By Paul Norman
Specialized’s Alibi hybrid fitness bike range comes with “airless” solid tyres. For an entry-level city bike without performance pretensions, airless tyres make a lot of sense. Obviously punctures are a thing of the past, as are pumps.
As reported by Bicycle Retailer, Specialized’s tyres are made by South Koeran company Tannus as part of a global exclusive deal for custom branded Tannus tyres.
We’ve tested Tannus’s 700c airless tyres in the past and reckon that they work fine for training rides of a few hours. We’ve also tested them around town on a Brompton.
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Called the Nimbus Airless, the 700c tyres come in 38mm width, so there’s plenty of contact with the road surface. The tyres are made of a micro-closed-cell polymer resin which Tannus calls Aither. It says it’s similar to the compound used to make running shoe soles. Specialized quotes 900g for the tyre, which is similar to a standard city tyre and tube of this width.
Specialized reckons that the Nimbus Airless tyres account for about $35 of the price of the £375 entry level Alibi, but that for the target customer this is more than compensated for by the increased tyre lifespan – and the convenience of not coming out to a flat tyre after a long day at work.
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Other features of the Alibi include an alloy frame with rack and mudguard mounts, seven-speed Shimano Tourney shifting and Specialized’s own V-brakes.
The Nimbus Airless tyres also feature on the other three bikes in the Alibi range. This includes a “step through” frame in the base model as well as Alibi Sport models with a cross bar and without.
Priced at £425, the Alibi Sport ups the spec to a triple chainset and Shimano Altus eight-speed shifting.
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