A Korean tyre company has come up with a solid bike tyre that it claims will compete with the regular pneumatic variety. After being launched three years ago in Asia, Tannus Tires are hitting the UK market.
Using a newly developed compound polymer called Aither, they offer the prospect of punctureless riding with a rider-friendly level of comfort and rolling resistance.
Solid tyres are nothing new. They’ve been around as long as the bicycle itself but were quickly superseded when Dunlop made the first practical pneumatic bike tyre in 1887. Typically heavy and giving an uncompromising ride, solid tyres have trailed in their wake ever since.
But Tannus’s European sales manager Jazz Walia says: “We won’t convert everyone but people need to forget what they know of solid tyres and try them with an open mind.”
Some of the advantages of a solid tyre are obvious. Retailing at £99 a pair and boasting the ability to do 9,000 miles before needing replacing, Tannus Tires could be useful for winter training or commuting, as they eliminate the worry of stopping and getting cold while changing a tube. The 700x23c Musai model also weighs in at just 380g, not far off the combined weight of Continental Gator Skin, inner tube and rim tape — and they come in two grades to imitate different tyre pressures. Although still heavier than a pair of tubs and with a rolling resistance eight per cent higher than a regular tyre, they felt fine for daily commutes — although a bit harsh for longer training rides — when CW gave them a run.
“We’re still developing and improving the tyres,” says Walia. “We’re looking at doing a budget, mid and performance version and have a five to 10-year plan, possibly getting riders in the Tour de France on our tyres.”
Musai Model 700x23c
Suitable for rim size: 13-15C
Soft = 85-90psi Hard = 110psi
Price: £99 a pair
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