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Tannus Airless Solid Tire Review--Unstable, Slow, Faster Wear, Pricey

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Tannus Airless Solid Tire Review--Unstable, Slow, Faster Wear, Pricey

Old 07-30-19, 12:56 PM
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cvandam
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Tannus Airless Solid Tire Review--Unstable, Slow, Faster Wear, Pricey

Tannus Airless Solid Tire Review--Unstable, Slow, Faster Wear, Pricey

I have commuted 20 miles round trip most weekdays for a year (around 3,500 miles) on Tannus solid tires Shield 700x32c.

After a year of almost daily use I'm going to swap them out for probably Shwalbe Marathon Plus tires--I'm also interested in trying tubeless but need to learn more. The downsides of the Tannus solid tires are too many to overcome the no-flat upside. My biggest gripe is how they feel and handle. Tannus says these tires are 80 psi equivalent. When I ride on them it feels like I'm riding on hot tar on the road. The tires flex and catch on grooves and ridges in the road, making them feel very squirmy and unstable, especially when going downhill (faster speeds) and when turning. You can feel them flexing and shifting a little underneath you as you ride. At times it feels like they might roll off the rim, though that's never happened. I had a Tannus-certified bike shop install the tires and after I felt that unstable flexing I went back to the shop to be sure they were installed correctly--it wasn't the installation, it's just how those particular tires handle.

It seems to me that the tires are also slower than equivalent pneumatic tires--more rolling resistance is my guess.

Tannus says these tires should go 5,000 miles, but at around 3,500 miles my rear tire is already wearing flat and as a result it increasingly feels unstable and has a harder time cornering. Not impressed with how quickly they're wearing. I believe I could get 6,000-8,000 miles on Shwalbe Marathon Plus tires (twice the wear of the Tannus).

The Tannus tires are $80 compared to $57 for the Shwalbe Marathon Plus tires. For the money, the Tannus tires are not worth it in my opinion after a year of solid use.

If anyone wants to weigh in on whether I might choose to go with tubeless over the Marathon Plus tires I'm all ears. Can I use my existing wheels for tubeless? I'm not excited about spending more on wheels right now.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:38 PM
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DrIsotope
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As was going to ask what kind of rims you have, but the Marathon Plus HS440 is not Tubeless Easy, so it doesn't matter. In touring/commuting from Schwalbe, only the Marathon Almotion HS453 and Marathon Supreme HS469 are tubeless-ready-- and they're both around 80 bucks a tire.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:42 PM
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You've given them a longer trial that I would given the ride feel you describe. Are flats that common of a problem where you ride?
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Old 07-30-19, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the report! If you managed to stick with them for a year of commuting, I would say that they are not that bad . My airless experience is with the Mobike share bike tires and they are pretty heavy going. I can tolerate them on a share bike, but I would not tolerate them for any length of time on my own everyday bike. I have not run Schwalbe Marathon Plus to the ground, but I have Schwalbe Marathon XR and the tire started to fall apart under 4K miles.
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Old 07-30-19, 03:45 PM
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paging @CliffordK for an update
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Old 07-30-19, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
paging @CliffordK for an update
My notes are here:

Tanis solid tire

I have been off of the Tannus tires for a couple of years (700x25 size). Still mounted, and may return to them in the winter. The rear has worn quite a bit. Front still looks good, but mounting was a big enough of a hassle that there is no reason to rotate.

I do support the idea of pneumatic tires (various brands) for summer riding when flats are less frequent. But, that would more or less require swapping wheels or bikes.

I will probably install a set on my trailer sometime.
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Old 07-31-19, 10:26 AM
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Oh, another thought. I did try a Schwalbe Marathon Plus (700x25) tire. I thought the tire had great traction.

However, the first week of riding it, I picked up a piece of glass the size of a pinky fingernail. It cut through the rubber, and did some thread damage.

I attempted to boot, and rode that tire for a while. But, it eventually ended up being a critical failure.

For another couple thousand miles, a few small cuts in the rubber, but no additional critical damage spots.

A competing tire is the Michelin Protek Cross Max. They don't have 25mm sizes, but I think have 32mm and 35mm sizes. I thought the Protek Cross Max tires were a little slower than my road tires, but I put on quite a few miles without any major tire damage or flats... until the bike was stolen. Excellent traction, including slushy snow on pavement.

Michelin Protek also has self-sealing tubes. I haven't used them myself, although I did send a pair to my nephew in goathead territory. I haven't heard of any problems yet.

Hard to say if the Marathon Plus damage was just bad luck, and the no flats with the Proteks was just good luck. But, that is certainly a tire worth considering.
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Old 08-21-22, 09:35 PM
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Tannus Airless tire review

I thought that "bombproof" puncture resistance was my top priority. Turns out that is not so. The extra drag from the airless tires (Shield 20" X 1 1/2" ( 40-406)) is tremendous compared to any of the pneumatic 47-406 tires I normally use. I have to use at least 2 or more usually 3 gears lower than normal on my Shimano Nexus 8 spd hub in order to have the same pedaling effort on any given terrain using 2 pneumatic tires. In fairness, this seems to be at least partly due to my weight - I am quite heavy at 280 lb. Most of the extra drag seems to be from the rear wheel. When using a pneumatic rear tire & Tannus Shield front tire there is only a little more drag than when using 2 pneumatic tires. In the end this turned out to be an expensive, failed experiment to (needlessly?) "improve" on Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires which I have used successfully (Ie without punctures) for years. I guess if you are after a more intense workout on a short commute or your route is strewn with abundant puncture-causing debris or are light-weight, Tannus airless tires may work for you. Personally, I will continue to use Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
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Old 08-21-22, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikerpete View Post
(Shield 20" X 1 1/2" ( 40-406)

In fairness, this seems to be at least partly due to my weight - I am quite heavy at 280 lb. Most of the extra drag seems to be from the rear wheel. When using a pneumatic rear tire & Tannus Shield front tire there is only a little more drag than when using 2 pneumatic tires.
I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you. I'll admit that I haven't been using the bike I put the Tannus tires on for quite some time.

I wonder if your tires were too soft. Some of the tires they have different hard/soft selections. I'm going through the Tannus menus, and they seem to only list one stiffness for the 20x1.5, "Regular 80 PSI"

20x1 1/8 has "Regular, 100 PSI".

For your weight with small tires, something really stiff would have been good.
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