Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tannus Aither Tires

Back at Interbike, Todd was frantically searching for the Tannus stand. I had no idea who they were or what they did. When were found them, I discovered that they make solid tires.  Todd had read up on some Brompton riders who have had them installed and had varying levels of satisfaction with them. Some had loved them and others not so much. But the allure of having tires that were always ready to go and not worrying about flats had us dying to find out for ourselves (here's another review).

The Tannus tires for Brompton (the model is called the “Nymph” and is 16” x 1.25”) comes in two different hardnesses.  The softer one is supposed to be equal to about 110 psi and the harder one was about 140 psi.  I don't think this is accurate as they feel a little softer. Todd got a set of white soft tires and I opted for the yellow hard tires for the ODB (they come in a array of colors).

A word of caution here: these tires are a pain in the ass to install yourself without the specialized tools.   By specialized, I don’t mean bike tools, I mean Tannus tools. If you have the option, I recommend having a pro do the install.   Todd’s going to get a couple of how to videos up soon.

After taking off the old tires, one needs to insert these little tabs all the way around that lock the Tannus tires onto the rim.

Now comes the hard part…putting the tire on the rim.  The Brompton sized tires, a lot of practice is needed before you can install them by yourself.  The first few installs Todd and I had to stretch the tires on together.

After the tires are on the rim, the tabs need to be pushed in underneath the edge of the rim to lock it in place.  The tabs are pushed in with this tool:

There is also another tool that makes this job much easier... it looks like a modified set of channel-locks.

First ride impressions:  the feel very damped and muted, especially before they are broken in (Tannus states that the tires break-in at about 100 miles).  It does feel like it takes more effort to go the same distance or speed as a conventional tire.  I’m going to try to put together some testing to get some quantitative results.


  1. I also have heard other riders saying they feel slow and than more effort as well. Would luv to hear more once you have ridden with them for awhile but I doubt I would actually buy these for BBB

  2. Nice article, Fernando.
    I wonder if it will affect the braking and how less cushiony the ride would be.
    Paz :)

  3. You've got some interesting stuff on here! ... I am also interested in an update on how your tires are going, particularly around the 'extra effort'. I'm wondering if the added 'snazz' is worth the additional effort! ... but they do look nice!


    The (currently) only UK retailer offers free fitting but you do of course have the expense of getting rims to and from them if you are not local to them.

  5. I've tried a set on my Brompton. They are like cycling in treacle. Pressure feels like 70psi as the polymer gives under modest thumb pressure. I had these professionally fitted but I'm going to change back to the Kevlar lined tyres I had previously which were 110psi.

    1. I have had the same bad experience on my Brompton with Tannus Aither 1.1 : They are like cycling in treacle.

  6. I tried these tires and had to remove them after two days. They are to soft and feel like you are riding with a puncture.they are awful.

  7. These might be good on a hybrid bike but are not suited to a Brompton. The compound of the rubber is to soft and once they settle in are a bit thin. It's a shame I really wanted them to work but they turned into a waste of £120 because the only way to get them off was to cut them off

  8. I have mounted Tannus tires on several Brompton's, including two of my personal bikes. I find no fault in them and the rolling resistance can be compared to the Schwalbe Marathon tires. They are actually a few ounces lighter than an average tire/tube/air weight. I find them to be the perfect "pressure", (about 60 psi) for the poor roads on hurricane devastated St Thomas island. The value of a puncture proof tire is not to be dismissed lightly, especially on a Brompton... which has a somewhat complicated rear wheel assembly. Small wheels are inherently more sluggish than 700c but for their size, the Brompton 16" rims with Tannus tires work very well. I think there is a lot of psychological resistance to a non-pneumatic tire that comes into play here but the ease of use and literal bomb-proof nature of these tires should overcome this.
    I like them.