Tannus Solid Tyres Review

Punctures suck. Regardless of how good you are at changing a tube, they still get in the way. They invariably seem to happen to me when it is raining, which just makes the experience so much worse. An added complication is that I have pit-lock locking skewers on my bike so I don’t have to worry about my wheels getting pinched. These are a little fiddlier to remove when changing a flat than with quick releases.

I have puncture resistant tyres on my bike and have generally been fine. However, I maintain my tyres regularly and pick out some nasty looking bits of glass and stone before they make their way through the full tyre thickness. I didn’t do this to the tyres on my Brompton in time and a piece of glass worked its way through, causing a puncture.

I was first made aware of a new breed of solid tyres about 18 months ago, and I was intrigued. I liked the thought of never having to worry about a puncture, and of my tyres always being at the right pressure. I was somewhat sceptical and I have heard the critics stating pneumatic tyres were invented for a reason. But I am naturally curious and like to figure things out myself, and so when I spotted Tannus Tire at the London Bike Show a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance of getting hold of a set to try out.

Tannus Tire

What are they?

Tannus are a Korean company who started out making running shoe sole material. In the early 2000’s they started trying to build a bicycle tyre, with the first prototype made in 2004. The first version of the tyre, using the compound Aither 1 was released in 2011, and the upgraded version of the compound, Aither 1.1, was released in 2015.

The tyres are a solid piece of polymer that attach to clincher rims – the part of the wheel that a wire bead attaches to on a regular tyre. There are some little plastic pegs that go through the tyre and hold it into the rim. These pegs have to be carefully selected to make sure the tyre fits correctly. With the pegs selected and inserted, the tyre is then pushed into the rim. It looks pretty simple. I had mine fitted at E1 cycles – these guys sell them and have a fitting machine which makes installing take no time at all. You can do it at home as well though, Tannus Europe have made a handy video.

The tyres come in a flavour to suit most bikes, including a Brompton version. I did not try these out, but could see them being a great addition. There really is nothing more infuriating than trying to put a Brompton rear wheel back on! The pair I tried out are the 700X28, suitable for most commuter bikes that normally take ‘road’ tyres. They cost £54.99 each.

Weight wise the 700×28 comes in at 430g per tyre, significantly lighter than a Schwalbe Marathon for example at 560g, excluding the inner tube and rim tape. The 700×32 is a little heavier and more comparable to the weight of a Marathon. However, you still need to account for the inner tube, rim tape, pump, tyre levers etc needed with those on the off chance you do get a flat.

In practice?

I was expecting to take some time to get used to the tyres and was cautious at first. This was not necessary however as I found that they didn’t feel any different from the Bontrager Hardcase AW1 tyres that came off my bike. The recommended tyre pressure on those tyres was 85-100 psi, and I always kept them at the upper end of that. The Tannus tyres just feel the same as a high pressure, low volume road tyre and so they just felt the same.

I didn’t notice any drag on the tyres. The ones I have are the Road Cross version at 700 x 28 and have some tread along the sides but are otherwise fairly slick. Having tried outcome Marathon Plus tyres briefly, I think the Tannus ones potentially have less drag. I had several people try them out and this was the general consensus.

Tread

I think the main difference I noticed was in cornering, but I quickly got used to the small alteration in handling as it was not worse, just different. I think this might have been in large part because I had switched from 32mm tyres to 28mm and I was feeling that difference, rather than a specific difference for solid versus pneumatic.

The good?

It is really relieving to not have to worry about whether your tyre is going to be flat in the morning or when you come out of work in the evening. It is also nice to not have to attempt to dodge around large piles of glass on the side of the road. In terms of peace of mind they are really worth it and it is hard to over exaggerate this point. Have you ever had a tyre blow up one while riding? I have, it was not something I want to experience again.

They have no discernible rolling resistance or drag compared to my old tyres. The range of tread patterns available is great, so there are slick ones if you are mostly cycling through the city. I am not a particular fast cyclist, nor do I ride a speedy bike. If I was switching from some racing slicks I would have noticed a difference, but from standard commuter tyres the Tannus do not roll slower.

The grip of the pretty slick version I have is still good enough for canal paths and city roads. After I got used to the tiny handling difference, I felt that the grip on wet roads was as good as my previous tyres. I had been a little be worried about it so had been cautious into corners, but I soon realised there was no need.

It is a fairly trivial point I guess, but I really like that they come in different colours. I like being able to have something a little different on my bike that makes it stand out, but not in a standard bling, stealable way. If nothing else, it is handy to be able to spot my bike in a bike rack sea outside Liverpool street station when I forgot exactly where I put it!

Pretty tyres

The bad?

There really are no significant bad points to these tyres really, assuming you are used to using road tyres at their correct pressure. If you regularly ride around on squishy tyres then you will feel that these tyres are quite firm. It is one of the main complaints they have received from others – especially from those who tout the ‘pneumatic tyres were invented for a reason’. Well this is true, but technology has come on a ways since then, especially polymer science.

The fitting process is unusual. It is not particularly hard or complex and it does not take forever, but it does require some thought. When I was speaking with Tannus they said the main reason people have problems with the tyres is they rush the fitting process. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this you will have to go to a shop to get them fitted, which is what Tannus recommend anyway.

Conclusions

I really like these tyres for their fit and forget nature. They grip well, they don’t have any discernible drag compared to my old tyres, and they don’t really feel any more jarring. A high performance cyclist could notice a difference over a top of the line racing tyre, but then these tyres are not really aimed at racing. I let several people ride my bike around, and none of them said they felt a difference between the solid tyres and their usual, regardless of terrain type.

At £50-£60 each, depending on tyre type, they are a little more expensive than regular tyres, but they should last longer and cut down on the amount of inner tubes you have to buy. If you are someone who takes their puncture to the shop to be fixed, your savings will rack up pretty quickly.

For the average commuter and urban cyclist, these tyres are really worth considering.

Dealers can be found at on the Tannus website, or they can be purchased online through NipNip who can also fit them for you or on Amazon.

*Disclosure – Tannus provided us with the tyres, but we approached them about reviewing them and were under no obligation to say nice things about them, we just genuinely liked them*

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30 Responses to Tannus Solid Tyres Review

  1. Andy ZE 13/04/2016 at 11:10 am #

    I have been waiting for something like this for years. Tubed and tubeless really are yesterday’s news. Not really sure that I need coloured ones though. Once you’ve had black you never go back.

  2. Al 13/04/2016 at 2:15 pm #

    What’s the weight of these like? I imaging that could be a potential negative factor.

    • Emily 15/04/2016 at 12:57 pm #

      Thanks for the question!
      I have just added in the weight of the pair i tried. They are 430g per tyre, so actually very light, especially for complete protection from punctures. The 700×23 only weigh 380g each. Of course, you also don’t need the inner tubes or rim tape. Hope that helps!

      • Al 18/04/2016 at 1:46 pm #

        Ah great, thanks.

  3. Suffolker 13/04/2016 at 3:07 pm #

    I’ve been watching these for a while, as they might suit my rural cycling. I recall that some years ago, there were some solid tyres available at (I think) QuikFit or somewhere similar. There were, however, horror stories of rims being knackered completely in the process of fitting them, which could only be done by a tyre fitter.
    As I live miles away from any LBC, let alone one equipped to fit and remove these, I’m interested, as that job can be done by me without special (particularly, expensive) equipment.
    Where they’d be a winner for me is in my hub-geared machines, where the need to remove the rear wheel and all that goes with it is a real PITA.

  4. David Farr 13/04/2016 at 7:52 pm #

    Hi Everybody.

    The idea of having Tannus Solid Tyres fitted on your bike, quite rightly, often comes with questions.

    If you would like to try them out, you are welcome to at NipNip HUB in central London.

    They genuinely are very good and we believe, a ‘no-brainer’ for commuters.

    If you have any other questions you would like to ask you can forward them to me on david@nipnip.co.uk

    Best wishes,
    NipNip-Smart Cycling

  5. Martin 14/04/2016 at 11:44 am #

    I have been running a set for about a year and am really happy. The last thing anyone needs on a commute is a blowout. So now I can ride through puddles over glass , metal and rocks with impunity.

  6. Steph 15/04/2016 at 10:18 am #

    “peace of mind” in this case 😉

    • Emily 15/04/2016 at 12:58 pm #

      Ha, thanks! Autocorrect fail right there, I have changed it 🙂

  7. Chris 15/04/2016 at 10:33 am #

    Do these have a maximum weight rating?

    Just wondering if 110kgs of me with panniers, laptop and everything else on top would kill them on my 30 mile round trip commute?

    Also, how long before they wear out?

    • David Farr 16/04/2016 at 11:11 am #

      Hi Chris,

      The new Aither 1.1 version of Tannus are tested to last for 9000KM which equates to roughly 3-4 years of cycling f you do 10 miles p/day. Skidding however is not a good idea on Tannus.

      Hope that helps.

      You are welcome to pop in and try a pair out. If you wish to arrange let us know when may suit you.

  8. Roops7 15/04/2016 at 11:01 am #

    The problem I do not see addressed here is that of spoke replacement.

    When a spoke breaks and has to be replaced (and this happens to me almost as often as a puncture), what are the consequences for the tyre? Can the tyres be removed and reinstalled without damaging them? Is there a limit as to how many times? What tool would you need to carry around with you?

    • Emily 15/04/2016 at 1:01 pm #

      Hey Roops,

      Tannus suggest that you can just remove the peg or two closest to the spoke in question, rather than removing the whole tyre. The tool is a little plastic one, like a singular tyre wrench, so not too bulky at all. I do not know how often this can be done though – NipNip might be able to help you with that question?

  9. martin 15/04/2016 at 11:04 am #

    I can’t comment on their load capacity, that might also depend on your wheels. As for wearing out, I’ve been using them for over a year 5 days a week and the tread pattern is still there. However, if your route is over rocky roads, things may be different. But you won’t get a puncture

  10. Simon Vennall 15/04/2016 at 4:18 pm #

    I’ve used them for around a year so far, 700 x 23’s. They are good for the city but I do find that I was get a fair bit of static shock, not something that I experience on my other bike with a pneumatic set up.
    I tried them once on a sportive but had to stop less than halfway through as the experience of climbing with them is exhausting as was the descent, I only use them for my city bike now.

  11. Cathie 15/04/2016 at 5:31 pm #

    I have had them fitted on my Brompton (by Tony, Walthamstow Cycles) – very pleased. They seem a little thinner and the ride very slightly harsher, but wonderful peace of mind! the family voted for green (the bike is black) but I would have had black left to myself.

  12. Carlos Aboim 15/04/2016 at 11:36 pm #

    I have fitted the 700×28 red vulcano on my commuter bike that I ride 6/7 days a week! Very happy with them! As said in the article just felt a diferent experience cornering but I think was just what I rode before I try them!! I am thinking to put some in new stronger wheels to make touring around England!!

  13. David Farr 16/04/2016 at 11:20 am #

    We believe there is a cerebral effect of running Tannus Tyres, where automatically, before testing them out, your head is full of questions;

    Will they be harder?
    Will they not be as grippy in the rain?
    Are they slow?
    Are they heavy?

    Over the last year 1000’s of cycling commuters have made the switch from pneumatic tyres to Tannus and maybe only a handful have asked to go back to traditional tyres.

    Looking for ways to improve cycling in London is what NipNip are all about and we genuinely believe Tannus Tyres are a net plus.

    Let us know if you would like to test any of the NipNip Team’s bikes to see if you can find the answer to the questions you may have.

  14. Carlos Aboim 16/04/2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Ñipnip:
    Let me do an appealing in the interestsign of the all commuter community….
    I know you are “recent” company but you need to do more advertisement to these magnificent product of yours!!
    As you already know the market is getting bigger and tannus tires have potencial!!

    Cheers!!

  15. Malcolm 17/04/2016 at 7:55 pm #

    I’m disappointed that there don’t seem to be any bike shops in the North of England that can supply and fit Tannus tyres?

    I know I can purchase the tyres online But I want someone to fit them for me.

  16. David Farr 17/04/2016 at 8:25 pm #

    here are a couple of nifty videos to show you how Tannus are installed.

    http://www.nipnip.co.uk/tannus-video

    We would recommend that 700×23, 700×28 & 700×32, 20″ & Bromptons are quite simple.

    26×1.75 are a real wrestle however!!

  17. John 20/04/2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Has anyone done a force/distance analysis on these tyres.

    I.e. take a wheel and add load at the axle, plottin load against the rim to “ground” distance.
    Do the same for a pneumatic tyre, at high pressure and low.

  18. MJ Ray 26/04/2016 at 11:17 am #

    If you look on the Bicycle Quarterly pressure graphs, 100psi on 32s is way too hard for all but the heaviest bike+rider combos. Bontrager suck, it’s a wonder your fillings didn’t rattle out and that may be why you don’t think solid tyres are less comfortable. I suspect I’d feel the difference from my plush 37s@60psi.

  19. Descalzo dave 29/04/2016 at 10:01 pm #

    Dont bother with these tyres,if you live outside london there is no dealers.videos are false,have. Been to 5 pro bike shops and not one can fit these tyres,what chance me ?

    • David Farr 01/05/2016 at 11:48 am #

      Hi Dave, sorry to hear you are having trouble fitting the tyres. Regardless of where you may have brought them – why don’t you bring them to NipNip HUB in central London and we will assist you.

      If you cant visit us, them have a look at these fitting videos. It is only the 26″ tyres that are difficult to fit alone if you haven’t done them before. The rest of the sizes should be quite simple.

      http://www.tannus.co.uk/videos/

      It is possible you have ordered the wrong size. Feel free to contact service@nipnip.co.uk for assistance.

  20. JB 29/05/2016 at 12:46 pm #

    I am going to have to stop reading this colum as it is costing me too much!
    After reading about the tyres I decided to buy one to try especially for my Hy-Bred rear wheel.
    But “BEWARE”, fitting them can be a nightmare. Only DIY if your built like Garth!
    Will report back in the fullness of time…..

  21. Ignacio Feito Garcia 29/06/2016 at 11:33 pm #

    Foam-type “airless” tires or tire inserts use only the air in the compressed segment as a spring, and do not spread the load. Airless tires have been obsolete for over a century, but crackpot “inventors” keep trying to bring them back. They are heavy, slow and give a harsh ride. They are also likely to cause wheel damage, due to their poor cushioning ability.

    – Sheldon Brown

  22. martin 01/07/2016 at 10:25 am #

    For me, the choice is simple. I do a 30 minute each way single speed commute and, given the choice of a few bumps to that of spending at least an extra 10 minutes in the wind and rain fixing a puncture, would opt for a few bumps anytime .

  23. Shaun Dutton 20/08/2016 at 10:37 pm #

    I have to add my experience to warn any others thinking of purchasing these tyres. I bought a pair for my Brompton a year ago. Yes, they slowed the bike down a bit and yes, they slipped about a bit particularly on paint on the road but I thought it worth it for piece of mind. They were not cheap with no change from £100 for the pair. I am not particularly heavy at 12 stone and the only riding I have done is normal commuting on public roads. I have completed in the region of 2,000 miles since fitting the tyres and my rear tyre is now worn to the point of being completely flat across the middle third, has no tread, is square in cross-section and completely unroadworthy. I bought the tyres expecting 2 to 3 years’ wear out of them based on the manufacturers’ claims that they last in the region of 6,000 miles. I had a single response from my request for a replacement or refund but since providing photographs and proof of purchase have been ignored since. I have now purchased a decent pneumatic tyre and inner tube for the rear wheel (at half the price) and will be complaining to Trading Standards regarding Tannus’ blatantly exaggerated claims about their tyres.

  24. Jonathan Slater 12/09/2016 at 9:00 am #

    In the year before I bought some Tannus Types, I had 15 punctures. I commute 24 miles a day and small flints are usually the problem. A couple of times I had a double puncture and there is not much more stressful when you are late. So, I took the plunge after seeing the types at the NEC cycle show, and since then have done approx. 5,000 miles. They have easily paid for themselves as when I was getting many punctures I kept upgrading my tyres to more and more puncture resistant ones (which really were not!). The handling is good, after the first day of getting used to them – they were slightly thinner than my previous tyres. If you hit a pothole, the shock absorption is slightly better than a normal tyre, if you go over a rough road surface, the vibration is worse, but all in all I have saved myself several hours of kneeling in the rain changing goddam inner tubes.

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