Cyclocross Tubeless (Rims, Tyres)

Need to start thinking about Cyclocross equipment for this year. I got shot of my tubular wheels last year. Fed up with the faff changing tyres, and fear of rolling a tub, which luckily never happened in a race but happened a couple of times with pre-race checks. Always went CX tape and glue ‘Belgian’ method but still had issues.

I plan on building up a tubeless set this year, can anyone recommend a rim to base this on that will be as solid as possible at low pressures and with cx tyre widths (32/33)? Maybe thinking Stans Grail MK3 but not sure if there are better options. I’ll probably build up on Hope Pro 4 or RS4 hubs. Will also need to think about decent mud tyres to go with.

I have no experience on Stans, but see a lot of them and have gotten recommendations for them. We get 1-2 muddy races per season so I end up running an all-purpose tire (Schwalbe X-Ones) and make due. Less hassle changing tires when you have one set.

Friends have run Donnelly PDX with very mixed results, generally favoring the opinion that they aren’t a great mud tire. Mud is always a crapshoot (sometimes it’s thick and sticky, other times it’s soupy and doesn’t collect).

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I ran Stan’s Crest for a couple seasons. I forget the difference between them and the Grails but had no issues with them whatsoever. Was able to run pressures around 20 psi with no problems. FOr context, at the time I was around 68 kg. Good luck!

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Another vote for x-ones. Pretty happy with them for general racing and riding. Did switch to Michelin Mud for super muddy race that was half running. On the rideable bit had a lot more traction then others on the Vitoria intermediates.

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The Pdx is much better all arounder. Their bos is their actual mud tire


Yep, this was before they introduced the BOS–which looks a lot better than the PDX.

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If you want another option, I’ve been using the MASON X HUNT 4 SEASON DISC wheelset for a couple of CX seasons now and they have been excellent. I run them tubeless with 33mm Maxxis tires. They’ve been rock solid. I purchased as a wheelset, but you can buy them as a rim only for about $89.


I had a set of pacenti forza-c build around some white industries hubs and they’ve been EXCELLENT. I usually stick with some wtb crossboss tires and have been happy with the setup in everything but super muddy conditions.

If you’re in the UK, a lot of people are on Baby Limus, and there’s a tubeless version now afaik.

I’ve been using Specialized Terra Pro as my all round tyre, even for the 1-2 dry races in September, because I can’t be bothered changing them. I have a set of Clemens/Donnelly BOS for heavy mud, but the sidewalls feel stiff compared to the spesh ones, and they are slower, so haven’t used them in ages.

If you’re buying Hope hubs, why not just get their wheels?

Thanks, had no idea Challenge were doing tubless specific now. Looks like Grifo, Limus, Baby Limus, and Chicane, so a few options there.

I had thought about a Hope wheelset, I wasn’t sure if I should go wider though. I thought the Grails were 23mm internal vs. Hope 20mm…but checking again I think it’s the Crests that are 23mm. Is 23mm overkill for a 33mm tyre though?

Can’t help with the rim width, interesting question.

I would be a bit concerned that wider rims will make the tyre wider, over 33mm. Depending whether you need to watch out for that.

Yeah, one of the general problems I think with tubeless compared to tubs is the fact that there’s no guarantee any rim / tyre combo will come up under 33mm. I don’t think I’m too concerned, I don’t think I’ll be racing anything UCI sanctioned this year, the only one I’ll need to check is our national champs as I recall this does have slightly different rules.

HED Belgium is another option, but really, it’s going to depend on what you can find. Probably something in the ~21mm IW is a great place to start. Also another vote for X-One tires, great all around unit.

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