NoTubes Grail and Hugo 52 - first look

New road tubeless and ‘plus’ rims and wheelsets

Rim and wheel manufacturer Stan's NoTubes has developed two new rims aimed at burgeoning segments of the cycling market: disc road bikes and the much smaller, but still growing, world of “plus-sized” mountain bikes.

Grail

The Grail is the company's latest tubeless road rim. NoTubes developed the Grail in conjunction with GT Bicycles, who approached the company about designing a wider, disc-specific rim to accompany the recently released Grade road bike.

Unlike the Ironcross rim, which is not intended for the higher pressures of road tubeless tyres, the Grail is suitable for both road and cyclocross use. NoTubes claims the Grail is the company’s most aerodynamic rim profile to date.

The Grail rim will be available in the coming weeks, with complete wheelsets available this fall.

Hugo 52

The Hugo 52 is NoTubes' first foray into the world of plus-sized rims. As the name implies, the new rim has an external width of 52mm and an internal width of 50mm. It’s not quite a fat bike rim, as it’s intended to be paired with the small but growing number of 3in-wide 29 and 27.5in tyres. (The minimum recommended tyre width for this new rim is 2.5in.)

The Hugo 52 uses a central box section, with single walls at the bead seats. According to NoTubes, this single / double-wall hybrid design bolsters stiffness, while weighing significantly less than a full double-walled design. It is also said to aid in tyre inflation by spreading the beads apart.

While the number of semi-fat tyres and frames is currently limited to custom creations and a handful of production models, such as the Surly Krampus and the soon to be released Niner RDO Plus, there appears to be growing interest among larger manufacturers. According to NoTubes, the Hugo 52 will be come stock on several new 29+ and 27.5+ bikes in 2015, though the company wouldn’t name specific brands. NoTubes did confirm that the Hugo 52’s rim profile was scalable, meaning it is quite possible we’ll see wider versions of this rim in the future.

The Hugo 52 will be available this fall.

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