Tubeless is touted by many as the future for road cycling, but there are a few hurdles to its acceptance, chief among which is compatibility due to the lack of a single unifying standard between tyre and rim manufacturers. Despite this, Schwalbe reckons its Schwalbe Pro One and Schwalbe One Road Tubeless tyres are compatible with 99% of wheels on the international market.
The German company has now launched its own Tubeless Wiki which as well as providing technical background knowledge and tips about the tyre handling aspects, includes 50 specific tyre and rim combinations. This is an attempt to help potential customers ensure their wheels work with Schwalbe tubeless tyres. It also provides support for installation and using sealant.
Schwalbe has backed road tubeless for over 10 years with its road and gravel tyres winning many fans. In that time there’s been growing support for tubeless, but without a clear standard, some tyre and rim combinations work a dream with easy installation while others can be a bloody nightmare with dedicated tubeless inflators needed and lots of patience.
When it works, it’s brilliant, but this tricky installation clearly puts a lot of people off enjoying the benefits of tubeless, namely reduced punctures, improved comfort from the lower pressures and better rolling resistance if some studies and manufacturers are to be believed.
The launch of this list of compatible tyre and rims is a huge benefit to anyone looking to embrace tubeless, provided you want to buy a Schwable tyre! We can’t think of any other resource, independent or manufacturer backed, that offers such a list of compatibility. It would be great is this was expanded to include other tyre brands as well.
“Our recommended tire-rim combinations ensure very high roll-off security. Additionally, they are easy to mount and inflate”, says Felix Schäfermeier, Schwalbe Junior Product Manager Race. “Especially for road bikes running high air pressure, it is important that Tubeless tires and wheels are a perfect match. Only then it is possible for cyclists to fully benefit from the system advantages: low rolling resistance, more comfort, grip and puncture protection”.
The industry is slowing inching towards a road tubeless standard that should hopefully eradicate the current compatibility issues. It’s looking like Mavic’s Road UST tyre and rim dimensions are set to be embraced in the updated ISO rim and ETRTO tyre standards but as anything with a lot of people with vested interest involved, it’s taking some time for full agreement to be reached. Hopefully, there’ll a conclusion before the end of the year.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.