Jake Wells (NoTubes) missed out on the 2014 Cyclocross National Championship in the Masters 35-39 age group by just a few mm, when Russell Stevenson out-threw him in his bike throw.

But how did Wells even make it to that point, and lead much of the race, including nearly the entire finishing straight for the final time?

Jake Wells' Ridley X-Fire Disc cyclocross bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

Jake Wells’ Ridley X-Fire Disc cyclocross bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

Wells relied on a disc brake-equipped Ridley X-Fire carbon cyclocross bike, complete with Avid BB7 Road SL disc brakes and his sponsor’s nearly production-ready carbon Valor rims with Kenda Kwicker 32c clincher tires, run tubeless.

Tubeless, at the highest level of Masters racing? Don’t you need to run handmade cotton tires to win won of the biggest categories of the week? Giving Wells’ dramatically close finish, he would argue that you don’t.

“It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic,” Wells reported on his tubeless setup. He ran the non-SCT Kwicker tires, saying they offer more compliance than Kenda’s SCT (Sealant Comptible Tire) version, which is both heavier and has a thicker casing.

As for the NoTubes Valor rims, Wells has been riding and testing several versions, but says the production models will be available shortly. “I like the slightly wider profile of the rim which allows for a wider tire contact patch,” Wells told Cyclocross Magazine a few weeks ago. NoTubes continues to refine the Valor rim, and target weight for the production wheels should be 1230 grams, a weight that’s competitive with any carbon disc tubular wheelset on the market.

Because it’s a wider rim designed for mountain bike tires, at 22mm internal width, a cyclocross tire will have a larger volume and width than on a narrow road rim. So for UCI races, only certain tires will meet the 33mm maximum width mandated by the UCI.

Wells’ Ridley relies on SRAM Red 22 levers and drivetrain, a Ritchey WCS cockpit, and Crankbrothers Candy pedals.

See a full photo gallery below the specs.

Jake Wells’ Ridley X-Fire Disc Bike Specs Highlights:

  • Frame: Ridley X Fire Disc
  • Fork: 4ZA Oryx
  • Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Alloy
  • Stem: Ritchey WCS C260
  • Brakes: Avid BB7 Road SL Mechanical
  • Wheelset: Stan’s NoTubes Carbon Prototype
  • Tires: Kenda Kwicker (non-SCT) 32c for Mud (Kenda Kommando 32c for Dry)
  • Shifters: SRAM Red 22
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red 22
  • Front Derailleur: SRAM Red 22
  • Crankset: SRAM Red 110 BCD w/ WickWerks 44/34 chain rings
  • Cassette: SRAM PowerGlide 1170 11-26
  • Chain: SRAM PC – 1170
  • Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 11
  • Seatpost: Ritchey WCS Alloy
  • Saddle: Fizik Arione
  • Bearings by Enduro
  • Garmin mount by K-edge


See the full details on Well’s Ridley X-Fire cyclocross bike in the photos and descriptions below:

 Jake Wells’ Ridley X-Fire Disc Bike Gallery: