WTB is offering a rim/rim design described as conforming to a standard, the Tubeless Compatible System. The rim has a rounded well over the spokes along the center. Is this rim incompatible with clincher tires and tubes? And is there anything special here compared to other tubeless designs?

Here's the description: https://www.wtb.com/pages/tcs

Here's what they say:

diagram of WTB Tubeless Compatible System tire and rim

Our TCS™ (Tubeless Compatible System) technology is the solution for riders seeking high performance, lightweight and durable mountain bike wheel systems that are easy to install, fun to ride and simple to service. TCS tires are the first sealant tubeless tires to receive Mavic UST® certification, which means a proven fit between sealant tubeless tire and rim. Say goodbye to air compressors, tire levers and pinch flats. Say hello to your full riding potential.

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    This is relevant reading.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 5:50

2 Answers 2


All tubeless compatible (aka "tubeless ready" or just "tubeless") rims and tires can be used with tubes. It would be impractical even for bike industry standards to disallow people from putting in a tube when something goes wrong, or even buy a modern wheel/rim if they weren't interested in tubeless.

The main special thing about the TCS rims compared to many others is, as their ad copy points out, they have a certified UST standard bead seat. The idea there, not to give an opinion either way, is that in conjunction with a UST tire the bead interface meets a designed standard and can have greater security than the alternative of just using parts that are more arbitrarily designated as "tubeless compatible," in other words every non-UST MTB tire and rim on the market. You can still use whatever tires on TCS rims, tubeless or not.

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    +1, But I missed the memo - when did the cycle industry go back to worrying about the practicality of incompatible standards. :)
    – mattnz
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 7:31
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    The exception now are hookless rims that are, indeed, incompatible, at least officially when being safe, with inner tubes. One probably has to test and see. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet with people commenting about regular TLR tyres when the question was asked about hookless ones. Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 7:52
  • @VladimirF what hookless rim producer is saying you can't run a tubeless tire with a tube in it? Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 15:41
  • @NathanKnutson Zipp says "tubeless only" for their new hookless rims. They say "tubed or tubeless" for their older hooked tubeless rims.
    – Adam Rice
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 16:12
  • @AdamRice They're talking about whether the tire is tubeless compatible, ie whether it's got a tubeless type bead. Zipp nor no other manufacturer I'm aware of says anything against running an approved tire with a tube in it, either permanently or temporarily. Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 18:44

I'm responding to the statement that you can use whatever you want on TCS rims. I'm a road cyclist who does the occasional one-week tour and have recently converted to a gravel bike, which I love, but only to find that it has tubeless compatible rims. Everyone seems to think there's no downside to this, but it's made things very hard for this small-handed female rider. That shelf in the rim makes it impossible to change a tubed flat roadside by myself, which I can easily do on my cheapie grocery-getter with conventional rims. I simply don't have the finger strength to break the seal on these tubeless compatibles, nor does my husband. It takes us both and at least three tire levers, and still takes a half hour. And once the tube is in, it's very difficult to seat the tire without an edge of tube sticking out (even pumping it a bit to get it out of the way) to cause another flat. So if while touring I have to end up at a bike shop anyway, I might as well go tubeless I suppose, but I wish I weren't pushed into that. I haven't seen anyone else complaining about this. No one else is having this problem?

  • This will strongly depend on your tyre/rim combination. I suggest to try some other tyres, preferably some more supple ones, although the bead is the key. Non-tubeless tyres could be better for you in this case. But generally no, it is not necessary and does not need to happen to everyone. However, if you really want to ask it as a question, you will have to open a new question post, you cannot get answers to an answer. Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 8:37
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    For me, having to go to a bike shop is a complete no-go. Not because of money, but because there are none where I often cycle. I would have to walk many kilometers to get to some train station and hope for the best. I really suggest to do something with that, it does not sound sustainable. Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 8:42
  • FWIW I agree this is a real issue and is often written off. Running a non-tubeless-ready tire can make it easier, but then you're cutting into your tire options. You're not the only one experiencing the problem, I've heard and see the same thing from others plenty of times. I do think that doing it with the back of the heel can be a solution, but it's a technique that takes practice and care in setting it up to avoid hurting anything, and may not always be appropriate. Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 18:57

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