Tubeless rims have almost always been a compromise. On one hand, you can run a sealed rim bed without the need for rim tape as long as you’re ok with using proprietary spokes, nipples, or complicated attachment methods to the rim or hub. On the other, you can choose to go the simple way and use a pierced rim bed that is easily sealed with tape and sealant. The later method adds a bit of weight and also makes spoke repairs more frustrating when you have to peel back the layers of the onion to get to the offending spoke.
Apparently not a fan of compromise, Alchemist sent us a few teasers of their all new X-Sens rims. Judging by the photos, these are not your average tubeless carbon rims in almost every way…
Clearly, the key to the design of the X-Sens is the X or somewhat I-Beam like shape that allows for the nipples to be anchored on the outside of the rim channel completely. This would effectively accomplish multiple things – a completely sealed spoke bed with the potential for running UST tires without sealant, or Tubeless Ready tires with sealant, simple spoke/nipple replacement in the event of a failure, and a much wider anchor point for the spokes at the rim which seems like it would make for a stiffer wheel. Not to mention it looks like you could technically build this rim to a standard flanged hub with run of the mill J-bend spokes.
Still in the pre-production phase, it looks as if the rim will include external reinforcements at the spoke anchor points which would alternate from left to right. The hookless rim measures in at 32.04mm wide which is plenty wide for most of the current tires on the market. Details at this point are still quite limited, but Alchemist tells us there will be a complete family of X-Sens rims and they will be full carbon. More when we have it!