Cannondale has issued a safety notice affecting its latest Slate adventure bike, due to some customers removing the inner tubes and running the wheels and tyres tubeless, resulting in a few cases of the tyres coming off the rims.
The Slate is sold with Cannondale's own-brand tubeless compatible rims and, depending on the model, Cannondale's own Panaracer tubeless tyres. With inner tubes fitted, there have been no issues, but a few customers have experienced problems when removing the inner tubes and converting to tubeless.
Speaking to Cannondale, it appears the fit of the tyre and rim isn't quite good enough to ensure a tight fit, such that is necessary to ensure an airtight seal and keep the tyre bead locked into place and prevent it from becoming detached.
Far from ideal, and it does highlight the lack of a standard for tubeless rims and tyres - we've experienced compatibility issues with some rim and tyre combinations, while other setups have caused no trouble at all. It could be a lot better, and greater compatibility would definitely make tubeless more appealing.
As a result, Cannondale is urging Slate customers to stop riding immediately and have inner tubes installed before riding again. It’s offering replacement Mavic XM419 rim, which is tubeless-ready (or UST in Mavic speak). It’s a mountain bike rim - there aren’t many 650b rims available at the moment, but plenty in the mountain bike world where the wheel size has become the new standard.
If you’ve got a Slate, get yourself along to your local Cannondale dealer and get your rims swapped pronto. More details at www.cannondale.com/en/International/Safety-Notices-and-Recalls.aspx
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.