I still trying to understand tubeless systems (well, i understand the principal, but it's the implementation that I'm still confused)

In this video, they show a cross section of a wheel rim and tire. I'm not certain if this is just a artistic representation of a tubeless tire and rim interface or one example for the Schwalbe tires ?

Are there consideration or things to look for when buying a tubeless tire so that I know will fit my tubeless ready rim ?

Schwalbe video

1 Answer 1


Basically at this point there's broad cross-compatibility in practice among the tubeless compatible me-too type "systems" by way of everyone just copying each others bead and bead lock designs. A de facto tubeless standard emerged from all of it that more or less just works.

UST is an exception in that it's a clearly defined system in terms of the dimensions of both the rim, the bead, and other specifications like how the rim has to be airtight by itself. But UST has other issues, namely that for all the trouble one goes through to adhere to it, you get a heavier tire and no puncture-sealing if you run it without sealant, so it's pretty far out of favor. Using non-UST tubeless tires on UST rims and vice versa set up tubeless usually works fine, but requires sealant.

  • I thought tubeless tires, by default hold air properly and that the sealant is just there in case of puncture ?
    – Max
    Jun 16, 2018 at 20:18
  • No, UST is the only system that's like that. Everything else, now the vast majority of tubeless installations, uses sealant to seal everything up. Even if everything else was airtight, there's no such thing as a rim bed with conventional spoke holes and rim tape that's airtight without sealant. Hence one of the defining features of UST is no holes going through the bed. But that also means the base cost is way higher, because the rim has to be fancy and machined. Jun 16, 2018 at 22:19
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    Also it's important to understand that a UST tire is reinforced with a rubber layer that adds a bunch of weight but allows the sealant-less thing to work. "Tubeless compatible" tires are lighter but rely on sealant to make up for their porosity. Jun 16, 2018 at 22:26

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