistion.. I can't believe that this is detectably signifciant..

    In other news, you can buy an anti-5G USB stick for £340..
  • iso2000iso2000 Posts: 25
    If you go ahead with buying the Giant get one of these whilst in the shop:
    https://giant-bicycles.com/gb/tubeless-sealant-refill---check-syringe

    It makes checking and refilling sealant a breeze.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Neeb, honestly it's not worth worrying about. The Giant wheels are very good as are the gavia tyres. My only concern over carbon wheels is if I was to go rim braked. Plenty of decent tubeless tyres available on the market. Give it a while and most bikes will be tubeless. Think how quick roadbikes and discs became entrenched. Cars and motorbikes all used to have innertubes, just technology and innovation cascading down. I'm more than happy with tubeless but I won't go electronic shifting.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,121
    OK< I accept that it's easier to make a hookless carbon rim... are there alloy hookless rims? 'Cause obviously for an extruded rim, hook or not makes no difference in terms of manufacturing...
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,409
    oxoman said:

    Neeb, honestly it's not worth worrying about. The Giant wheels are very good as are the gavia tyres. My only concern over carbon wheels is if I was to go rim braked. Plenty of decent tubeless tyres available on the market. Give it a while and most bikes will be tubeless. Think how quick roadbikes and discs became entrenched. Cars and motorbikes all used to have innertubes, just technology and innovation cascading down. I'm more than happy with tubeless but I won't go electronic shifting.


    It completely depends on where you are coming from and what your needs for wheels and tyres are. Speak for yourself about discs becoming "entrenched", I have no need for them, although I do have electronic gears on one bike so we are obviously coming from different perspectives.. ;)

    There are absolutely no concerns with rim braking on the latest generation of high quality carbon rims.

    Tubeless works well for certain applications but there's no way it would make sense for me - I'm running 23mm still on my most commonly used bikes and get punctures maybe 4 or 5 times a year. I also like swapping tyres around.

    The analogies with disc brakes and with cars and motorbikes are appropriate - both disc brakes and tubless tyres are fine for those applications, but they are definitely suboptimal for many road bike applications. So it would certainly be worth worrying about if most wheels became tubeless! Just as with disc brakes - five or ten years ago the idea of them becoming ubiquitous was a bit of a joke (it was obvious then, as it is now, that they are suboptimal in many road situations), but it happened because it was pushed hard enough by the marketing people.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Neeb, not sure why you get that many P,s its a a few yrs and thousands of mikes since my last roadbike one. Not sure my body would cope with 23,s though.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,409
    oxoman said:

    Neeb, not sure why you get that many P,s its a a few yrs and thousands of mikes since my last roadbike one. Not sure my body would cope with 23,s though.

    More like 3 a year now I think about it.. so it's hardly a problem... :D Certainly much less hassle than dealing with sealant etc.

    Tyres marked 23mm are about 25mm when mounted on modern rims. At 95/90 psi they are perfectly comfortable on all but the most abysmal of road surfaces. 25mm tyres are slower for me (both actually and subjectively). I almost lost the will to cycle when I tried wider tyres, felt sluggish, seemed to take all the joy out of it.

    I do run a 25 on the back on my tubular setup, but they measure about 24mm installed.

    No-one mentions rider weight when talking about optimal tyre width and braking solutions, but it's fundamental. If 23mm is the sweetspot for me at 64kg it's likely that something significantly wider will be optimal for someone weighing 50% more. Just as with clothing, I feel that in this mega-sized world my needs are being increasingly neglected, so I have to stand up for them. ;) When I was 20 yo I was a size medium in T-shirts, now even the small size is usually too big!

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Sadly I'm heavier than you but prefer slightly bigger tyres. I do ride road, CX, XC but only as a fully blown mamil with the occasional TT or Duathlon as well. In an ideal world I can't afford a flat when riding to work at 4.30 in the morning or on long distance audax,s. Even when I'm down to my target weight I'll still be 10kg above you. Anyway good luck with whatever you get.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
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