Ask Guitar Ted: A Tubeless Question

Editors Note: Here at Twenty Nine Inches we get a lot of e-mails and questions regarding the big wheels. We thought it would be a great idea to share selected questions we recieve with a wider audience. Hence this new segment that will appear from time to time. Remember, if you would like to contact us, or if you have a question, just shoot us an e-mail at

This posts question has to do with compatibility issues with tubeless wheels and tires.

Can I use any 29er tire with my new Mavic wheels? Tubeless?

First, let’s deal with the first part, which is the easy question here. Yes, you can use any 700c/622 ISO bead tire meant for off road use. (You could even use a wider road specific tire, but we are not going there!) This includes any 29″er tire currently on the market and also tires that are knobby in the 32mm-45mm range. This would be with an appropriately sized tube, of course. Mavic’s tubeless technology does not require the use of a rim strip in the Crossmax 29″er wheels since the inner rim well isn’t pierced to install spokes.

Tubeless you say? Well now, that is the sticky question! The only tire that Mavic will currently recommend to use tubeless with the Crossmax 29″er wheels is the Hutchinson Python 29″er tire, which recently garnered UST approval with the use of sealant. (Which in itself is another whole post) Is this the only tire you could use tubeless with your new Mavic wheel set? Well, officially, the answer is a qualified yes, but there are new UST approved 29″er tires on the horizon from Hutchinson and Geax. (Both will require the use of sealants)

Unofficially folks have been trying all sorts of tires with sealants on these rims with the usual varying results. Blow offs and catastrophic failures have been reported to us and others using these wheels as a basis for folks experimentations.

I will only say that I have had some degree of success using Bontrager Tubeless Ready models on the Mavic Crossmax 29″er wheels with Bontrager’s Super Juice sealant. This isn’t an endorsement to use those tires on Mavic’s wheels, just something I have tried. (I have had e-mailed reports of failure using the Bontrager TLR tires on the Mavic Crossmax 29″er rims too, so be aware.)

So, to answer the question is a rather sticky affair, not unlike the sealant neccessary for such set ups. I think that if the Python isn’t your cup of tea, I’d use tubes until the UST approved 29″er tire you like better hits the market. When will that be? Now that’s a question I can not answer!


No Responses to “Ask Guitar Ted: A Tubeless Question”

  1. j-dog Says:

    Look for a 2nd Tubeless ready tire from Hutchinson in 08′. This tire will be much like the Bulldog but with more side knobs. I can’t wait for this tire.

    The Python 29 works much better than the 26 so don’t overlook it even though the tread is minimal. The lager footprint of the 29″ size makes a big difference.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    j-dog: Thanks for that comment. I too am excited to see this new Hutchinson tread. It would be great if it were something a bit wider too. I think that would be the thing to “seal the deal” for 29″er freaks that are wanting to go tubeless. (I point you to all the tubeless Rampage users as an example).

    That said, Captain Bob and I are really keen on what Geax might be up to. We really like the Saguaro, so we have high hopes for the next Geax 29″er tread.

  3. J-dog Says:

    Now that Mavic & Hutchinson have agreed on a UST 29 standard we should see some more tubeless ready 29 UST treads by the summer.

    If they build them tubeless ready (as I expect they might) we will see just one tire built for tubes or tubeless use.

    This is better for everyone but the weight weenies. It allows just one sku to work for both aplications. In the end this should make it easier for the shops and the tire builders.


  4. professed Says:

    As a staunch enthusiast of tubeless via sealant for speed, weight and grip benefits, I would like to add a few cents worth of positive notes against the:-

    “Blow offs and catastrophic failures have been reported to us and others using these wheels as a basis for folks experimentations”

    I have run all manner of tyres tubeless on Mavic UST rims (X819, Crossmax SL, Crossmax SLR etc – SL same except being 16mm rather than C29ssmax 19 mm internal profile) with great success. A trip to the local gas station or owner of a compressor is all that it takes to air the tyres up. Run em light, low pressure and fast – brilliant !

    Currently running a rather crazy combo of Maxxis Columbiere 32c slicks tubeless at 60-80 psi on Stans 355 29er rims (with a bit of extra support tape under the rubber rim strip) – defo not recommended, but so far rolls sweet , smooth as fast for commuting and road single speeding – its amazing what you can do with a bit of sealant !

  5. jonnyb Says:

    Just a quick question to those with experience — one of the major things holding me back from going tubeless is the fact that a good 6 months out of the year there is a good chance I’m going to be riding when it’s below freezing (4 months guaranteed). This is the same time I’d like to run really low pressures. Are the various sealants effected by cold — I’ve broken a lot of metal parts in the cold and the idea of trusting my toes to some latex at -30 doesn’t sound too good.

  6. George Krpan Says:

    Hey Ted,

    What exactly are the guidelines for rim width and tire width?
    For example, what’s the narrowest tire I could run on a 27.5mm wide (internally) rim?


  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    jonnyb: I might point out that Bontrager’s Super Juice is a glycol derivitave sealant taken from the trucking industry. I have had it set up in tires for months and had it still be wet inside the tire when I changed it out. Of course, this isn’t -30 degrees below zero info, but I think it gives a clue as to how it might work out.

    George Krpan: I always go by the sidewalls. If they bow outwards from the tread, ( ie: the bead has become the widest point in the tires cross section) I do not recommend them to be used on the rim in question. Your mileage may vary.

  8. gregdogg62 Says:

    Do the tubeless Bontrager tires only work with the Bontrager Rim, or can you throw those on a Mavic or Stans tubeless Rim? same with the Stans Crow, can those be used on Mavic or Bontrager rims?

    I am a total noob when it comes to tubeless systems and trying to decide which system makes the most sense.

  9. Guitar Ted Says:

    gregdogg: First, I have to tell you that none of what I am about to write is recommended by manufacturers, Twenty Nine Inches, or any of that sort of thing.

    Now, I’ll tell you what I have done. I have mounted Bontrager Tubeless Ready tires on Mavic’s Crossmax 29″er wheels. I thought it worked fine. I used the Super Juice sealant, by the way. Now, that said, I have read reports of blow offs using this combination and also with certain Stan’s combinations.

    The only solid information I can give you is “use at your own risk” if you try unrecommended combinations.

  10. Justin Wilson Says:

    Be very, very cautious with mating the crossmax wheels with the Bontrager super juice. I have a good friend who used this set up on his Crossmax wheels with Maxxis cross mark tires. He went off of a small jump and the tire blew out and grinded down part of his face. When I saw his face I put the tubes back in my wheels.

    I have also had this happen on my 26″ bike but luckily I was going up-hill when it blew out. To me it’s just to risky of a move for two reasons. 1) Your face and body is to valuable for this kind of experiment. 2) It gets pretty expensive replacing Mavic Cross max wheels. I would stay away from the Bontrager set up all together though.

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