Will solid bike tyres ever really be a good solution to punctures?

Many beginner cyclists seek "puncture proof tyres" - but the ultimate option, a solid tyre, isn't something we see many adult riders choosing to adopt

Tannus Tyre fitted to a Vision Rim
Solid tyres are available - but not particularly popular
(Image credit: Future)

The answer to the question may seem obvious. With no air to escape from them, there’s no chance that solid tyres, also sometimes called airless tyres, will ever get a puncture, avoiding a problem that has been the plague of cyclists ever since John Boyd Dunlop patented the pneumatic tyre in 1888.

Solid tyres do thrive on children’s bikes, although even here pneumatic tyres - those filled with air - are fitted to many of the best kids’ bikes, even balance bikes for the youngest children. Pneumatic tyres take over almost completely once bikes are designed for kids of around three-years -old.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.