Tannus Tyres - a solid alternative to a traditional tyre?
Tannus Tyres : A solid tyre that comes in a variety of sizes and colours
Web Site: Available through http://tannus.co.uk/
Cost: £49.99 for each tyre - I ordered 2 x New 700 x 23c Aither 1.1 tyre
Tannus Tyres desctiption
When I first heard about a solid tyre, I thought I was mis-reading the article, but Tannus have been creating solid tyres since a first prototype in 2004.
They are made from an advanced plastic compound, the latest version being released in 2015 and they work with your existing wheel hubs by locking into them using multiple plastic pins that go right through the tyre.
The advantages are clear - No punctures... no puncture repair kits, inner tubes, faffing by the side of the road in the cold and wet...The tyres are as light as an inner tube/tyre combination and have passed rigorous safety tests, they roll like a normal tyre and they are really durable..
They also come in lots of colours, so I checked both (different) wheel rims for size and I found a retailer in the UK and bought a bright yellow pair to match the colours on Stan, my trusty Boardman road bike.
Once they finally arrived.. after a very poor experience with a london retailer I went to fit them. I'd read the information, watched the video and decided to do it myself rather than go up to london for an approved fitter.
As you can see from the image above, the pins fit under the lip of the rim and you are given 3 sets of pins to choose the most appropriate size, to ensure a tight fit. I worked out the correct pin size for wheel 1 and started...
- fit all the pins on the tyre. Easy.
- Fit a single side into the rims. Easy.
- In a similar way to fitting a standard tyre, you roll on the second side. The pins then click into place and are fixed under the lip. It is obviously secure, as you have lots of pins per tyre and also a fair bit of plastic inside the rim.
I wouldn't say this last step was easy, but a little effort and sweat and tyre 1 was done - looking great.
- Fit all the pins on the tyre. Easy.
- Fit a single side into the rims. Easy.
- Rolling on the second side... impossible. The rim on this wheel is slightly narrower, so despite my best efforts, sweat and shouting, I couldn't get in on..
However a trip to the bike shop, a proper clamp and a more experienced mechanic and it was done.
How do they ride:
I've used the tyres on weekend rides and some shorter commutes and covered some gravel covered trails and rough cycle lanes and gone from a 15 minute ride to a 4 hour training ride.
To me, the tyres feel like a hard, fully pumped inflatable tyre. There is only a little give against the road so I did find on longer rides my hands and body in general were suffering in comparison to riding my cross bike, but this isn't a reflection on the tyres themselves - more that the cross bike is slightly more forgiving to ride and the wider tyres absorb more impact from the rubbish UK roads.
What was great about having the tyres is I could ride more freely across mixed ground, not worrying about glass, holes, metal. As I do prefer to come off the main roads as much as I can, it did allow me to ride on badly maintained cycle paths without worrying about punctures whereas with normal tyres I just wouldn't have risked it.
Grip: I rode them in all conditions and at no point did I feel any concern about the grip. As I have got older I have become a little more careful but I was confident flying downhill in the wet and after the first couple of rides I didn't even think about it.
Roll: They don't feel as quick as a normal tyre, but I'm not sure why... the statistics on roll show very little difference. It may be the noise, or just the feel, but I didn't get the feeling of really getting rolling that I have had previously on my bike (especially with Tri-bars).
Overall: Look great, take away all of the worry about punctures and no noticeable difference in feel or ride.
I will be keeping them on my bike and continue to ride with them over the winter. For shorter commuting / riding they are ideal.
Quality Score: High
Value for Money Good - the same price as a normal winter tyre and with no maintenance and great durability.
Overall Score: 8 out of 10
Would You recommend this to a friend: Yes