See my up-to-date list of the best Black Friday store, category, and brand deals going on now.


The adoption of tubeless road tires and wheels for many cycling enthusiasts has not been easy.

Personally, I love the performance benefits tubeless brings me. More comfortable rides, better handling, lower rolling resistance, and almost no flats top my list. At the same time, I know there are many issues that cause some of you to come to hate tubeless and never know any of its benefits.

From what I can tell, loving or hating tubeless – and I don’t know many people who fall in between – is largely determined by your experience installing and maintaining tubeless road tires.

If you can get comfortable setting up and running the right combination of tubeless road tires and wheels, then you’ll love the benefits road tubeless gives you. If you can’t, nothing will overcome the dislike you develop trying to adapt to tubeless or the fear of dealing with a tubeless flat out on the road.

Yes, we can blame the industry for “hyping” technology that’s not ready for roadie time without first establishing standards. The reality, however, is that “standards” in the cycling world and in many other industries only come after years of adoption, if at all, are usually created in rather messy ways.

When one or two companies have a dominant share of the business, they use their market muscle to set the standard for what is acceptable design, performance, safety and other levels that smaller players follow. They will often dominate the standards issuing bodies or see those bodies adopt whatever levels they set. Helmet safety standards are a shameful example of this.

If there are no dominant players and no leaders appear to be emerging, years of negotiation between these competing players typically take place as part of the standards-setting committees they sit on. They are forced to work together to agree to some standards they can all meet to grow their business and have their individual investments pay off. This is what goes on in the cycling tire and wheelset market.

There are about a dozen sizeable companies making tubeless-ready road wheelsets and nearly as many, mostly different companies making tubeless road tires. So, we’ve got two fragmented sets of players that depend on each other to some degree for the ability to bring tubeless love (or hate) to road cycling enthusiasts.

None of these companies are in a position to dictate standards. So the discussions at cycling’s ISO and ETRTO standard’s setting committees continue at a speed that’s been way behind what is now two or three generations of new road tubeless wheelsets and tires.

It does me little good to blame the industry or wait for them to set (and follow) standards through these organizations. My goal, as it says at the top of every page of this site, is to figure out “What Cycling Gear to Get Next and Where to Get It” and share that with you.

The Challenge

My recent exchange with Alan, an In The Know Cycling reader, set me out on one of those “figure it out” challenges after he filed the following comment on my post The Best Tubeless Tires.

I found it impossible to mount the Conti 5000 TL on Mavic Kysirium Elite UST wheels. My local bike shop techies who are extremely experienced and professional failed as well.  Even though a Continental rep at RideLondon registration in August assured me that they would fit, I have now received a message from Continental stating that the tyre and wheel are incompatible!

Luckily my supplier has agreed to refund on the unopened tyre but not the attempted mounting one. So I am now left with an expensive tyre of no use to me and non-refundable; thanks Continental.

I didn’t immediately approve Alan’s comment (all first-time posters have to go through “moderation”). I was surprised by it (I’ll explain why below), wanted to learn more about his experience, and then add an informed response to his comment.

Was this incompatibility Conti’s fault, as Alan’s comment concluded? The Mavic UST or Universal System Tubeless had been heralded by Mavic and the cycling industry press as “easier to use and safer than existing tubeless systems” when it was introduced in 2017.

While not dominant in the wheelset industry anymore, certainly Mavic is well respected for the volume and quality of wheelsets they build, if not for their technology leadership. They were clearly attempting to set a standard with UST and hoped other wheelset and tire companies would follow

Further, this Conti tire had already been flagged by ENVE as one that shouldn’t be used with their hookless rimmed SES 4.5 AR and 3.4 AR disc wheels.

The Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL was the tire I had recommended as the best tubeless tire. Maybe I had it wrong? If so, I wanted to know that and get the word out to all readers.

I asked Alan to tell me more about the problems he’d had. He sent me the following helpful background about his experience and the photo you see at the top of this post.

I spent a hour at my local bike shop a couple of days ago trying to fit the tyre. I had already had several goes myself using the stretching the slack and finishing at the valve, also with tyre levers. The chaps at the shop are much stronger and have fitted many more tyres as me but hit the same problems as me. The tyres bead is far too tight and the best achieved as to have about 6” of rim left to go on.

He also sent me a copy of the email he’d received from the Continental Bicycle Tyres UK rep.

Hi Alan, If you could return them to your place of purchase for a refund, that
particular wheelset will only run with mavic ust tyres, this is down to
mavic’s design that does not comply with the etrto standard and nothing we
can do about it. Kind Regards, Rich


Oh, this was getting ugly, at least by polite British norms. Conti blaming Mavic for not living up to ETRTO standards? Yet Mavic is one of the chief funders of the ETRTO bicycle standards section and cites ETRTO in the size of all of their rims, including Alan’s Ksyrium Elite UST wheels (“ETRTO size: 622x17TC ROAD”).

This was getting uncomfortable for me. See, in addition to recommending the Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL, I had also picked the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheels as the Best Value in my Best Road Disc Wheelset Upgrades post and had called the ENVE 4.5 AR Disc wheelset the Best Performer in my Best Carbon Disc Wheelset post.

How could I recommend all of these if they didn’t work together?

Related: Click to read my latest review of The Best Tubeless Tires

The (Second) Experiment

I reached out to my friend Don who had a set of the same Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheels that Alan was struggling with. Don had come to hate tubeless and had given up on these wheels. He lent me his front wheel. (His back wheel had been trashed after he hit a pothole while riding at low pressure).

I also asked Alan if he was using a 25C size Conti tire to make sure I had the same combination he and his shop had tried to mount and that the Conti rep said were incompatible. His response added more context:

Hi Steve, Yes 25c tyres. I use Conti 4000 clinchers on my Zipp 303s and I am a big fan of their durability, puncture-resistance and grip. That’s why I wanted to use the 5000 on my Mavics. I had no confidence riding on the supplied Mavic tyres’ grip, especially after a slide off on a bend that the Conti’s would have handled easily.

I am hoping that I can find an alternative such as Vittoria or Specialised that can fit these wheels.  My local bike shop will help me with this and their fitting so should avoid wasting money on other no hopers!

Many thanks.



This got me thinking. Why don’t I do an installation test with a few different tires and wheels, including the ones Alan had tried, and see what happens. I did a similar experiment in my first review of the best tubeless tires that had included the Mavic Comete UST wheelset, a deeper, wider carbon one and the same Yksion Pro UST tubeless tire that came with Alan’s Ksyrium Elite UST wheelset.

During that first experiment, I had successfully if not easily mounted three other tubeless road tires – the original 25C Schwalbe Pro One, a 28C Maxxis Padrone TR, and Zipp’s Tangente Speed RT25 (25C) along with the much-adored Conti GP 4000 tubed clincher on the Comete UST rim.

When I reviewed the all-around, carbon Mavic Cosmic Pro SL UST wheelset (here), I had also successfully mounted and tested that wheelset with the Zipp Tangente Speed RT25 (tubeless) and the Conti GP 4000 (tubed) tires.

For this experiment of the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheelset that Alan had tried to mount the Conti GP 5000 TL on, I grabbed both a new and used 25C size Conti GP5000 TL to try and a Zipp Tangente Speed RT25 tire that I had mounted successfully on the other UST wheels.

I also pulled out new 25C and used 28C sizes of the latest generation Schwalbe Pro One TLE (“Tubeless Easy”) tire that recently replaced the first generation Pro One tubeless which had been so popular. The Schwalbe rep had told me that the tire had been build to the emerging, yet still unofficial ISO/ETRTO standard for tubeless road tires.

Finally, to make this even more fun, I added a Zipp 303 NSW disc wheel that I had used in the earlier experiment and a HED Vanquish 4 wheel from a set I reviewed this summer. Both of these wheels and other all-arounds are compared in my Best Carbon Disc Wheelset post.

To briefly conclude an already too long story,

  • Other than the Yksion Pro UST tire that Mavic supplies with each UST wheelset, I couldn’t mount any of the tires from Zipp, Continental or Schwalbe on the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheel.
  • All the tires, including the Yksion Pro UST, mounted rather easily on the HED and Zipp wheels.

When I say “I couldn’t mount”, I’m talking about the kind of mounting Alan and I attempted and that most enthusiasts would try in our own workshops when setting up a new set of tires or out on the road should we ever need to remount a tire after putting a tube in to account for an unsealable tire cut.

And when I say “mounted rather easily”, I’m talking about mounting the tire by hand within 30 seconds for most and 2 minutes with the aid of a tire lever at one spot on the rim for the Conti GP 5000 TL.

Interestingly, the Yksion Pro UST mounted within 30 seconds with no lever on the Zipp and HED wheels but it took me 2 minutes with the aid of a tire lever at one spot on the rim to get it on the Mavic Kysrium Elite UST wheel that it’s made for.

The Explanation

So why could I not get any tire other than the Yksion Pro UST on the Mavic Kysrium Elite UST while I could mount tires from several other brands on the Mavic Comete UST and Mavic Cosmic Pro SL UST wheels?

I don’t do science but I do do observation and deduction. And if you think that my use of the words “do do” before observation and deduction suggests this is all a bunch of crap, well I’m sorry. I’m generally skeptical of the claims I hear from cycling industry companies about how great their technology and products are so I’m left to do these kinds of experiments to figure things out.

Here’s how I explain the results of this experiment.

Wider rims making mounting tires easier – The Mavic Kysrium Elite UST wheelset has an inside rim width measured across the rim hooks of 16.7 mm. The other wheels in the experiment had inside rim widths ranging from 19 to 21 mm. In the case of all the rims tested, I clearly observed that the wider the rim, the wider the channel in the center of the rim.

The Mavic rim channel measured about 8.5 mm wide from edge to edge. The HED rim channel was nearly twice as wide at 16mm.

The HED Vanquish 4 wheelset has a rim channel width nearly double that of the Mavic Kysrium Elite UST

With a wider channel, more of the second bead of the tire is going to stay in the channel alongside the first as you mount it than it would with a narrower channel. The channel depth effectively reduces the tire rim’s circumference by enough to make mounting a modern tire where both beads can fit in that channel pretty easy. Without a channel or without being able to get that second bead into the channel, you’re not likely to be able to mount your tire at all.

Wider tire beads make mounting tires harder – The Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL’s bead is clearly the widest of the four tires tested. It measures about 4mm while the Zipp and Schwalbe (about 3.3mm) and Yksion (2.9mm) are narrower.

Tubeless Road Tires

The bead width, stiffness, and profile of each tire are different, though it’s hard to know how big an effect this has in mounting

This is likely why it took me a bit longer and required a lever for me to mount the Conti than the others on the wheels with the wider channel. It may also explain in part why the Yksion went on the Kysrium Elite whereas the others couldn’t. I say “likely” and “in part” because, while I can’t quantify it, each tire’s bead stiffness and profile in addition to their widths seem different enough to have some effect on how easy or hard the mounting was. At least that’s what my thumbs were telling me.

I don’t think, however, that the bead width, stiffness or profile was as big a contributor to mounting as was the rim channel width. And, I would suspect the bead design is driven by getting the tire to seal and stay in place once on the rim than getting it on that rim in the first place.

Wheelset depth, tire size, tire age all matter little – Shouldn’t it be easier to get the same tire on a shallower rim as it doesn’t have as far to go over the edge of the rim?  Shouldn’t a wider tire or an older one be easier to mount on the same rim because they have more slack either because of their size or being a bit stretched out due to their age?

Apparently not. Rim beds and channels typically sit at about the same depth relative to the top of the rim wall regardless of rim’s overall depth. And size or age doesn’t appear to make for any more room or stretch.

A UST designation is not important, at least to the ability to mount a tire – Despite Mavic’s UST claims, I haven’t found any significant difference mounting UST vs. non-UST tires on UST rims with the exception of the Ksyrium Elite UST rim and UST tire combination. While we can debate some of the other claimed benefits of UST, making mounting easier wasn’t a significant or even noticeable benefit of UST in my experiments. In my first experiment, I actually found it took longer and more tire levering to mount both the UST tire and non-UST tires on the Comete UST wheel than it did to put them on the Zipp.

Either way, to Alan and the rest of you that own the Ksyrium Elite UST wheelset, I would suspect the Vittoria or Specialized or other current 25C tubeless road tires may not easily fit on your wheels.

That said, I don’t think the Yksion Pro UST tires are bad. In my ride testing, I found they were are a big improvement over the prior generation of non-UST Yksion tires.

What Else Matters

While mounting a tubeless tire is a make or break consideration to even consider tubeless, if we were to choose between tires based on this alone we’d be missing a lot about what makes some tubeless tires better for you than others.

There other installation considerations – how easily does a tire inflate on the rim, how well does it seal, how long does it hold air? I answer these questions in the experiment section of the tubeless tire review I’ve referred and provided a link to above.

You’ll also find explanations of the five performance criteria that matter most in choosing between tubeless road tires in that review. In no particular order, they are

  1. Rolling resistance
  2. Puncture resistance
  3. Road feel
  4. Aerodynamics
  5. Durability

And then, of course, there are price differences between tubeless tires that will help you choose between them.

But, if we were to choose only between tubeless road tires for the above reasons and not consider how well a tire works with your wheelset together, that would be a big mistake as Alan and I, unfortunately, found out.

Beyond the difficulty of mounting a tire, how well the tire bead works with the rim hook determines how well it seals and holds air. And, as I mentioned earlier, some tubeless tires aren’t recommended for use with certain hookless rimmed wheels.

You should also pick your tubeless tire size knowing your rim width based on whether you prioritize for comfort, handling or aerodynamics or some combination of them. I wrote this post about that subject for tubed clincher tires a few years ago but it applies equally well for tubeless ones.

Recommending Tubeless Road Tires and Wheels

Some of you may be wondering: How can you recommend a tire like the Conti GP 5000 TL and wheels like the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST or ENVE 4.5 AR that don’t work together?

Well, I’m recommending specific tires and wheels separately rather than in combination. I have also written, as in the case I mentioned just above, about the importance of considering tires and wheels together and given you some sizing if not product recommendations on those combinations based on your priorities.

In the same way, I’ve also recommended how to choose what type of wheels you should consider (e.g. upgrade alloy, carbon all around, aero, etc.) based on your riding profile, goals, and budget. You can see that post here.

All of that said, I know there are some tubeless tires and wheels that don’t work together. While I can’t check out every or even most combinations, I will go back through my tubeless tire review and add some specific recommendations about which tires I know don’t work with specific wheels or categories of wheels.

Hopefully, that will help those of you like Alan avoid the hassle he’s gone through and make better decisions from the start.

Share Your Experience

To help me and your fellow road cycling enthusiasts with this, I’d love to read about your experiences installing and maintaining tubeless road tires. You can use the comment section below to tell us what’s worked or not worked for you.

Answers to these kinds of questions would be great.

  • What tubeless-ready wheels and tires do you use?
  • How long did it take you and what techniques did you use to get your tires on your wheels?
  • Did they seal with a track pump or did you use a compressor?
  • How much sealant do you put in? How much pressure do you lose between rides?
  • What kind of sealant do you use? How often do you top off or replace your sealant?
  • Have you had a puncture that didn’t seal on the road? How did you deal with it?
  • Do you love or hate tubeless? Why?

And lastly, if you haven’t tried tubeless yet but are thinking about it, tell me what questions you need to be answered to help you make a decision.

*      *      *      *

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and supporting the site. To keep in touch with what I’m posting and your fellow roadies are commenting on, use the popup form to get an email when new posts come out and the icons below to follow me.

Thanks and enjoy your riding safely.

In The Know Cycling is ad-free, subscription-free, and reader-supported. If you want to help keep it rolling without any added cost to you, buy your gear and kit after clicking the store links on the site. When you do, we may earn an affiliate commission that will help me cover the expenses to create and publish our independent, comprehensive, and comparative reviews. Thank you, Steve. Learn more.


  • Let me answer the initial questions as I haven’t ridden enough to talk about my satisfaction.

    What tubeless-ready wheels and tires do you use?

    Roval CL 32 (same as CLX32s, with DT350 instead of DT240 hubs and non-aero spokes). Discs.
    Continental GP5000 TL 28″

    How long did it take you and what techniques did you use to get your tires on your wheels?

    Getting them onto the wheel was painful (strength and curse words required) but doable if I kept at it. Not sure how long it took, but I’d guess 20 minutes per wheel is a reasonable estimate for next time.

    Did they seal with a track pump or did you use a compressor?

    This entire process was a huge pain in the butt – I almost sold the tires and went back to tubed. I don’t have a compressor so I tried a track pump initially. That got me nowhere. I then used a CO2 cartridge until the tires felt somewhat firm and I heard the “cracks” that hinted the tire had become seated into the wheel. I tried to put in sealant next but I realized that the tire would not stay seated in the wheel, meaning I had wasted the cartridge for nothing. I read a review on CyclingTips that mentioned this issue – it’s the Roval wheels, not the tires, that cause this; tubeless tires do not stay seated in the wheels without pressure.

    I needed to put the sealant in first and then pump up the tires. I didn’t have any more cartridges (I’d used a bunch trying to figure this issue out) so I found a local gas station with paid air compressors.

    After an hour I noticed the tires becoming softer and overnight, the tire went completely soft. I believe the tire had remained seated, but I knew this wasn’t going to a ride-able situation. I took the bike to a local bike shop to ask what I had done wrong but they didn’t see anything wrong. They suggested going out on a ride with it.

    They had pumped the tires, but this time the tires did not go soft right away and since then the tires have been been fine. (I actually pumped the tires a few times between the initial time and the bike shop, but am not sure how many times)

    I left the bike alone a month before actually riding it outdoors but the tires remained seated. For next time, maybe I do need to ride it or pump it up a few times at high pressures and wait for the tires to stabilize? I did rotate the tires quite a bit during initial inflation for the sealant to take hold in the tire/wheel gaps.

    How much sealant do you put in? How much pressure do you lose between rides?

    About 60ML of Stan’s NoTubes Tire Sealant. My first (and only) ride on the the tires were 4 days ago; I’ve lost about 10% in tire pressure (I run 50/60 PSI, front and rear) since then.

    What kind of sealant do you use? How often do you top off or replace your sealant?

    Have you had a puncture that didn’t seal on the road? How did you deal with it?

    Do you love or hate tubeless? Why?

  • Thank you for the best summary of the state of road tubeless anywhere, at least that I can find. In doing some digging on the newest Schwalbe pro 1 TLE, this company links to a diagram entitled “the optimum wheel for Schwalbe tubeless road tires”, found here:
    Since this newest tire is claimed to be ETRTO compliant, can we assume this diagram is essentially the new, and mysteriously not yet announced, set of standards for wheels, or just a stopgap to assist potential buyers for this tire? Like many others planning a new build, the current wild west as it has been described for tubeless is seriously clouding purchase decisions on what are not inexpensive components.

    • Colin, Thanks for your kind feedback. Much appreciated. As to the new Schwalbe Pro 1 TLE, I think Schwalbe is trying to get ahead of things by making this tire to what they believe discussions suggest to them will be the new ETRTO tubeless tire standard. I’m not aware that there is a new standard yet nor what it might be. And, the current standard describes the range of tire sizes for a given rim size rather than specify the rim size and all the rim dimensions like shown in the diagram you linked to.

      I don’t have any inside info on what the new standard will be but I do know that while a hooked, 17C rim is common now, especially on alloy stock and upgrade wheels, it is narrow compared to rim widths that have seemed to coalesced around 19C for carbon road rim brake wheels and 21C for carbon road disc brake wheels. And a good number, though still a minority of disc brake wheels are hookless at 21C and even more at 23C and 25C.

      The reality is that these things are evolutionary. What we’ve seen is that over 4-5 years rims get wider, tires follow, bike frame chainstays and forks get wider to accommodate them and then the whole 4-5 year process starts all over again. Throw market developments like gravel, where everything is more comfortable at even wider sizes and riders who want one wheelset they can ride (with different tires) on both paved and unpaved roads on top of standards bodies that move like molasses and there’s little to be gained from waiting for ETRTO and their already decades out of date tire standards.

      What does that mean for you and your fellow road cycling enthusiasts? First, I would consider the best tire after you first pick the best wheelset for what you want to do and knowing that it will fit your bike. Picking a tire first is bass-ackward. I’ve written extensively about wheels and tires and recently about 2020 bikes so you can check out those.

      Second, watch for developments and field reports. I’ve written about actual tire sizes on different size wheels before (see this Know’s Notes post) and will update those from time to time. FYI, the new 28C Pro One TLE measured 27.7mm wide on my 21C Zipp 303 NSW disc demo wheelset and 27.5mm on the 21C i9.45. The 25C Pro One TLE measured 26.1mm and 26.5 respectively on the same wheelset, both hooked and all at 80psi. I didn’t ride each combination extensively but for the ones I did, I rode them at about 60 psi and had no issues (though they aren’t my preferred tubeless tires).

      Third, don’t wait on ETRTO. They will probably be designed for the lowest common denominator highest sales volume wheels (e.g. stock wheels) while most enthusiast-level wheelsets will already be far ahead and evolving much faster. Steve

      • Steve to be clear I am not focused on the Schwalbe tire, just curious if they were hinting as to rim standards which are the important piece. And while you have done lots of useful measuring on width, I’m not too hung up on that either; in a new build it should be easy enough to ensure the max real tire/rim width will be large enough for your planned needs. Both Schwalbes and Mavic’s “ideal rim” actually leaves width open, it would really be specifying – this is what a hook should look like, a central valley, and a diameter with min/max acceptable variance. I think at least some of the “impossible mounting” situations, ie. Alan’s issue where you began this thread, is due to diameter issues as much as width. Mavic has claimed, in their UST tech threads, that existing wheel makers were in cases over 1mm larger than nominal 700c diameter, and further that some tubeless tire makers were cheating on the small end, ensuring safety at the expense of mounting. In the end, unmountable tubeless=useless tubeless, thats all I am looking to steer clear of. And real world “Steve notes that Schwalbe P1 fits easy on Zipp” is still hugely useful. Cheers and good riding:)

  • What tubeless-ready wheels and tires do you use?

    DT Swiss RC28C wheels, with Conti 5000 TL 25mm tires, Schwalbe Pro 1 25 and 28mm, many Hutchinson tubeless tires

    How long did it take you and what techniques did you use to get your tires on your wheels?Did they seal with a track pump or did you use a compressor?

    The Schwalbes go on with a hand pump. The Contis are devilish in that they hugely awkward to mount, and worse fall into the rim when deflated. The Contis required special valves that allow addition of sealant without deflating the tires.

    How much sealant do you put in? How much pressure do you lose between rides?50ml for 25mm, 60ml for 28mm. The Schwalbes held their pressure for days. The Contis require airing daily.

    What kind of sealant do you use? How often do you top off or replace your sealant?

    Stans. I replenish every 3 months.

    Have you had a puncture that didn’t seal on the road? How did you deal with it?

    I’ve had cuts that wouldn’t seal with the Schwalbes. I had to put in a tube to get home.

    Do you love or hate tubeless? Why?

    I love and hate it. I was an early adopter with the first Hutchinson tubeless tires and abandoned the technology as hopelessly immature; the tires were hugely heavy, rode like bricks, the sealant corroded my beautiful Dura Ace tubeless rims which Shimano refused to warrant. I’m a hater because this technology hugely punished early adopters and ten years later the punishment continues!

    I came back to tubeless with the new crop of much better tires. I’m sticking with it for now because of the greater safety promised by this technology. Clincher blow outs are scary and dangerous. I ride entirely in places with huge climbs which means huge descents and that is when a blow out is more than scary. The prospect of a tubeless tire which stays on the rim is what brought me to this tech in the first place.

    But the problems continue, the new Schwalbe tires wear like butter, and the new Contis are truly awful to mount. Worse, the rim/tire incompatibilities seriously undermine the safety claims for tubeless. Leonard Zinn has written several times in his tech column about this, and has landed on the idea that the original Mavic standard is necessary to ensure safety. The reader accounts cited there about catastrophic deflation due to rim/tire incompatibility are chilling. Rationally, it appears that this tech still is not ready. I’m still willing to consider it because I regard clinchers as obviously dangerous as well. I use Conti tubeless tires even though I’ve described them as simply infernal pretty much solely because I think that the fat bead used on this tire means it is probably going to stay on the rim longer in the case of a flat. But at this point, that is more a leap of faith than anything else.

  • Hi Steve, I have recently bought a set of ksyrium elite use wheels with the yksion pro wheels already on them. Having read the difficulty in attaching the conti 5000 tubeless wheels I would like to know how difficult it is to change to my preferred conti 4000 11 tubed clincher wheels, as I prefer tubes. Are they as difficult to get on the wheels as the 5000’s? Would be very grateful if you could advise me before I try.thanks Dave.

    • David, depends on the inside width of the wheels, whether they are UST rims or not, and what width tires you want to put on. If it’s close to the set up I’ve described above, not likely to work. If it’s 19C or wider, will work. Steve

  • Great article, but I have been able to fit a 28mm gp5000 tl to my Kysrium elite ust without too much fuss.

    I installed one side of the tyre and got the other side as far as I could get it to go, working towards the valve. Left it in the sun for half an hour, used The “twist” method which let me with about a couple of inches of bead to flick in with a tyre lever. I used a standard track pump with a couple of full strokes and it went straight up, let the air out in with the Stans sealant and holding nicely.

    No, it was by no means easy, but it wasn’t that hard either. My thumbs are a bit sore from the twisting, but what tubeless tyre is a breeze to fit? I made sure that once I had the one side in it was nested nicely in the centre channel and working towards the valve seemed to do the trick. I was expecting a slog, but it was pleasantly surprising

    Don’t believe the tubeless haters, gp5000 and Mavics do go together

    • I can attest that in fact the GP5000TL WILL fir on a Mavic Ksyrium UST rim. It took some work – namely lots of cursing and sore thumbs and attempting a hair dryer last night. I decided to give it a rest and use FL solar power to help. I sat the wheels out side in the sun this morning and let them heat up, then soaped them up and used zip ties to hold the last few inches while I levered with the Pedros. The first wheel took more effort than the second, mainly due to the cool down while I worked on my technique. I hardly needed the lever for the last bit on the 2nd rim, although it was necessary.

      Getting them to seat with the track pump took some vigorous pumping, but they really “snap” onto the bead. They better ride well!!

  • “if you haven’t tried tubeless yet but are thinking about it, tell me what questions you need to be answered to help you make a decision”

    The promise of tubeless (lower pressure/increased comfort, improved rolling resistance, puncture resistance) is hard to resist.
    I am looking into Bontrager Aeolus Pro 5 rims (would go XXX, but cost is prohibitive).

    The complications switching to disc are already adding up; finding the right axle for my Tacx trainer has been a pain in the rear – Tacx (Garmin) support themsleves unable to be definitive.

    It seems these complications extend to tire selection, as my desire to fit Continental 5000s tubeless to those future rims is put in doubt. I am moving from the supremely smooth rolling Schwalbe Ones (tubed), as mine have experienced several flats in the past 2 years, including sidewalls. Too bad, those were buttery smooth.

    So here I am, apprehensive about the entire move to disc (done) and tubeless (upcoming) – as it seems that there are huge variables and unknowns where I had become accustomed to having tire preferences and wheels preferences and not having to worry about feuds and incompatibilities. (According to my online research, at least.)

    In eCommerce consulting, we explain that uncertainty is a HUGE barrier to people buying (conversion) and along with site/app speed, should be the priority. Honestly, I’m hoping brands can suspend the “Lighter / faster / longer-lasting / grippiest” pitch for a month and focus on agreeing to a standard – one that can easily be understood by consumers, without too many conditions (“Yes, but what is your thread pitch, sir?”).

    Every quick release skewer I had worked with every wheel I had, on which I could fit the tires of my choice.

    At least cassettes still fit everywhere. For now.

    • Bernhard, I hear you. Standards a being developed though it is slow. Perhaps you should stay with what you’re most comfortable with for now. Steve

  • After a few months of running Mavic’s Yksions on Ksyrium rims, I was really frustrated at how often they were puncturing. I was generally getting less than 2000km on them. Having used GP4000s (pre-tubeless), I had wanted to try GP 5000TLs but had been vary wary because of various online forums/comments/reviews talking about how hard it was to get the tyres on. … So how did it go?

    I decided to try front-wheel first as this was “leaking sealant” pretty much every ride. I have managed to roll the tyre onto the wheel, but it certainly wasn’t easy. …
    – I left the tyre outside in the sun for about 45 minutes before trying. UK sun, but it was a heatwave (30 degree +).
    – Getting the first bead onto the rim was pretty easy
    – I was careful to ensure the first bead was sitting in the centre of the rim
    – I got the second bead to about 85% on fairly easily
    – Using a mix of thumbs and (plastic) levers, I basically tried getting it on over the same area of rim for about half-an-hour, moving back and forth, back and forth
    – Eventually, after much sweat and one blistered thumb, I levered it onto the rim
    – I inflated with Specialized’s blaster and it seated first time

    I’ve had 2 rides now and both seemed fine.

    Tyre for rear wheel is now ordered and as soon as blister heals, I’ll try work it onto the rear wheel.

    • David, Thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, you need to able to get them off and back on again relatively easily if you need to put a tube in on the road. That’s why some tires just aren’t a great solution with some wheels. I write more about this in my recently published reviews on tubeless tires. Steve

  • What tubeless-ready wheels and tires do you use?

    My wheel set is the Easton EA90 SL and I’ve used both Hutchinson Fusion 5 and GP5000 TLs.

    How long did it take you and what techniques did you use to get your tires on your wheels?

    I had the bike shop set up the Hutchinson tires and have had good and bad luck with the Continentals. The Continentals really are the most difficult tires I’ve mounted and and have taken me as little as ten minutes or close to an hour from start to finish (mounting to inflation), you know your in for it when the first side of the tire requires some muscle to get on the rim. The only way I’m able to get the second bead on is to use the friction burn technique, without gloves my hands end up getting pretty sore.

    Did they seal with a track pump or did you use a compressor?

    With the Easton wheels it seems like the first attempt with freshly taped rims is far easier than the second attempt, I’ve had the rear tire inflate with a hand pump once and only once otherwise I’ve used the Specialized air canister and recently bought a 5 gallon Bosch compressor to make life easier. I recently taped the rims (with Stan’s) myself and noticed, after removing the tire, that the tape recesses slightly into the spoke holes, I believe this explains why the tires are so much more difficult to inflate with the valve in the stem not to mention the extremely thick bead on the GP5000s. I am heavy (210 lbs) and run 80/85 psi in the front/rear so I’m sure this puts a lot of stress on the tape as well. I’m going to try Veloplugs below the rim strip to solve this problem (they are not recommended for tubeless) but I’m not getting my hopes up. Right now I am unable to seat the tire on my front wheel so I’m temporarily using a clincher with an inner tube.

    How much sealant do you put in? How much pressure do you lose between rides?

    I typically put 40 ml in the tires to compensate for potential spillage while attempting to inflate them.

    What kind of sealant do you use? How often do you top off or replace your sealant?

    I started with Cafelatex but switched to Stan’s and now use Stan’s Race sealant. They all seem to do a good enough job but the Stan’s cleans up a little more easily and it always gets glowing reviews. I try to stick with the 3 month top off or replace rule and usually it is needed, more often than not I just replace the sealant after wiping the inside of the tire off and removing the larger deposits of dried sealant.

    Have you had a puncture that didn’t seal on the road? How did you deal with it?

    I did have one sidewall puncture that wouldn’t seal but it was a slow leak so I pulled over 3 or 4 times to add air but eventually had to install an inner tube about 5 miles from home. I’m almost positive it was from a sharp rock in the road that I didn’t notice and I doubt any tire would have survived. I haven’t had a chance to use it (thankfully) but I bought the Stan’s dart tool which looks to be the best option out there assuming it works, it is supposed to be safe for sidewall punctures as well.

    Do you love or hate tubeless? Why?

    Like so many others out there my feelings towards tubeless are certainly love/hate. When things are going good they give me supreme confidence that I will not have an issue out on the road but I dread having to change tires or replace sealant. I would love to give my lbs more business but I don’t want to be without my bike for days or weeks for something I should be able to handle myself. Next time I need new tires I probably will try the Zipps since they have the narrower bead. I do wish companies would keep the 700×23 size available in tubeless for those of us using alloy rims, I wouldn’t mind getting a slight aero advantage although with wider rims most wouldn’t fall into the 105 rule anyway.

    • I forgot to mention it but I typically lose about 5 to 10 psi per day, but on a couple of occasions I’ve gone at least 2 day without losing any pressure at all.

      • Well it turns out all I needed was DT Swiss rim tape, my tire just seated using a floor pump. I did wrap my rim twice with Stan’s so it may have been too thick.

  • So is this article saying you cannot fit GP5000TL’s on to a Mavic Comete Carbon SL UST wheel? I have just spent 3 hours trying and cannot get one on. Is it actually impossible to do?

    • Richard, I think you just answered your own question. You wouldn’t want to be out on the road with a puncture that requires a tube and not be able to get your tire back on. Steve

      • Thank you for the reply Steve and for the article. I tried again last night and even with my wife helping I could not get the GP5000 TL second bead on. Reading your article the thickness and blocky shape of the bead is the problem as there isn’t enough room in the wheel well. Also, as the tires are so tight (diameter), the 1st bead pulls itself back into the well if you try and move it out of the way to fit the 2nd bead. Really disappointed after researching and wanting to go ‘all in’ with road tubeless. I have very nice set of wheels, which I am lucky to have, partially chosen as I thought they were the most tubeless compatible but now it seems I potentially only have the choice of Mavic tires for tubeless.

        Two questions:
        Do you think the GP5000 tube type may work as I presume it has a much smaller cross section bead?
        Anyone have any experience of the YKSION PRO UST II (2) vs the original YKSION PRO UST?

        • Richard, Sorry to read about all your troubles. The GP5000 TL has been a no go for me as well on some wheels while on others it’s been no problem. The reality is that some tubeless tires are easier to get on some wheels than others. You might want to take a look at my recent post here to look at how the best I’ve tested compare and see if you want to try another tubeless tire.

          As to your two questions, I haven’t tested the GP5000 clincher on that wheelset but I’d expect it would go on without a problem. Clincher beads aren’t nearly as stiff as tubeless ones. I don’t know how different the new Yksion Pro UST II is from the first one but you shouldn’t have any problems installing it as it is sized to fit on Mavic UST rims. Steve

  • Mounting problem solved.

    First thank you for the previous comments and suggestions. I was able to mount the 25mm Conti 5000 TL on the Mavic UST in under 10 minutes with leaver gloves (hands were worn out from previous attempts), soap/water spray bottle spraying tire and inside of rim. After i got the 1st bead on I removed the gloves and starting 180 from the stem i applied zip ties to the rim which forced the bead to the center and help hold rim to seat bed tension as i worked my way to the stem. I then sprayed soap and water to the final 3.5 spoke width and applied the last cable ties to each side which acted like a 2nd set of hands. Now i used the KOOL STOP Tire bead jack for the final section and it worked on the 1st attempt without problem.

    Yes i know there will be no way to put a tube in this setup but will take my chances with sealant, plugs & CO2.

    Hopes this helps others.

    • Just wanted add 1 last tip which is a pretty significant. Once you have the second bead zip tied you should have around 12-14 ties on the rim with the tire overhang on final 3.5 spoke width.

      Now its critical that you ensure there is still soap / water on the inside of this rim. Once done go back at 180 degrees from the stem and twist / rotate the tire away from you at each zip tie point. This pulls and HOLDS the bead into the v section of the rim. Then on each remaining zip tie pull the small amount of slack created in the previous step and repeat the twist. Congratulations you are now 95% done! Just 1 more soap / water spray at the stem between the tire overhang and rim and use the Kool Stop tire bead jack with one hand on the lever and other hand supporting the tire hook end (because its just plastic) and pull the tire up.

      Boom you have just done the impossible.
      Yes – this is an absolute and total PIA but it does work and the tires are working perfectly.

      A friend who has been running these for a few months on a non UST rim reports that the tires do stretch a bit so maybe there is hope this will be easier to remove.

  • Conti’s have generally been more difficult to mount than other brands, across the board. It’s a matter of degree from model to model, but Continental obviously believes in tight beads.

    My only experience with 5000 tubeless came today when I mounted them to some carbon wheels I built. Nextie 45mm hooked tubeless rim brake rims. I expected it to be difficult to mount them, and it was very difficult. It took me an hour to mount the front tire, and I literally wore the skin off part of my right thumb. I put gloves on to finish it, which helped, and asked a friend to come over to help me with the rear wheel. Working together we mounted the rear tire in minutes.

    I sudsed the beads and they inflated and popped into place immediately using my compressor. I pulled the valve cores, squirted in an ounce of Stan’s, and reinflated them. A few hours later they are holding full pressure.

    I think it’s possible to mount these tires to most hooked rims, but probably not without tire levers and a couple of strong people. There’s always a risk of damaging a rim, so one has to wonder if it’s worth it.

    Here’s the thing, though, about tight tubeless tires. These things aren’t coming off any easier than they went on, so anyone who thinks they can stick a tube into a cut 5000 by the side of the road is delusional.

    But, I think it’s probably worth the effort. They’re good tires. I mostly ride tubulars, and thought I would build a tubeless wheelset for simplicity. So much for that! Tubulars are a piece of cake compared to these beasts.

  • Steve,
    Super helpful article. Wanted to share my experience and get some advice. I have been riding on Mavic ksyrium’s as a winter training wheel for years, paired with either Conti 4000’s or 4 seasons. I have never had any issues with traction on fast club or group training rides. A few weeks ago I had to ge some new Ksyrium Elite’s UST as the old non-UST versions died. As you know they come with the Yksion 2’s. I must confess I wasn’t immediately impressed by the tyres quality but hey they came free and the tubeless set up was a doddle. First couple of dry rides fine. First damp ride back end twitched a couple of time coming round a relatively easy corner same speed same line on local loop that never seen an issue with the Conti’s on. I chalked it down to maybe a one off. Big mistake couple of days ago turning right and accelerating out of a junction bang bike went from underneath me. £600 damage to bike and kit plus a broken clavicle and road rash I now have zero confidence in this tyre in wet conditions. I immediately though no worries once I’m back on the road switch out to the 5000 TL’s but I can see this in not a realistic option. My question therefore is firstly what tubeless tyre which is compatible with the Elite UST most closely matches wet condition grip of the 5000 or 4 seasons tyre and secondly will I be ok to fit a non-tubeless 5000 or 4 seasons tyre as presumably the beed will be not as tight as the tubeless version so should just go on as normal ? Many thanks and keep up the superb job you are doing. Matt

    • Matt, so sorry to hear about your crash. I’ve been there so I know it’s not fun. Hope you heal up soon. If you want to stay tubeless, I’ve written an entire post here reviewing a bunch of the better tires including a comparative chart. While I did comment on their dry handling and rated them overall for road feel, we didn’t go out and test or compare them on wet roads. If anyone has done that, it would probably be Tour Magazine (in German, subscription required). Some tubeless tires just go better on some tubeless-ready rims than others. While I haven’t tested all combinations, I’ve rated those higher that do better for the wheels I’ve tested under the Installation ratings and the specific tire reviews.

      With those wheels, you can certainly go with tubed/clincher tires if you are more comfortable with those and the clincher 5000s or 4 Seasons should work. The key things to mention are tire size – keep them at 25mm or less for best handling – and inflation level – don’t go too low. Tires that are too wide and/or underpressured may give you better handling but will certainly give you poorer handling. Be (or get) well, Steve

  • Charlie Collinson

    Mavic Kysrium UST. This summer I hit a rock on a descent in S. France. This resulted in instant flat tyres front and rear and one rim trashed. However the sealant held the tyres in place and I was able to stop safely from 40-45kph-ish. The rock had punched a sizeable hole in the sidewalls of both tyres, both Mavic tyres trashed. I took the wheels into my LBS where I had bought them and they checked the rear rim and replaced the front rim. They didn’t have the Mavic Yksion in stock and recommended Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance tubeless instead. I fitted these tyres two weeks ago. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but no more difficult than the yksions. Two minutes, finishing at the valve with a Park Tool tyre lever, carefully. I must add that I’m not exactly the Hulk – 6’ 1” and 61 LG’s. I pumped them up with a Joe Blow regular track pump. Nice pinging sound as they seated. I have to wait until I’m back in France to try them, but after two weeks they are still rock solid and that’s without using any sealant. I live in hope that the tyres also perform well.
    I liked the Mavic tyres, they were comfortable, rolled well and cornered well and until I hit that rock never had a puncture, or maybe I didn’t know if I had.
    I will try to remember to comment on the Hutchinson’s performance in due course (and if that helps). In the mesntime I’ll be keeping an eye out for those rocks!

  • For anyone coming to this now, I’ve just bought a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elites and fitted them this evening with Conti GP5000 TLs. It’s certainly possible, but it’s not simple and the first took a lot longer that it should have!

    I should say, I think my wheels are the 2020 model with 19mm internal width, so the inner channel may be wider than it was on the earlier models of 17mm internal width, but either way, the bead on the Contis are still huge and two of them don’t comfortably fit in that channel.

    The method therefore is to get the first side of the tyre over the rim as normal, then as you’re putting the second bead in, roll the tyre towards you (assuming you’re looking at the second bead side), lifting the back and pushing the front down with your thumbs so you’re effectively lifting the opposite edge of the tyre out of the channel and dropping the new one in. Work all the way round the wheel like this and you should generate enough slack to pop the bead over the rim ready to seat it. If you can do that last step without a lever, you’re a better man than me!

    Once on, they’re a piece of cake to get seated with just a regular track pump.

    Also, to Matt, I know what you mean about the Mavic tyres. I had them on my Cosmics and they were fine for the summer, but on the first wet ride, I totally lost all confidence in them through a series of twitches in situations where the Contis would have been absolutely fine. Needless to say, the first thing I’ve done on two later sets of Mavics – Ksyrium Elites and Allroad Elites – is bin the Mavic rubber!

  • Great post – I thought I was alone with challenges with the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST’s. Whilst the wheels are bulletproof and reliable, the challenge with tyres makes me regret buying them.

    I’ve generally been fine getting tyres on, my issue is getting them off. I’m currently running Schwalbe G-One Speed and Vittoria Rubino Pro tubeless 700×30 tyres. The Schwalbe are ok but haven’t been great for punctures hence recently putting on the Vittoria, but at least I can get the Schwalbe off. The Vittoria goes on with tyre levers but is impossible to get off. The issue is getting the bead of the tyre over the lip in the rim. The bead is just so tight that I had to use a screwdriver to push the bead over then I could use tyre levers. I just hope the sealant works and I never have to remove the tyre mid ride and fit a tube.

    By contrast to the Mavic UST’s my other bike is running Roval SLX 24 wheels and I have no issues getting the tyres on/off and am currently running GP5000 TL 32c

    I’ll take a look at the links in the posts above but happy to hear of any recommendation for 30c tubeless tyres for the winter that go on/off the Elite UST’s and alternates to using a screwdriver to push the tyre over to get it off.

  • Excellent post that confirms the struggle I have had with the GP 5000 TL on the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST.
    I use 700×28 GP 5000 TL, and it took me 30min to an hour per wheel, trying to fit the bead into the middle of the rim. Difficult, swearing period, f…. etc, persistent and sore hands was my recipe for succes in touting the tires.

    The sealed almost at first go (one tire) the other needed some water and some.
    I use “stan’s”

    They hold the pressure nicely – only drops to about 4 bars – and stays there – even after 14 days – unused. I ride at 5,9 and 6 bars.
    And have used them for more than a season without puncture. And I’m not looking forward to take the tires of, for cleaning and prepare for the new season, knowning just how hard it is to fit them back on….

    • Brian, Agreed. Worse yet if you were to get a flat on the road and want to put in a tube. There’s really no heroism in being able to wrestle them on in the garage if you can’t easily get them off and then back on again when you actually need to out on the road. Steve

      • Exactly right, That really troubles me. I know the bead on the Yksion Pro UST is about 2,7 mm, and in the combination with the ksyrium elite rim brake, small width, makes it impossible to fit almost any other tire that mavic itself. Though I have heard that Hutsinson Performance storm 11 is “identical” and will work easily with the Mavis rim. Has anyone experience with the hutchinson or other tubeless tires that go easily on the mavic?

  • This is a really useful thread. I’ve had some Kysrium Elite UST wheels for about 18 months, with similar experiences to others on the thread – namely:
    – initial set-up and use out of the box was a doddle. Compared to the conversion I did on the MTB, confidence was initially very high with the Mavics.
    – tyres seem to wear out quite quickly – as indicated by repeating punctures on most rides (I got under 2,500km out of the Yksion tyres, but didn’t experience handling issues). Roads near me aren’t great and I’m not the lightest rider either. I ran at about 80-90 PSI.
    – tried the Hutchinson Performance tyres (25mm) as a replacement. Rear went on OK, front was a swine and I needed to use metal tyre levers (!!) as the plastic ones broke. So far these tyres feel about the same as the Mavic ones (I believe they’re the same materials as the Mavics, with the Yksions made by Hutchinson for Mavic?). 2,000km in and they’re starting to puncture a little more (but it is the end of winter).
    – repairs aren’t hard with glue and the plugs. Never had to do a roadside, so that’s good.
    – Maybe that last point is the big one for me – I’ve done over 4,000km on roads in mixed conditions through 2 winters and a summer and not had a single puncture that stopped a ride. With tubes, I’ll bet it would be a different story.

    In summary – I like them, but there is a base of frustration with fitting and durability. Sourcing Mavic tyres in the UK post-Brexit isn’t as easy as I would like. If anyone knows of a stockist, please shout!

    Ride safe everyone.

    • UPDATE – I have now had to mount my 2nd replacement set of tyres on the Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheel set. I don’t seem to get much more than 2,000km out of a set of tyres before punctures become a common occurrence and/or plugs from previous fixes won’t hold any more. This in itself isn’t great – so cost of ownership is a consideration from my experience, especially as I’m only riding on roads – no gravel!

      My biggest gripe is the sheer pain of removing and replacing tyres – I can’t see how any roadside fix that requires tyre removal/replacement would be possible. Most concerning, my rear rim has now got a inward dent from using a plastic tyre lever to swap the tyres – something I only spotted on finally seating the tyre. This is really disappointing.

      On any future road bikes or wheels I would now be far more likely to go back to tubes.

  • As I read this article March 21 I will share the following experience. I moved from ultra reliable Mavic Kysrium clinchers routinely paired with Continental GP4S, pretty much a fit and forget combination.

    I do plenty of local rides but look forward to longer outings with 100-200km trips common. Finding GP4S tyres proved to provide peace of mind.

    A cracked rear rim forced a decision and by that time Mavic had moved its range to USTs. Not usually an early adopter re technology I decided to give USTs a go given the much heralded and reviewed setup.

    So a pair of Mavic Ksyriums resplendent with Yksion Pro tyres duly arrived. Easy enough to set up and looked terrific to me.

    The Yksions proved comfortable if not overly durable and a number of blisters took me back to Continental and the much heralded 5000TL.

    Much tougher to fit certainly but I got there using brute strength, ignorance and tyre levers. Spring forward 6 months and the first puncture results and I decide to fit a new spare 5000TL whilst repairing the punctured one.

    This proved impossible for me.

    Two men at my LBS using steel levers , cable ties and a lot of swearing got it on whilst resulting in cosmetic scrapes to the rim who proclaimed they’d never fitted anything so tight.

    So differences in tyre bead circumference will result in the variability of tightness to rim and therefore ability to fit readily / easily or with significant difficulty.

    If I’m out on a longer run how might I cope? Miles from home?

    I now long for my fit and forget combination and am browsing clincher wheels once again, however in these Covid impacted days , stocks are pretty low across the country.

  • Comments are closed for this post. Thank you.