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Tires that have a solid foam core

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Tires that have a solid foam core

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Old 12-06-17, 09:52 PM
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mdadams1
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Tires that have a solid foam core

Does anyone use a tire like this? Tannus America is one company that makes them. No tube, no air needed. Foam core in the middle.

Mike Adams
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Old 12-06-17, 10:29 PM
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heavy as a mack truck... ride like a brick... and impossible to dismount when the usually lousy rubber wears out... highly recommended by any shop that has them in stock... and on sale, too!
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Old 12-07-17, 06:18 AM
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+1 There is no advantage that does not come with a disadvantage.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
Does anyone use a tire like this? Tannus America is one company that makes them. No tube, no air needed. Foam core in the middle.
I rode a set recently from Nexo. They didn't absorb shock as well as an air-filled tire, but they would work for an application where low-maintenance and no-failure were important. Think rental bikes for tourists who just want to pedal around and explore a city. I've seen them on bike-share bikes too, most recently in Seattle.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:48 AM
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I sure hope the traction, comfort and shock damping are better then the other non air filled tires of the last 45 years. Traction because this will save your skin, especially in wet conditions. Comfort as I'm no child on a trike. Shock damping because I like my tension spoked wheels remaining tensioned, not loosening up as I've seen firsthand. Andy.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
heavy as a mack truck... ride like a brick... and impossible to dismount when the usually lousy rubber wears out... highly recommended by any shop that has them in stock... and on sale, too!
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Old 12-07-17, 06:55 AM
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I rode solid tires from greentyre for probably thousands of miles.
Pretty much only thought about them while crossing lane markers at a shallow angle, on cobbles or when dropping off a curb.
For good roads, regardless of weather, I rode them just like any other tire.
If they damaged the rims, or detensioned the spokes they certainly weren't in a hurry about it.
Mounting them was difficult, until I figured out the trick.
Getting them off was no big deal.
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Old 12-07-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I sure hope the traction, comfort and shock damping are better then the other non air filled tires of the last 45 years. Traction because this will save your skin, especially in wet conditions. Comfort as I'm no child on a trike. Shock damping because I like my tension spoked wheels remaining tensioned, not loosening up as I've seen firsthand. Andy.
Try 129 years.... since John Dunlop's patent in 1888, non-pneumatic tires have been the preference in very limited applications (think lunar rover, railroad cars, etc.)
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Old 12-07-17, 10:46 AM
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Institutional wheel chair tires (for example) have a foam core, it is separate from the tire.
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Old 12-07-17, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I rode a set recently from Nexo. They didn't absorb shock as well as an air-filled tire, but they would work for an application where low-maintenance and no-failure were important. Think rental bikes for tourists who just want to pedal around and explore a city. I've seen them on bike-share bikes too, most recently in Seattle.
Best use seems to be on warehouse bikes where the floors are mostly smooth and nobody is every going to remember to inflate the tires or fix a flat.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:38 PM
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Try an RC Car forum? Lots of them use foam filled tires.
Tho some competition models have upgraded to pneumatic. Something about having air in there being an advantage...
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Old 12-08-17, 05:08 AM
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The main reason I am checking into foam tires is that I ride all winter long. Sometimes the temperature is around 10 degrees F. I have never changed a flat at that temp and would not want to.

Mike A.
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Old 12-08-17, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
The main reason I am checking into foam tires is that I ride all winter long. Sometimes the temperature is around 10 degrees F. I have never changed a flat at that temp and would not want to.

Mike A.
from everything i have read over the years this would be a worst case situation for non pneumatic tires, which have no traction.....and then when it gets colder they get harder and have even less traction.

Another way to look at this: If there were any even sorta of good foam,solid etc tires people would be using them in droves, the would be standard equipment on bikes, etc.

They aren't which shows that the market and users have voted: these thing are just not good.

future may change
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Old 12-08-17, 08:47 PM
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...there are some new wheel designs that might make a solid tyre more practical for use, but the few I've experienced have been (as stated above) heavy on the rim, difficult to mount/dismount, and generally not much fun to ride on.


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Old 12-09-17, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
The main reason I am checking into foam tires is that I ride all winter long. Sometimes the temperature is around 10 degrees F. I have never changed a flat at that temp and would not want to.

Mike A.
With appropriate clothes, that sounds unpleasant but fine, but I'm pretty fast at flat changes.

The most aggressively flat resistant solution would be a tubeless tire that is puncture resistant. The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme comes to mind.

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Old 12-09-17, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
Does anyone use a tire like this? Tannus America is one company that makes them. No tube, no air needed. Foam core in the middle.

Mike Adams
You can get normal tyres that are virtually bomb proof and Im betting even the most rigid pneumatic tyre is still better riding, has lower rolling resistance, lower weight, easier to mount ect. Only thing is to refill the air once in a while. That is no big deal at all with a decent floor pump. That said a "solid" tyre is somewhat interesting in certain applications like very infrequent use.
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Old 12-09-17, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
The main reason I am checking into foam tires is that I ride all winter long. Sometimes the temperature is around 10 degrees F. I have never changed a flat at that temp and would not want to.

Mike A.
I had a similar thought, and put studs in solid tires for winter riding.
It worked OK, but would have worked better if Iíd gotten the psi equivalent right. The websites donít mention how much they firm up below freezing.


Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
from everything i have read over the years this would be a worst case situation for non pneumatic tires, which have no traction......
The greentyre tires Iíve used didnít have particularly bad traction, and I rode them in all weathers.
I might not pick them for full-attack cornering, but for the overwhelming mileage of My commuting they did just fine.
Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
.....and then when it gets colder they get harder and have even less traction.
They do get harder when it gets colder, but it doesnít seem to affect surface friction that much.
What happens though is that the tire gets harder, it deforms less. So apart from feeling like youíre riding on a rim wrapped with a fan belt, you lose a bit of traction similar to when riding an overinflated MTB.
One of the tires I used had a continuos center ridge. That was noticeably bad for winter riding. But once I notched it, the tire worked OK.
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Old 12-09-17, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
With appropriate clothes, that sounds unpleasant but fine, but I'm pretty fast at flat changes .
Core temperature is manageable, but troublesome. For me it means replacement of wicking layer, then suiting up. Down vest etc etc.
Big thing for me is dexterity.
Iíve got Raynauldís, and lose dexterity FAST around or below freezing.
Replacing a tire will invariably get My hands injured - if I manage at all.
Originally Posted by cpach View Post
The most aggressively flat resistant solution would be a tubeless tire that is puncture resistant. The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme comes to mind.
Iíve got that flat protection now. In comparison, the solid tire I had rolled easier.
But rode rougher.
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Old 12-09-17, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
You can get normal tyres that are virtually bomb proof and Im betting even the most rigid pneumatic tyre is still better riding, has lower rolling resistance, lower weight, easier to mount ect. Only thing is to refill the air once in a while. That is no big deal at all with a decent floor pump. That said a "solid" tyre is somewhat interesting in certain applications like very infrequent use.
Better riding - sure. But maybe not as much as youíd might think. Overall ride quality never bothered me.
Lower rolling resistance - depends on which PSI equivalent and which flat protection youíre comparing.
The outcome isnít a given.
My current schwalbes roll heavier than My greentyres did.
Lower weight is also a so-so thing.
For wide tires, sure.
For typical road tire widths, the tire is a bit heavier, but the bicycle weight doesnít change much as you can leave the flat-fixing stuff at home.
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Old 12-09-17, 04:23 AM
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I have a hard time believing a sold tyre would have less rolling resistance than a properly inflated pneumatic tyre, even if said tyre had proper puncture protection.That said, Im not aware of any actual data, except some rudimentary tests performed on solid wheel chair tyres, that seem to support solid tyres have more rolling resistance. Of course even pneumatic tyres that seem similar, have widely different rolling resistance, but compared to the better choices, I would want to see the data before believing a solid tyre is as good.
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Old 12-09-17, 05:22 AM
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The comments are really good. I ride for cardio vascular reasons. I just want a good work out without flatting. I ride for about an hour on a rail trail with very small stones.
Mike Adams
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Old 12-09-17, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
I have a hard time believing a sold tyre would have less rolling resistance than a properly inflated pneumatic tyre, even if said tyre had proper puncture protection.That said, Im not aware of any actual data, except some rudimentary tests performed on solid wheel chair tyres, that seem to support solid tyres have more rolling resistance. Of course even pneumatic tyres that seem similar, have widely different rolling resistance, but compared to the better choices, I would want to see the data before believing a solid tyre is as good.
Again, itís about the specifics of the comparison.
Summer tires, Conti Sport contact, my commute is an average 65-68 minutes.
On my 80- 90 psi simulate solid tires, it was a 75 minute average on clear roads.
On My puncture protected Schwalbe Marathon winters Iím consistently above 80 minutes.
On Suomityres w240, and SMW w/o puncture protection, Iíd manage a 75 minute average on clear roads.

I can well imagine that using solids, or inserts mimicking typical MTB pressures would be quite punishing.
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Old 12-09-17, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
The comments are really good. I ride for cardio vascular reasons. I just want a good work out without flatting. I ride for about an hour on a rail trail with very small stones.
Your use case makes sense to me. I guess it would be an expensive experiment to try a set of those Tannus tires, but it sure would be an interesting one.
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Old 12-09-17, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Again, itís about the specifics of the comparison.
Summer tires, Conti Sport contact, my commute is an average 65-68 minutes.
On my 80- 90 psi simulate solid tires, it was a 75 minute average on clear roads.
On My puncture protected Schwalbe Marathon winters Iím consistently above 80 minutes.
On Suomityres w240, and SMW w/o puncture protection, Iíd manage a 75 minute average on clear roads.

I can well imagine that using solids, or inserts mimicking typical MTB pressures would be quite punishing.
I get that and based on my answer above you have no reason to think other wise. I just happen to not believe that a solid tyre has lower rolling resistance than a similar sized, properly inflated, puncture protected tyre (like a Marathon). That is even is you supply anecdotal evidence. Of course, if your solid tyre is a skinny roadbike tyre and you compare it to a half inflated wide Marathon then that is an other matter, but what would be the point in that.
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Old 12-23-17, 01:39 PM
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I replaced my Marathon Plus 1.75 (70psi) with Tannus Shield 1.5 (rated 80psi) on an ICE Adventure FS, hoping to squeeze a bit more speed. Didn't notice a big diff. Now running Tannus MiniVelo 1.25 rated 90psi; seems a bit faster on pavement, but I really need wider tires for softer gravel trails. Difference between 90 vs 32 temp appears negligible. With 3 wheels I don't care about traction.

Installation of the Shield required a dealer to use a commercial install tool, due to 19-21mm tire barely fitting into a 19mm rim. The MiniVelo was fairly easy to do myself with 17-20mm tires. Cutting off an old Tannus with garden shears takes 5 minutes.

Speed and rolling resistance is so subjective without controlled tests. This is the best test I've seen, after hours of Googling, showing little difference between Tannus and pneumatic: see Youtube, "Tannus 700x23c Solid Road Tyre vs Pneumatic - Downhill test". I'll run the Tannus through the winter and may then try a 100psi wider Marathon, with a controlled comparison.
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