Thursday, May 31, 2007

29er Tubeless Wheels

I've been starting to look into a tubeless wheelset for my Niner, since I swear by tubeless on my Reign and DHi. I'd also like to have two wheelsets so that I can keep one with my town nearly-slicks, and one with my trail tires. I am fairly adamant about UST as the tubeless system. I've used Stan's rim strips before and think they suck. Bontrager might be ok, but why did they not do UST and create yet another mechanism - I don't like that kind of thing. I heard Mavic will have 29er UST wheels/rims soon. I checked in with Speedgoat on things, and here's what they had to say.

No, the Stan's rims are not UST-compatible. Neither are Bontragers. There are currently no UST-specific 29er rims, and, given your weight, you'll potentially experience bad times trying to run a converted regular-tire/sealed up rim setup on a 29er (hope you don't ride on rocks). Mavic will be releasing a 29er wheels fairly soon, and it does look pretty damn nice. We may well start seeing 29er UST tires, too, though they'll be from the like of Hutchinson and Michelin only, and will probably weigh over 1,000g each.

Best to wait on the Mavic then, or go with an Industry 9 Stan's Flow wheelset. The I9 stuff is amazing, but we've never had a single order for their hubs alone. Everyone wants the wheelsets, and with good reason. They're just plain excellent, but again, they're not UST.

So yes, I'll be waiting for Mavic. Normally I also only run true UST tires, so it'll be interesting to see what comes out there. I've run a lot of converted tires, but they don't work as well usually, so I've gone with only UST. In 26" wheel land, there are plenty of UST choices in the 2.3-2.5 (and upwards) range these days, so it's no longer a problem. But in 29er land, it may be a challenge for a while.

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