You don't realize how much bigger these hoops are until you park
it next to a 26" wheeled MTB.
The Stan's based wheels are my first set of "tubeless ready" wheels. I have three sets of UST wheels, on which I've always mounted UST tires. Never burped a tire, haven't flatted in six years. Amazing when you think about it. I do always run Stan's sealant in the tires. TubeLess Ready (TLR) rims are not UST certified and likely have a different rim bead than UST rims, as some UST tires will not seat properly on TLR rims. TLR rims give you the option of running regular tube type tires as tubeless, sometimes with mixed results. I've read that Bontrager TLR tires work well with Stan's rims. Bontrager has a couple racy models I'd like to try. There are only a couple other companies out there making 29" TLR tires, like Hutchinson.
Carbon frame, carbon bar, carbon post, even a little carbon
in the rear derailleur. Carbon has gained my trust.
Part of the idea behind the TLR system is to make the rim sidewalls short so the bead has no where to go when bottoming out the tire against the rim. This reduces burping (when you break the rim bead seal), reduces pinch flatting, and potentially makes it easier to initially inflate the tires. This also means it can be very tough to mount the tires, as there is no deep center channel to work the bead into. I found the Hutchinson Toro's a little stubborn to mount, but not any more so than UST tires on UST rims. I added 1.5 scoops of Stan's sealant inside each tire. Then it was time for the test: can you inflate the tire with ordinary floor pump? I could! It was no different than inflating a tubed tire. It was that easy. The beads immediately snapped into place with about 40psi.
The Toro's are spec'd at 2.15" wide. I found the widest part of the tire was the casing, which measured 1.95". So they're kind of skinny. The Toro's use Hutchinson's hardskin sidewalls to resist cuts, which probably means they ride like solid rubber tires (not very supple). We'll see.
Shimano might obsolete 9sp drivetrains soon. I was pissed when
I couldn't get 8spd setups anymore. It's like inverse Moore's Law:
Each cog added in back cuts performance and life in half while
doubling the cost.
The bike currently weighs 23.7 lbs. Not fly weight, but quite a bit lighter than my little wheeled Dean Ti hardtail (which went back to Dean for frame repair four months ago). Different tires and swapping out the Hayes rotors for Shimano Centerloc rotors could get the weight down under 23 lbs, but I'm not really a weight weenie. Either you got it or you don't. Efficient tires are far more important than 0.7 lbs. So here's the finish build spec.
- Frame: Gary Fisher Superfly, large
- Fork: Fox F29 RLC, custom offset for Superfly
- Headset: Cane Creek ZS-3
- Wheels: Stan's Arch rims, 32 Wheelsmith DB spokes, Shimano XTR hubs
- Brakes: Hayes Stroker hydraulic, 160mm rotors
- Crankset: Shimano XTR
- Shifters: Shimano XTR rapid fire
- Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR Shadow, traditional rise
- Cassette: Shimano XT, 11-34
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Pedals: Shimano XTR
- Bar: Easton Monkey Lite XC carbon
- Stem: Thomson Elite X4
- Skewers: Woodman Gator Ti
- Post: Easton EC-90 carbon
- Saddle: Terry Ti Fly
- Grips: ODI Rogue lock-on
- Tires: Hutchinson Toro, 29"x2.15" tubeless ready