HomeCyclingAASQ: What is the Distinction Between Hookless Rims and Conventional (Hooked) Rims?

AASQ: What is the Distinction Between Hookless Rims and Conventional (Hooked) Rims?

AASQ: What is the Distinction Between Hookless Rims and Conventional (Hooked) Rims?


After lastly selecting up their dream bike and blazing by means of the honeymoon interval with the right new rig, many cyclists inevitably start tinkering.

The right bike they spent months researching earlier than pulling the set off now looks as if it might be even higher. One of many first locations many riders go when searching for upgrades is a brand new wheelset. Wheels can present an astonishingly completely different really feel and journey expertise.

A cyclist riding a bike fitted with Hunt Bike Wheels gravel rims.
(Picture/Hunt Bike Wheels)

Relying on development, they’ll additionally play an enormous function in effectivity and efficiency. There’s no scarcity of metrics to contemplate when selecting a brand new wheelset, however one of many larger inquiries to reply is whether or not a brand new wheel shall be hookless, or a standard “hooked” wheel.

Each have their advantages and disadvantages, however at the same time as hookless wheels have exploded in recognition in recent times, many people could also be unaware of precisely what they’re, or what they’ll convey to the desk.

What are hookless wheels?

Within the previous days of the early to mid-2010s, wheelset designs, together with the increasing tubeless suitable choices erupting onto the market, featured an fringe of the rim that curved right into a kind of hook.

Infograph showing the difference between a hooked and hookless rim
Hookless rims function a straight sidewall; (Picture/Hunt Bike Wheels)

The hook permits a tire’s bead to snap and lock into place with added safety as it’s primarily being gripped by the hook. The hooked design additionally helped inside tubes mildew into the proper place to interface with the rim and tire.

Nonetheless, as carbon and tubeless wheels grew ever extra well-liked, producers started to ditch the standard hook in favor of a flat, or straight-wall design that we now check with as hookless. You might also hear hookless known as TSS, or Tubeless Straight Facet. Designers construct these wheels particularly for contemporary tubeless setups, making them splendid platforms to run at a lot decrease pressures.

How do hookless rims work?

As an alternative of a hooked bead, tires fitted to hookless rims depend on strain to lock into place.

Hunt Bike Wheels was among the many first pioneers to start bringing hookless know-how to bike tires in 2016.

In line with Hunt, the important thing components for a tire to suit a hookless rim correctly embody making certain that the rim is of the fitting diameter on the bead seat (the flat part that the tire sits on), that the bead seat is vast sufficient that the tire can sit sq., and that the bead just isn’t folded over and might work optimally. 

“When the tire is inflated and in service [on a hooked rim], it isn’t sitting on the bead seat however pressed into the aspect wall just a few millimeters up the hook, and it’s the bead core on the tire that’s offering the reactive power to maintain the tire in place,” Hunt mentioned. “When utilizing tubeless for that reason it is vital that your tubeless tape does go up the hook just a few mm simply to make a great seal.”

These kind of wheels have been the norm in vehicles and bikes for a very long time. However with the upper pressures traditionally related to street using and to some extent, gravel using, biking was initially hesitant to leap on the practice. That, nevertheless, has been altering.

What are the advantages of hookless wheels?

The hookless development gained specific recognition within the mountain bike realm, the place riders moved way back towards decrease tire pressures which can be effectively suited to hookless methods.

A Hunt Bike Wheels hookless bike wheel.
(Picture/Hunt Bike Wheels)

However Hunt introduced the hookless occasion to its street wheels too, providing what was then its H_LOCK Wedge know-how on its 55 Carbon Broad Aero and 30/50 Carbon Aero Disc wheels from 2016 by means of 2018.

Hunt mentioned its early iterations of hookless wheels produced rims that have been 10 to fifteen grams lighter at a lower cost. That development has continued into its fashionable hookless merchandise, which it mentioned function stronger rim development, lighter weight, decrease manufacturing prices, and a extra aerodynamic profile.

“Hookless rims [side walls] assist scale back drag as a result of they don’t pinch the tire sidewall inward, thus resulting in the tire profile sitting barely taller and making a extra seamless transition between the tire and rim,” Hunt mentioned. “Consequently, you get a barely quicker form for the tire in most setups.”

Likewise, decrease pressures related to hookless wheels permit for higher grip, and since there are not any inside tubes and a extra pure tire floor, flats ought to occur much less continuously.

What are the drawbacks to hookless wheels?

Whereas hookless wheels include the advantages of aerodynamics and energy, they aren’t with out their drawbacks.

Since strain retains a tire seated in place on a hookless rim, the interface between the tire and rim needs to be exact with a view to operate correctly. Even a tenth of a millimeter may cause issues, so not all tires can match any hookless wheel. That turned lots of cyclists off within the early days of hookless know-how, as some wouldn’t be capable of run the tire they wished on a specific rim. Nonetheless, as time has gone on, the vary of tires appropriate for hookless wheels has grown significantly.

“With the ETRTO [European Tire & Rim Technical Organization] having standardized the interior rim contour for hookless rims for the previous few years, it has allowed the tire producers to convey a spread of tires out that match this inner form,” Hunt mentioned. “With ‘standardized’ rims, riders have extra selection, simpler fitment, and higher efficiency out of the mixture.”

Most manufacturers embody lists of tires that they’ve examined and confirmed carry out as meant on their wheels.

However nonetheless, hookless tires have some limits to which tires will work, and whether or not they can accommodate a tube in a pinch or not.

A hunt Bike Wheels hooked gravel wheel.
The Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Aero Wheelset contains a hooked rim; (Picture/Hunt Bike Wheels)

Present requirements for hookless wheels additionally require significantly decrease pressures. Hookless wheels shouldn’t attain above 72.5 PSI, in line with Hunt, so anybody who favors a better PSI could need a rim that may accommodate larger pressures.

That won’t seem to be a problem for mountain bikers or gravel cyclists, whose PSIs often sit effectively beneath 70, however street cyclists whose pressures typically attain effectively above 70 and above could choose one thing that may agency up extra.

Which to decide on

Virtually each main wheel producer makes each hooked and hookless choices, and each could be stellar. Making the fitting selection comes down to every rider’s specific self-discipline, fashion, and wishes.

Riders who get pleasure from the advantages of decrease pressures, slight aerodynamic benefits, and who aren’t extraordinarily specific about tire selection would in all probability be very happy on a hookless wheel. Those that completely need to have a specific tire, preferring to run their tires at excessive PSIs, or who typically discover themselves utilizing tubes, could choose a hooked possibility.


This put up is sponsored by Hunt Bike Wheels. Study extra about Hunts hookless wheels at us.huntbikewheels.com.



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