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Is there an advantage to hookless rims?

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Is there an advantage to hookless rims?

Old 06-09-22, 10:19 AM
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79pmooney
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Is there an advantage to hookless rims?

I just saw an article in Cycling News ( https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/hun...ace-wheelsets/ ) about the new Hunt rims. Yes, Cycling News is a mouthpiece for their advertisers so I take what they say grain of salt. They don't say whether they think hookless is good or bad but they are featuring that in both the article and headline. So my question - what advantage does hookless carry besides being easier go make and therefor cheaper (and more profit).

Is there a reason for hookless besides cheaper and allowing simpler manufacturing and a touch lighter? (Lighter at the expense of material at the most important place on the rim strength-wise.) Easier to mount a tire? Any other benefits? I know from experience that a tire coming off can be just plain bad. It seems to me that the hooks would reduce that likelihood.
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Old 06-09-22, 10:29 AM
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They're stronger and lighter.
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Old 06-09-22, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
They're stronger and lighter.
They would be very slightly lighter than a hook bead rim that is otherwise exactly the same. But, again comparing like for like, I would think that the hook bead would add at least some small but measurable amount of strength/rigidity.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:19 AM
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Yea, I don't get it. I don't have a problem with hookless rims because I like wire-on tires anyway. But this article fails to prove to me why a hookless modern rim makes sense. Yes, it would be a few grams lighter, then you have to use a tire with a wire in it, probably negating that small advantage. The biggest drawback is that you are limited on the tires you can use.

Maybe I am missing something?
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Old 06-09-22, 11:24 AM
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No. There is no benefit for the rider. All real benefits are on the manufacturing side. They are less expensive to mold and there is less scrap. The tradeoffs on the rider side of absolutely little to no control of the tires and their ability to reliably stay on the rims in road applications is borderline criminally negligent in my opinion. My opinion is meaningless though.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:25 AM
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Old 06-09-22, 11:26 AM
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This is truly a "press-fit bottom bracket" version 2.0 type of scenario. A change driven by manufacturing cost savings and control issues that results in nothing but piles of headaches and problems for the riders themselves but actual input from the rider is meaningless. It is draped in the same sort of piles of OEM marketing BS making up non-existent benefits to justify the inevitable move. Cost is king.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:27 AM
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My tires have blown off my hookless rims seven times in the 12k miles that I've had them. I've also died twice in those incidents.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:29 AM
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Quite honestly I didn't think this way until recently. I just didn't know enough about the switch to pass judgement either way. The mtb guys were all about it so who cares, right? Must be something to it.

I've done more research into it the last few months than I had ever intended. Asking some very direct point blank questions to some people very in the know as that's my business. The benefit to the rider is never really something that people can articulate. The idea of making less scrap, having more control, slightly lighter wheels and being able to sell them for next to nothing while increasing their margin at the same time is the king of all of this.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
My tires have blown off my hookless rims seven times in the 12k miles that I've had them. I've also died twice in those incidents.
As you know - it's not the rims - it's the tires.

Tech like this is fun when you have enthusiasts that will take the time and figure out what to do. It sucks when you get someone that isn't going to do that but does something because their buddy "who knows this stuff" does it and then eats sh*& because they didn't understand it. THAT's the guys I see.

It's the same problems we will be runnning into in 20 years with all the disc brake bikes that have been hanging in the rafters since they were bought are pulled down by the teen kid who then tries to ride dad's old bike without any service being done on them and finds the brakes now fail.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:39 AM
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It's worthwhile to point out that old bikeforums member who "grew up" to become the editor of VeloNews and now Cycling Tips and runs the cycling Tips podcast and Nerd Alert podcast basically came to the same epiphany the other day and took to twitter about it.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
It's the same problems we will be running into in 20 years with all the disc brake bikes that have been hanging in the rafters since they were bought are pulled down by the teen kid who then tries to ride dad's old bike without any service being done on them and finds the brakes now fail.
Holy crap, as a rim brake person (more because I like vintage frames than I give a rip about where the caliper is, it never occurred to me what hanging a bike upside down for a long time would do to the quality of hydraulic braking. Probably going to be a bunch of people crashing dusty, cobwebbed bikes and thinking this biking thing is bullspit and no wonder Dad hung this bike up there and hasn't used it in 20 years.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
As you know - it's not the rims - it's the tires.

Tech like this is fun when you have enthusiasts that will take the time and figure out what to do. It sucks when you get someone that isn't going to do that but does something because their buddy "who knows this stuff" does it and then eats sh*& because they didn't understand it. THAT's the guys I see.

It's the same problems we will be runnning into in 20 years with all the disc brake bikes that have been hanging in the rafters since they were bought are pulled down by the teen kid who then tries to ride dad's old bike without any service being done on them and finds the brakes now fail.
That's fine, and I've long understood that your perspective, as a service provider, is different than mine, as an enthusiast/end-user. Quite frankly, I couldn't give two ***** if some nimrods, in the now or in the nebulous future, can't figure it out - at this point, it's enthusiast gear, not lowest-common-denominator gear.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:51 AM
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See also Mavic's wheels with carbon fiber spokes that they refused to admit were poorly engineered, even after several spectacular and highly visible failures, but that they eventually withdrew from the market. And the hard anodized rims that came and went in the late '80s. And the slighly later frames with part-carbon seat stays that also came and went.

Reminds me of a phrase that the late Jobst Brandt was fond of using with regard to the presence of questionable technology in consumer products: such products tend to be marketed enthusiastically "until the death toll becomes prohibitive."
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Old 06-09-22, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Holy crap, as a rim brake person (more because I like vintage frames than I give a rip about where the caliper is, it never occurred to me what hanging a bike upside down for a long time would do to the quality of hydraulic braking. Probably going to be a bunch of people crashing dusty, cobwebbed bikes and thinking this biking thing is bullspit and no wonder Dad hung this bike up there and hasn't used it in 20 years.
It's been what I have been dreading all along tbh. OEMs will just be like, "well you can't expect something to last forever". I STILL run into recalled Shimano canti brakes that were recalled in the 80's 90's because the plastic spring retainer would crack. Still. Had a set walk in last week. It's been 40 years. I can't even begin to imagine how bad the SRAM DOT 5 seals will be deteriorated in 40 years.

There will always be problems with tech now that we are relying on non-permanent systems anymore but I feel like we should choose our battles when we can. Top end enthusiast and performance rigs - Sure thing. Mid level and below stock builds? that's asking for trouble long term. People still think bikes are forever and will treat them as such.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
And the hard anodized rims that came and went in the late '80s.
H+Son sell quite a few hard anodized rims. The last set of rim brake wheels that I built up were Archetypes. Good rims. I mean, the brake track looked a bit ass after the first wet, gritty ride, but they were nice.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That's fine, and I've long understood that your perspective, as a service provider, is different than mine, as an enthusiast/end-user. Quite frankly, I couldn't give two ***** if some nimrods, in the now or in the nebulous future, can't figure it out - at this point, it's enthusiast gear, not lowest-common-denominator gear.
- and I have no issues with that at all. I have been trying to approach hookless though with that mindset and hoping there was just some huge advantage I wasn't understanding yet. After digging quite a bit I have yet to find anything that can be easily articulated - causing me to really think this is BB 2.0
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Old 06-09-22, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
H+Son sell quite a few hard anodized rims. The last set of rim brake wheels that I built up were Archetypes. Good rims. I mean, the brake track looked a bit ass after the first wet, gritty ride, but they were nice.
Yup - hard anodized or ceramic coated rims are still around albeit harder to find.

Every few weeks another OE drops rim brake options. Funny because at the same time my rim brake business is just getting more busy. People holding on with their fingernails not wanting to have to pony up for the now $9k bike upgrade.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:07 PM
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This smacks of a conspiracy to steer the industry back towards chrome plated steel rims to me.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:12 PM
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Dangit - now I am revved up. We are about to record a new episode of the podcast so I am sure I will touch on this and rant slightly. *shameless podcast plug* give us a listen at Road Is Dead.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:12 PM
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Old 06-09-22, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
- and I have no issues with that at all. I have been trying to approach hookless though with that mindset and hoping there was just some huge advantage I wasn't understanding yet. After digging quite a bit I have yet to find anything that can be easily articulated - causing me to really think this is BB 2.0
I didn't buy mine for any huge advantage. I bought mine for a number of small reasons. First and foremost, I was gonna run tubeless anyway. They were lighter and wider than my Reynolds. They were cheaper, at full pop, than my Reynolds were at a deep discount a few years earlier. Better overall profile, including a much smoother tire/rim transition, with my preferred 28mm tires. The promise of a less damage-prone edge when my heavy ass hits a MN pothole, and a lifetime warranty to back that up.

Living with them, day-today, which has been somewhere in the neighborhood of 12k miles, has been awesome - maybe my favorite bike-related purchase ever. They ride well, soaking up ****** roads but still providing feedback. They're more confidence-inspiring in the corners than any wheels that I've had before. Getting tires on/off and seated is easier than any tubeless wheels that I've owned before.

Is all of this because of hookless? No, but it's certainly a part of the package. Would I recommend them to everyone? ****, no - I've told people to avoid them numerous times on these boards. Would I enthusiastically recommend them to the right person? Abso******lutely.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:18 PM
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On the MTB side, hookless rims have had wide use for a long time. They work well and I run my 27.5 x 2.4 tires at 15 PSI (200 lbs) and love the ride. Never once even burped a tire at those levels.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
On the MTB side, hookless rims have had wide use for a long time. They work well and I run my 27.5 x 2.4 tires at 15 PSI (200 lbs) and love the ride. Never once even burped a tire at those levels.
You just touched on why they "work" over there= 15 psi. The issue isn't about burping on road it's quite literally about tires being blown off the rim. Its the other end of the spectrum.

The most troubling thing for me is that the parts of the industry that will talk about it openly just use in house rules of 150% of target pressure. That's a 1.5 safety factor. That's the LOWEST safety factor I have ever run into in my engineering life. Especially in a consumer product. The worst part is that not everyone even agrees on going that "high". Hushed anecdotes say some OE's have been fine with 1.2-1.3. Think about that: If they are rating a particular tire and rim combo to 70 psi then that means they have experienced blow off at 84 psi. Keep in mind that even all these years after we went to "wider" 23mm rims (13 years ago) we are still having an impossible time convincing people not to ride pressures in the 115 psi range for road. Old habits die hard. This is an absolute recipe for more than a handful of deaths. Also...84psi? how accurate is your crappy pump that you've used for 15 years? I've run across new *redacted* pump gauges that are as much as 15-20 psi off at lower pressures.
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Old 06-09-22, 12:27 PM
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This seriously is more of a threat than the early days of carbon clinchers with melting sidewalls was IMHO.
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