Road Tubeless - What’s it like then? - Part 1, In the beginning….

Ed's been riding road tubeless, here's his first impression :

Having read all about tubeless for MTB and road, I’ve been keen to try it out for myself for a while now. When the opportunity arose to get myself a new pair of wheels I talked it over with Fraser and agreed this was the perfect opportunity.

I had already settled on a pair of Hope RS Mono hubs and Fraser recommended Pacenti rims and Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres. My spec for the spokes was “I want shiney ones” and he duly obliged. No idea what they are but there are 28 per wheel and they meet my spec.

 

I had to spec 25mm width tyres of course or the fashion police would have been on to me but alas they have become so popular that after waiting a couple of months for them to still not come into stock I went with 23mm. Funny thing is that when you fit them to the Pacenti SL23 rims the tyres end up measuring 25mm across anyway.

Fraser built the wheels and I love them, so, thanks a million. He also fitted the tyres. I will let him explain how this went but to me this is still no job for a rank amature like me. Apparently the back went on a treat but the front was a bit more troublesome….and you need a compressor to get them to seat properly...and a special valve...and the right kind of rim tape...and you have to put sealant in them too. Apart from that they are a doddle!

After all that they finally went on the bike...along with a new chain and cassette but only because the ones I had were done….and most importantly, I think they look fab...especially if it’s sunny...which it is now and again.

 

So what are they like to ride then? As Del Boy would say “lovely jubbly”!

I’ve been out twice now, done over 100 miles and although it’s still very early days I love them. I’m running at 90 psi so 10 psi below what I run normally and the comfort has improved considerably. Apparently I can go down a few more psi if I want but I’ll do a few more rides first. They are great for rough tarmac and really smooth things out. Obviously a big hit is still a big hit but for what passes for “normal” tarmac around these parts they are just what the doctor ordered.

The tyres are holding up well and not cutting up as much as the normal soft compound tyres I usually ride. I’m no demon descender but grip has been excellent so far but unusually for this time of year the roads have been bone dry so wet weather performance has still to be tried….and no punctures. As for weight, well I’m not obsessive about that so don’t have any figures but the wheels are lively and responsive and any performance issues I have can be attributed to the engine.

So, so far so great! I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for an update but for now it’s a big thumbs up from me.

 

Sometimes Factory is what you need

For some people a Factory-Made wheel offers benefits over a Custom-Build, be it price or availability sometimes a Factory option ticks all the boxes.

To give customers a bit more choice we now stock a few select Factory-Made wheels available from stock or direct from the distributors.

We currently sell Kinesis CX Disc wheels, Reynolds Strike SLG, Assault SLG and Attack and Shimano Ultegra 6800. All the wheels are 10/11 speed and can be run tubeless, though you can run them with ordinary clinchers too.
We are more than happy to set them up tubeless for you.

We will be adding more to our Factory-Made range as time goes on, currently I'm looking at Hope Technology wheels to see if they have anything that would suit.

Prices start at £255 for a pair of the Shimano Ultegra 6800's and go up to over a £1000 for the premium Reynolds carbon fibre wheels.

We currently have a special offer on the Shimano Ultegra 6800's with tubeless tyres all setup and ready to roll at £355 including delivery in the UK. 

 

What’s Pink, Wrinkly, Sticky and Smells god awful?

It’s not what you think!

It’s Carogna tub adhesive tape by Effetto Mariposa, named after the smell of rotting corpses -nice-, it’s the newest and most robust tub tape for CX yet.

I’ve used it several times on customers wheels this year and it has never failed, ever.

The benefits over traditional glue and taping methods are numerous but the best bit for you as customers is that it’s cheaper by 50% and it only takes 24 hours from me getting your rims prepped and tubs stuck on until you can race. Compare that with the costs, hassles and time frame of traditional methods and it’s a winner.

Rim & Tub prep is still super important and I would recommend getting it done by your LBS – The Happy Cog preferably – Carogna is the best non Traditional – read, messy, smelly, time consuming method – yet.

We charge £17:50 a wheel for a new tub and rim combo and £22:50 for used kit in good condition. This includes all the prep and a shot of sealant too.

Carogna tub adhesive tape by Effetto Mariposa; as used by Podium topping SCX riders.

Time Out

It's a busy summer here at The Happy Cog and because of that I am unable to accept any new work until August. I'll still be answering emails, phone calls and messages and there will be someone about at the workshop but the doors will be closed to the public.

When the doors re-open it will be full on CycloCross season preparation time: tub glueing, custom builds, 1 x 10 conversions and wheels galore. So get in early if you want stuff done. Email now at workshop@thehappycog.co.uk to join the queue.

Enjoy your summer hols, get riding and keep the rubber down.

PS you can track my TCR progress over at http://trackleaders.com/transconrace15 when it's live.

Endura Convert Softshell

Endura Convert Softshell I could write hundreds of words about how useful, versatile, breathable, warm, water resistant, perfectly tailored and hard-wearing this jacket is but to be honest I can't be bothered, I've got miles to ride.

Suffice to say I live in Scotland, I ride every chance I get, be it commuting, touring, training or just for a laugh and this bright Green softshell has been on my back for every one of those rides since it landed on the doorstep in January.

Ditch the Gilet and Roubaix and go buy one, you won't regret it.

Endura Convert Softshell RRP £84.99

PS get the Green if you commute, no one can miss you and it's not dayglo, bonus.

Bespoked Bristol 2015 or bust or both

It's not everyday you jump on your bike and ride from the South of one country to the South of another, not in our house anyway.

When Russ at Shand suggested we did just that and ride from Edinburgh to Bristol I immediately trotted out the usual excuses; no time, dead busy at work mate sorry, err no, the kids/dog/wife would miss me etc.. But a bit like that song from Les Miserables - you know the one - that get's under your skin and you can't get out of your head, the idea slowly crept further up the ranks of my subconscious and after a few days of brewing I agreed to do it if I could take in Bespoked Bristol 2015, the hand made bike show.
Plans were hatched, kind of. Routes were plotted, kind of. We got permission from loved ones colleagues and dogs, kind of - my dog is still sulking.

All packed up and ready to go.

We hit the road aboard our super Shand Stoaters on Wednesday eve, adorned with Wildcat gear soft luggage that we had stuffed to the gunnels with sleeping kit; bivvie, pad and bag, a warm jacket, spares, grub and our passports (i'll come back to this). The ride through the borders to Moffat was glorious, perfect temperature and sunshine. We stopped for a fish supper in Moffat where Russ somehow managed to fire up a conversation with the guy who was responsible for the Gates belt drive as he smoked a fag outside the chippy.
Fed and watered - tea'd - we decided to crack on a bit to lessen the load of what was going to be close to 200 miles the next day if we stopped at Moffat.

When the gritter passed us at around 11pm for a second time we realised it was getting a tad chilly and that we should maybe try and grab some kip somewhere. This proved more difficult than I had envisaged as the M6 was so close to the road we were on which left really only one side of the road to find a quiet bit. We eventually found a spot behind some hay bales just south of Ecclefechan. When we emerged from our frost covered bivvies at 5am the next morning, it was baltic and the ride to Gretna services was a hand and foot numbing experience despite spring gloves and over shoes, thank god I packed a down jacket as a precaution.
Russ offered to pay for the first round of coffee, silly bugger, £18 in StarF*cks for 2 coffees a bacon roll and danish. Oh well, we soldiered on with Russ's wallet a lot lighter and our bottles filled, down to the Lakes, over Shap summit, through Preston, Lancaster, Wigan, Warrington and we made it to my brothers house in Northwich by about 8pm by which time we were ready for the shower, some hot grub and a sleep. Thanks bruvv.

5am came around too quickly and it was time to hit the road again, dogs and therefore all house occupants were woken, kettle boiled, butties made and we got going again at about 5:45, South again, this time on the A49.

Lights, camera, action

Shrewsbury, Leominster and other places came and went, the day got hotter and I was running out of space for my warm kit, things were stuffed and attached all about me and the bike but we made good time, but perhaps not good enough. We had to make a hard decision to cut the ride short by about 40 miles at Gloucester.
Despite the ride being for fun there was a more serious part to it and that was to stick our bikes on the Shand stand at Bespoked and that opened to the public Friday at 2:30, we knew we would never make that but 5 O'clock was our cut off to arrive and be there for a few hours before the visiting public left at 7. In no way did it have anything to do with the party we 'had' to go to with free beer and food courtesy of Chris King, nope, nothing at all, honest.

Parked

Train tickets were purchased at Gloucester and we rode the last 40 miles via British Rail. It would have been great to have finished the whole route but I don't think we did too bad anyway, we averaged 15mph for the riding and covered 350 miles in under 46 hours. Not bad at all for a pair of 40+'ers who had never ridden anything approaching that distance before.
Bespoked greeted us with open arms, hand shakes, back slaps, head shakes and a nice cold cider courtesy of Euan and Look Mum No Hands. Not too shabby.

Chris King put on a great evening over at Mud Dock with loads of food, coffee made by the man himself and buckets and buckets of ice cold Cielo beer, I think I managed 3 plates of food & 2 beers before it was time for bed. Beth from Wildcat took over the beer supping for us.

Cheers

The rest of the weekend was great, I spent all my time on the Shand stand answering questions as best I could and generally enthusing about all things Stoater, I saw some amazing feats of engineering, some lovely paint and met loads of great people from around the world. I discussed, bikes, dogs, Norwegian cabin plumbing, Vincent motorbikes, saddle choice, Transcontinental racing and domestic travel without a passport or photo ID. Guess who forgot his?! Nope. Want a clue? It was Russ. At least we were only in Bristol and not Istanbul.

Lessons were learned, nothing broke and I had a brilliant time, thanks to Russ, Steven, Euan, Fraser & Matt at Shand, Beth and Ian at Wildcat, Endura - Convert jacket and merino arm warmers are without doubt the best bits of riding kit ever-, Supernova lights form the guys at Amba, ShaggyJohn, Chris King, Phil at Bespoked, Look Mum No Hands, Mud Dock, The blokes from Norway and their dodgy plumbing, The Festka guys, Saffron, Condor, the guys who gave me loads of positive advice about the TCR and shed loads of others.

See you next year.

ISM Performance Saddles

One of the best parts about being a small independent business is that I can offer my customers products that I have used (in some cases abused) and recommend. One such range of products is ISM Performance saddles.

Over the years I have tried dozens of saddles from a variety of manufacturers. I swore by the Specialized BG range for a while, in particular the Toupe and Oura, then I started getting problems when riding longer distances whilst using them. I love the Prologo Scratch for Cyclocross and MTB and short road rides, but after a couple of hours in the saddle I started to get hot spots and numbness.

With this summers TCR creeping up on me I decided to try something different. The ISM range of saddles is as different as it gets.

The guys at Upgrade bikes provided me with 2 demo saddles, one of the Performance Short range (Road model) and one of the Performance Narrow range (Attack P1.1 Model), the Short range is designed for TT's and anyone sitting in one position for hours on end, the Narrow range is designed more for climbers and road riding. Being much narrower than the Short saddles there is a lot more room to move around.

Setup is different to a traditional saddle as the ISM saddles are roughly 2 inches shorter in the nose, so saddle position relative to the bike needs to be adjusted, but the results are nothing short of miricaulous.

One short ride was all it took for me to be convinced. It's a very different feeling and totally pleasant, the nose (if you can call it that) is wider but you sit further forward so you don't feel it. Your sit bones take the weight with absolutley no pressure or even contact with your soft tissue. I had to drop my saddle by 6mm to accomodate the higher profile of the ISM and I moved the saddles back from my traditional saddle position of 54.5cm nose to bar clamp to a huge sounding 59cm, but with no nose the relative position is almost identical to a traditional saddle. There is contact with the saddle that you can feel but it's not uncomfortable, i'm sure after 2 or 3 rides and a couple of tweaks it will be spot on.

To sum it up; For a traditional saddle that will be used on my 'Cross bikes and for MTB then a Prologo Scratch is the one. For everything else it's an ISM and I won't be going back.

They do look weird though, but if looks were everything then no one would ride a PlanetX, right kids! :)

ISM Road SRP : £129.99 ISM P1.1 SRP : £99.99 ISM Attack : SRP £174.99

Light Bicycle carbon rims

lb-logo In the constant quest to [horid business wank words alert...] 'stay ahead of the curve', I have to look at where the market is going and lets be honest decide what will open peoples wallets. This means looking at materials, tolerance, performance, price, margins, shipping, production support, communications, opinions and importantly aesthetic. Sometimes the hardest part is filtering the noise from the considered opinion, sometimes I need a bit of help.

Earlier this year Sam 'Daddy the swear box is full again' Morris over in France at the most awesome Bike Village found out I was building wheels, and like a shot ordered a set from me. He's good like that. Sam's preference was for Carbon Hookless 35mm wide all mountain rims, similar to the ones he had been battering up and down the valleys in Bourg St Mauric last season, I have to be honest and tell you that I've had my head buried in Cyclo Cross and Road wheels for quite a while and I hadn't given the MTB side of things much thought, so, when Sam who makes his living from riding mountain bikes and entertaining mountain bike riders recommends something I should jolly well listen.

Long story short, Sam liked and recommended Light Bicycle, I had a brief conversation with 'Vivian' in Taiwan and the deal was done; polite, helpful, courteous, [not Sam he's too sweary], great technical know how, accommodating and able to produce rims with great tolerance and consistency it was a no brainer.

What am I trying to say here? That I sell and recommend Light Bicycle carbon rims.

  • I'm not a special customer.
  • I don't re-brand them.
  • I don't pretend they are something I've 'worked out with a manufacturer' using my own special secret sauce, when we all know they are from an open mold and available to anyone.
  • I know they have been tested extensively.

These rims are the same rims you could go and buy from 'Vivian' or her colleagues anytime and they are awesome.

I have built and I'm building Road, Cross and MTB rims in all shapes and sizes; U profile, hookless, tubs, from Light Bicycle and they have all been spot on. And if they weren't I know that 'Vivian' would fall over backward to help sort it out, as her and her colleagues would for anyone.

Light Bicycle: Their logo may be awful, but their rims aren't.

MTB Hookless Rims start at £225 ea and are available in 35, 38 and soon 40mm widths. U Section Rims start at £205 ea and are available in 35, 45 and soon 55mm section and are 25mm wide externally.

Stock arriving end of March - I've sold out once this year already YAY !

Transcontinental Race 2015

What are you doing this summer?

I know what myself and my good buddy Russ over at Shand Cycles are doing; racing our bikes from somewhere in Flanders to a bar in Istanbul. That's a distance of 4000km (2500 miles ish) and we have only 14 days to finish if we want to make the finishing party that's being held in the Bosphorus brewery.

This years Transcontinental Race is the 3rd incarnation and looks like it's the longest and possibly the hardest that Mike Hall and his band of sadistic helpers have put together so far. There are 4 check points en-route, including the top of Mont Ventoux and the whole event is run like an ITT (Independent Time Trial).

I've looked and read about the TCR since it started 3 years ago, but I've never been brave enough to contemplate it seriously, this year though Mike has allowed Pairs to compete officially and this appeals a bit more and it means that some of the stress and responsibility is shared not to mention the navigation. (I could get lost going to the corner shop)

Funnily enough Russ had been of the same opinion and when I suggested we take a look at getting an entry he agreed (silly bugger). We made it through the application process, negotiating the over subscribed servers and waited with baited breath until we got the nod in Dec that we were in!

Obviously kit choice is a major consideration, none more so than the type of bike capable of carrying us in a befitting manner that distance. Russ and I spoke about bespoke custom Shand frames and forks but when we looked at the numbers it was obvious that an off the peg large Stoater would do nicely, ta very much.

For wheels up front I'm building us some Supernova Infinity S dynamo hubs onto Stans NoTubes Grail rims with Sapim race spokes 32 hole 3X which when coupled with Supernova lights and USB charging devices will provide us with light and power along the way. The guys at Amba marketing have been great providing some great advice and supplying us with everything we need.

For tyres we are going to try a few options but i think my preference so far is Schwalbe 1 in a 28mm width running tubeless (there's an off road section along the way).

We will both be using Widcat gear's excellent bike luggage to carry the little kit we will have with us as it's British made and they have years of experience with Bike Packing and sleeping in ditches :)

Training has begun, the freezing weather is not helping much but we are still clocking up the miles, and by starting early in the year we get a chance to try out the majority of our kit before we board the ferry to Belgium in July.

We aim to update our blogs and social media feeds with further equipment choices and things we discover over the next few months as our minds and bodies adapt to the vast mileage and stresses, then when we start it may go a bit quiet, but we will carry spot transmitters to allow people to know our whereabouts.

Istanbul here we come! EEK!

Thundersnow?!

Gale force winds, sub zero temperatures, snow, road closures, travel disruption, trees down all over the place. Perfect conditions for the 10th Anniversary of the 'StrathPuffer' this weekend.Several of The Happy Cog's customers are brave daft enough to be competing; Addy, Sam, Doug, Rob, Fraser and Davy good luck to them all, try to have fun and rest assured we'll be watching via the live timing (obviously next to the fire with a nice hot cup of tea, which we promise not to enjoy at all.)

Wrap up warm and keep the rubber side down, all be-it that some of you have ice spikes in that rubber.

FW

Wrapping Up

That's it, we're closing the door for Christmas. It's been a busy last few months and it wouldn't have happened without you, so a huge thanks to everyone that has been involved; all our lovely customers (and Addy ;) ), commentators ( Neebo, Simon, Doug etc. ), team mates (the VCM massive), James Orr the Mechanical Overlord, Chris at 2Pure, Rusty Sprout and loads of other people that have helped us get going this year. Cheers.

Enjoy the time off with your family and friends. Wrap up, go out for a ride and have a cracking Christmas.

Fraser.

Sssshh Don't tell...

We've got some Carbon coming... Working alongside the splendiferous Bike Village out in T'Alps we are bringing some rather special carbon mountain bike rims in for a test. Sam at BV has been riding them for a while now and swears they are awesome, and if he rates them for use over in 'Bourg on his mighty trails then they must be good.

The rims are slightly different in build and shape and work wonderfully Tubeless.

More info and some pictures, diagrams as we get them.

Tubeless Cyclocross Tyres - What Works?

Graeme Warren gives us his rundown on what tubeless cyclocross tyres have worked for him over the years : "The last couple of Scottish Cyclocross seasons have allowed me to run a variety of different tyres (I'm not a serial tyre swapper, but I have tried different tyres depending on what was on offer and what I had lying around).

Initially I ran a tubeless setup use Stans Crest rims - a wider rim designed for 29" mountain bike wheels, also perfectly capable of being used as a cyclocross wheel, albeit giving a slightly wider tyre profile than traditional skinny CX rims. The first tyres used were the Maxxis Raze - inflated after a bit of persusasion and stayed inflated well. The grip is low though - these are quite a quick, fast rolling tyres but struggle for grip or traction in the mud.

The following season I ran a Schwalbe Racing Ralph at each end - these inflated relatively easily and lasted relatively well - the rear eventually gave up after a year of regular use. Grip is much better than the Maxxis - a reasonable all round tyre.

For 2013 I moved to Stans Iron Cross Rims (1mm or so narrower than the Crest) and tried a Clements PDX at each end. These are slightly lighter and more supple than the Racing Ralphs, and that was reflected with the slight extra difficulty with which they inflated - I eventually succeeded with the compressor, but ran the front tyre for a year without incident once it was inflated. These have a slightly more aggressive tread than Racing Ralphs and were faultless in a relatively dry year of Scottish cross. The rear unfortunately didn't fare so well - a ripped lug in it's first race wouldn't seal, and whilst it would probably do a turn with an inner tube in or with a tyre patch, I haven't used it since.

This year, I am back on a Racing Ralph on the rear (a new design which seems perfectly grippy and inflated ridiculously easily with a track pump) and started off with a Rocket Ron upfront. Thin sidewalls on the latter led to a puncture on a rock at Strathclyde Park, which has given me the opportunity to finally try a Challenge tyre up front. Whilst Challenge are better known for their super supple tan sidewall tyres and tubulars, they now do the Grifo in a more regular tyre casing - in 60tpi or 120tpi flavours. The latter is supposedly more supple. These inflated as well as any other CX tyre I have tried, and stayed inflated without issue. I only have one race under my belt on them, but initial impressions are good - they seem to roll better on the road than the Clements PDX, but still have a good tread which kept me upright on Irvine's off camber grass. I might have a new favourite all round CX tyre here"... Graeme.

Oh heck oh no it's the Grifolo

Whilst we all love the Challenge Grifo Open Pro [the one with the skin wall] for it's grip and speed in all but the muddiest of conditions, there's one thing it cannot do, and that's run Tubeless!Although I have run them tubeless successfully for a 'while', they are not a viable Tubeless option and there are much better alternatives, including the 120tpi Grifo. The problem with the Open Pro design for Tubeless setups is that they are incredibly flexible and they can roll off the rim with some combinations of rim, tape and pressure. As such I no longer recommend the Open Pro Grifo for tubeless with any combination of rim, pressure etc. If you want to run Tubeless and want the Grifo tread then you should chose the 60tpi or 120tpi version produced by Challenge.

The 120Tpi version is now standard kit on Helen Wyman's signature bike from Kona and it's set up Tubeless from the off.

The RRP of the 120tpi is £35

Rims

With so many rims to choose from it's sometimes a bit daunting to work out what you need for your particular purpose, so I try and keep it simple by using rims that are capable of going tubeless (with the correct tape and valve), rims that have been tried and tested and also rims that look the part. Below are some of the brands and rims that I recommend.

H+ Son

Currently by far and away the most requested rims for both 'Cross and road are the 23mm wide H+ Son Archetype. The Archetype rims look the part with either a Matte Black finish or a grey Hard Anodised finish, have a nice semi-aero profile, are comfortable and therefore great on crappy British roads and are a great price at £55 for black or £58 for the Hard Anodised version. The extra width of the rim makes for a great tyre profile, the difference can really be felt when cornering compared to a narrower rim and tyre combination. The H+ Son workmanship is exceptional at this price and the rims have invisible welded rim joints as standard.

Spec: Weight: 470 grams Material: G609 Alloy Height: 25 mm Width: 23 mm Size: 700c Joint: Welded Machined Braking Surface

Pacenti

The Pacenti SL23 is another wider tubeless rim that is super stiff, looks amazing and performs brilliantly. The rims follow the current trend for stiff wide rims and measure 26mm deep and 23mm wide . These rims have an added advantage of being superbly stiff meaning low spoke counts are not a problem, they also have quite a deep machined braking surface with a wear indicator. The wide profile coupled with a tubeless setup (yellow stans tape needed, veloplugs won't seal) on a tubeless specific tyre (converted road tyres won't hold and will blow off) makes for a really smooth ride. These rims are designed to be raced for both road and 'cross, probably my favourite rim just now, well worth their £98 RRP.

Spec: Weight: 450 grams Material: 6061-T6 aluminum Height: 26 mm Width: 24 mm Size: 700c Joint: Welded 10.6mm Machined Braking Surface

Velocity

The Velocity A23 had been the widest tubeless road rim on the market for a while and is still a great rim, but the last few that I have built have had problems with quality control and therefore I'm no longer offering these as part of a built wheel, I still ride and race on a set though and they are great rims. If you want tubs for 'Cross and don't want or can't afford to spend lots of cash on good carbon then there really is only one option and that is the Major Tom by Velocity. It's an aluminium tub that has a 23mm wide rim which allows for better tyre performance, providing a larger contact surface for gluing and adds strength without additional weight (432g). They have a semi aero profile that gives them lots of strength without extra weight. Velocity added an extra mm or so to the brake track depth so that it's easier to swop between wheels for racing and training (less brake setup). The strength of these rims should not be underestimated, Al Dorrington uses them for the 3 Peaks and seems to have no problems at all. One of the riders on the team i race for swears by these and they don't seem to be hindering him any over the riders equipped with much more expensive carbon tubs, in fact when you look at the pitiful build quality, weight and price of some carbon tubs from some UK retailers it's a wonder demand for these isn't higher (listening planetX?). £52 RRP.

Spec: Weight: 430 grams Material: Aluminum Height: 21 mm Width: 23 mm Size: 700c 11mm Machined Braking Surface Tubular Only

Stans

Where to start, loads of options, all tubeless, all well made and all at a decent price. My current favourite Stans rim for disc road or 'Cross is the new Grail:

Countless hours spent working with our professional road racers and cyclocross team led us to create what just might be the ultimate disc-specific rim for road, ’cross and gravel. At just over 24mm wide and featuring our deepest profile (24.5mm), the Grail is the most aerodynamic rim we’ve ever made.

They weigh in at 460 grams and cost £75.

You can't do better than the Stans Iron Cross if you want a traditional profile tubeless 'cross rim, strong, light and wide.

The new ZTR Iron Cross rim combines a stiff 17.5mm rim depth, a 20mm wide internal cavity, and our ultra-low-profile Bead Socket Technology (BST) sidewalls to virtually eliminate pinch flats under some of the lowest tire pressures you can run. At 385 grams a rim, the ZTR Iron Cross disc rim will make your next cyclocross disc wheel build considerably lighter but able to handle all the punishment you can dish out. The new ZTR Iron Cross disc rims are designed only for use with cyclocross tubeless tires and traditional cyclocross clinchers.

RRP £70

For XC mountain biking the Stans Crest is still one of the best rims available, tubeless or non, light, strong and reliable.

The ZTR Crest is built for cross country and light trail use. Next generation BST provides the tire stability and tubeless seal. Wins at the Tour Divide and BC Bike Race have established the Crest 29er as the leader in light, reliable big wheels.

They weigh in at 380 grams and cost £70.

For Tubeless Road the new Alpha 400 is a great piece of kit. Stans listened to the customers and beefed up the spoke bed of the new 400 compared to the 340 whilst retaining the light weight and increasing durability.

A rim that shares the same dimensions and Bead Socket Technology as the Alpha 340 but adds the triple channel and internal arch design of our nearly invincible Arch EX and Flow EX rims. The ZTR Alpha 400 offers a 33% thicker spoke bed than the original Alpha 340 rim for maximum durability. Light and fast on the outside, ultra-stiff and strong on the inside, the new ZTR Alpha 400 is the rim we've all been waiting for!

Weighting in at 425 grams and £90 RRP

The whole range of Stans No Tubes rims are generally great and they are bound to have something to suit whatever riding style takes your fancy. Personally I can't wait to try out their new CarbonValour wheels.