Claiming to be the world’s easiest road wheels to set up tubeless, Knight Composites’ new aero carbon TLA wheels aim to simplify the move to road tubeless. Built around a new rim and wide hookless profile developed closely with Schwalbe, Knight promise tubeless setups as easy as clinchers.
Knight TLA tubeless-ready aero carbon wheels
Knight’s goal was to set a new road tubeless, as many cyclists have been reluctant to make the jump even with the promise of all around improved performance. Much like in the early days of MTB tubeless, wide variability in tire & rim dimensions had made tubeless setup hit or miss. And at the high pressures of road tires, for many it just wasn’t worth the trouble.
Knight tackled those issues head on, partnering with tire maker Schwalbe to create a new hookless carbon road rim profile that can be set up tubeless without a compressor. Knight says “riders who had never tried tubeless before had the Knight TLA system up and running in less than 10 minutes – using a standard floor pump.” At the heart of that system is the hookless bead and a rim shoulder that tapers inward “to lock down the tubeless tire bead – with up to twice as much sealing surface as traditional hooked rim designs.” They also feature a new deeper center channel and overall lower rim wall heights for easy tire fitting.
Hookless rims need road tires with beads resistant to stretching like Schwalbe’s carbon-reinforced tires, so you may be limited to what tires should be used at the highest of pressures. That said, the Knight/Schwalbe Pro One combo was lab tested to over twice the maximum stated pressure without issue, outperforming hookless combos from other wheel makers.
Aero concerns were of course a focus as well. The wide rim profiles – overall 28mm in the deeper rim (no detailed rim internal widths provided yet) were specifically optimized with a Schwalbe Pro One 25mm tire, and with a smooth aerodynamic transition from rim to sidewall.
The new TLA wheels build on Knight’s existing Trailing Edge Aerodynamic Manipulation Technology (TEAM) aero concept, which focuses on how air flows from the tire, to the rim, back to the tire, and ultimately to the bike frame. By optimizing the aero center closer to the rim bed than ever before, they claim improved aero performance in wide ranging real world conditions.
The new Knight TLA wheels are available in 35mm & 50mm depths, and in both rim & disc brake variants, all laced around Rotor’s new RVolver hubs with Sapim CX-ray spokes. The new TLA wheels also get an updated look too, with new shield graphics. (The wheels we previewed at the top of the page still had the old chess piece graphics.) Rim brake wheels are still quite light at 1430g for the 35mm deep version, and 1510g for the slightly deeper 50mm wheels.
Pricing & Availability
No matter rim brake or disc, and 35mm or 50mm deep, all of the new TLA wheelsets retail for the same $2300 with either black or titanium silver logos. If you want custom colors, Knight offers 9 custom color versions to match your Santa Cruz, Fox team fork, or a couple other mountain bikes for an additional $125. They are available now direct from Knight.
Beverly Lucas, CEO of Knight explained it that “tubeless-ready road tires are clearly the future, but as everyone knows, they are normally incredibly hard to fit and run – something I have found on my own road, gravel and cross bikes. Our new TLAs are so easy to set up and, at the same time, they are super-fast and light… the TLAs are absolute game changers.”