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.

  • 1
    This is relevant reading. – Batman Jun 13 '17 at 5:50

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 Jun 13 '17 at 7:31

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