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Bikerumor Podcast Ep #32 – ENVE explains pro wheel testing & hookless, tubeless rims for road bikes!

enve tells how to test road tubeless rims for cobble classic racing with pro cyclists
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ENVE is pushing tubeless hard across all of their wheels and rims. And not just to all of us, but to their sponsored pro team riders, too. In this episode, we talk with them about how they tested their wider AR-series wheels with the pros. The process led to NTT deciding to use them not just for the cobbled classics, but wanting them for every race going forward!

We also talk about:

  • How a hookless rim design can work for higher pressure road bike tire applications
  • How and why they test so many different brand road tires before approving them for use on their rims
  • What those tests mean for future road tire development
  • What else is coming from ENVE for hookless, tubeless road rims

How does Road Tubeless work on hookless rims:

Here are two images that illustrate some of our discussion about using road tubeless tires on a hookless rim design:

diagram of how a road tubeless bicycle tire fits onto a hookless tubeless rim

The important thing to note is that a tire’s seal happens at the bottom of the bead, inside the bead seat (aka “bead socket”) on the rim. This is the “pop” we hear as a tubeless tire is inflated and seated onto a rim during installation. Above is an example of how a tire and rim that are both made to proper specifications and has minimal if any bead stretch should fit together. Directly below is what happens if they’re not properly designed:

how to use a road tubeless tire on a hookless rim

If a tire’s bead has too much stretch, it can allow the tire to stretch outward from the tire pressure and blow off the rim. Similarly, if the tire’s overall bead diameter is too big, or the rim’s bead seat diameter is too small (or both), they won’t be able to form a tight seal where needed. This could cause leaks, burping or blow offs.

For more info on the hookless rim design and ENVE in general, check out their AASQ posts here and here, too. Huge thanks to Jake and Neil for joining us on the Bikerumor Podcast! To see their full lineup, head over to ENVE’s website.

are the pro cyclists racing on tubeless tires for paris roubaix and other classic road bike races


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Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
4 years ago

A nice and informative interview.

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