Why are hookless rims a thing on road bikes?

I don’t get it. Is there a benefit to hookless rims? I would assume cheaper wheels but I’m not sure I see that happening in practice. Keep in mind this question is coming from someone who would rather ride with tubes and rim brakes. Why do I need or should I want hookless rims on my road bike?

1 Like

They’re ostensibly stronger and more resilient to impacts, and there’s a theoretical aero benefit… and manufacturers claim that they’re easier and cheaper to manufacture but, realistically, no there’s no benefit. On a road bike in particular where pressures are higher than other applications, and where tires casings are preferred to be more supple, they’re more a liability than anything else.


There’s a benefit to you if you manufacture and sell them; they are slightly less complex and expensive to make and you can list a lower weight. To the consumer? Pretty doubtful (on road).


Literally trying to “reinvent the wheel”.

1 Like

Ok so in reality it’s going to be like press fit bottom brackets. The industry trying to convince me that the solution to a problem that didn’t exist is a great idea.


Hooked rims were only necessary when tire manufacturers made bead diameters of somewhat random sizes. With standardized bead diameters the hook if not necessary. Just like prettty much every other tire/wheel on earth including high pressure applications. My one ton pickup used 100 psi in the rear tires when towing a trailer and had, of course, hookless rims. Aircraft tires go up to 200psi or so. As stated above the advantages of hookless is way easier to manufacture since it eliminates the entire hook forming step thus lowering the manufacturing cost, and the rims are stronger.


“Random bead diameters”

:joy: :rofl:

How much did the high pressure tires on your pickup weigh? How about that aircraft tire? What lean angle were you getting with your truck?


Bicycle tires have literally nothing in common with the scenarios you’re describing and hookless has no benefit on road bikes.


I’ve seen nothing to suggest that bike tyre companies have got better at making consistent bead diameters.

For example the old GP5000 TL was renowned as a very tight fit on many wheels due to being slightly undersized, in contrast Panaracer Gravelkings are often oversized and hence then a bugger to mount tubeless.


I think that hookless has no drawback from a performance point of view on road bikes and it does have benefits. I have both hooked and hookless wheels and from a tire fit/blowoff point of view I have had equal problems with both. I have had tires blow off my hooked rims that didn’t blow off my hookless rims. And I have tires that worked on neither rim. All tubeless since I don’t like flats and had many, many flats here until I went tubeless. My hookless rims are recent Enves that meet the new rim standards. My hooked are Stan’s and Cannondale that are older. It is true that it is taking time for tire manufacturers to adjust their sizing to the new standards. However, with tires that meet the standards I have never had a retention problem with either type of rim and tires are easier to mount with the new rim profile. The GP5000 didn’t meet the ETRTO standards until the new updated version and I had them have seating problems on all of my rims with the older version GP5000TL. Even if I used tubes I would want tires and rims to meet the size standards since I have had tubed tires blow off rims in the past.


Aside from anecdotal experience, that was all nonsense. Hookless rims are, in every way, a less secure tire to rim interface and your problems with GP5k’s had nothing to do with Conti not meeting the ETRTO standards, because they did meet the standards just like every other modern tire.

Hookless is a benefit for the manufacturer, not for the consumer.


Actually, the original version of the Conti GP5000TL did not meet ETRTO standards. The revised version has been claimed to meet it. This is information straight from an Enve support person who said that Enve tested the tires and, with Conti’s agreement, couldn’t recommend the original GP5000TL on their rims.

To me a lower price and higher impact resistance are actual consumer benefits.


Lol… saying it twice doesn’t make it truthful the second time, it just makes you wrong twice.

Those would be benefits… except that they aren’t cheaper and impact resistance on road rims isn’t a benefit. But yeah, otherwise, really solid points. :rofl:

The hookless options here appear to neither be cheaper or lighter:

I understand that Farsports also make OEM rims for many brands.


*savings in manufacturing may not be passed on to consumer. :slight_smile:

From the descriptions I have heard, there do seem to be legitimate manufacturing advantages for hookless that should result in lower manufacturing cost and tighter tolerances. How those show up to the end user is likely more a business decision than a technical one.


Buy what you want. I don’t care. I’ll buy what I want and will continue to disagree with you.

1 Like

Very happy owner of a near new used set of Bontrager XXX 4. Loved the price savings and great wheels. Run ‘em with latex in our flattish terrain.

Realized we were at were the pinnacle of rim brake wheel tech, and sourcing was going nowhere but south. Want for nothing more.

Now my Luddite ways need to find a 10sp NOS ultegra rear mech.

Only one data point but the GravelKing SK+ is the only tubeless tyre that I’ve completely failed to seat using all the usual “tricks” - Airshot, soapy water, even a compressor wouldn’t seat it. Currently using it with a tube and waiting for me to have patience to try again.

1 Like

And yet all GP5000s work just fine on my hooked Enve 3.4s. I think you’re making the case for hooked when Enve are saying hookless works with fewer tyres.

I’m assuming you removed the valve core when trying to seat it with the compressor? That’s my go to failsafe for hard to seat tyres.

Actually, I am making a case that tire manufacturers ought to make tires that are in specification. With the same set of wheels (hooked or hookless) I have always found that different brands fit differently. Some are easy to install by hand while others break tire irons trying to get them on the rim.