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Korean company Tannus launches new lightweight and fast-rolling solid tyres

Tannus Tires is a Korean company and it has just launched the new Aither 1.1 solid tyre which it claims only has 2% higher rolling resistance than a regular tyre, lasts at least 6,000 miles and weighs 430g.

There have been solid tyres before, of course, and anyone with a long memory might recall early attempts that were less than successful. Tannus boldly claim its new tyres are a significant step forward, and it has been developing the tyres since 2003.

Behind the development of the new tyres is Jazz Walia, and he says, “Commuters can leave their house on their bike, safe in the knowledge that they will not get a puncture. Riders don’t have to worry about reliability. They never have to worry about getting to work late, changing a punctured inner tube in the freezing weather or worrying about what time they will get home on their bike. They don’t need the fuss of pump, spare inner tubes or tyre levers.”

The Aither tyres - there are two versions, 1.0 and 1.1, aimed at commuters and performance cyclists respectively - are made from a nanofoam polymer. It’s similar stuff to that used in trainers. The tyre has a constant pressure that's about the same as an inner tube pumped up to 100 psi, and it can withstand temperatures of -15º to + 50º.

Rolling resistance has been the enemy of solid tyres, but in this department Tannus claims the unique polymer it has used has resulted in a tyre with a rolling resistance just 2% higher than normal tyres. According to Tannus, tests against a Panaracer tyre revealed that when pedalled at the same power output the Aither 1.1 can travel at 29kph, compared to 30kph for the Panaracer.

The Aither tyres can be fitted to most regular clincher rims. Each tyre features a series of slots into which plastic strips push, and these then lock into the groove in the rim where the tyre bead normally locates.

Solid tyres have been tried before, but without much success. Tannus has aimed to make solid tyres a viable alternative to regular tyres and inner tubes, and with this new tyre claims to have significantly narrowed the gap. We’ve just been sent a pair so we’ll be testing them out with curiosity over the next couple of weeks. We’ll let you know how we get on. Not having to carry a pump and spare tube and there being no risk of a puncture are certainl attractive propositions.

Tannus will launch the new Aither 1.1 solid tyres at the upcoming London Bike Show, so if you’re heading to the show make sure to pop along to their stand to have a closer look if you’re interested.

The Aither 1.1 tyres cost £120 a pair, are available in 14 colours, and can be bought from www.tannus.co.uk

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

41 comments

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gmehje1 [28 posts] 2 years ago
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Take a look at the installation. Crikey: http://tannus.co.uk/tannus_installation.html

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jollygoodvelo [1652 posts] 2 years ago
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I love that people keep trying and trying with this idea. Some day they might crack it. This might even be the product that does it.

But £120 is more than I've spent on tyres in my life.

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DaveE128 [887 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder how grip, comfort, rolling resistance will all vary with temperature.

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userfriendly [610 posts] 2 years ago
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Hmm. Something for the commie then (or, commuter bike). I'll happily take the 1kph hit if that means no more puncture fixing by the cold wet roadside in deepest darkest winter.  1 Looking forward to the full review.

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pants [238 posts] 2 years ago
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Even if they worked the prices are still a bit high for me, at the moment I use schawable durano S which are 20 each and are pretty much puncture free (unless it's a huge piece of glass) within it's lifespan. Although I never calculated how many miles I get out of a set.

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Ian Allardyce [62 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm wondering whether not needing inner-tubes, leavers and pumps makes these a good idea for light Audax Tours?

I think I know the answer already but thought I'd chuck it out there.

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DaveG [50 posts] 2 years ago
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What no 25mm?  21

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 2 years ago
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Bit of a closed loop at that price. Road.CC or any of my other reliable sources would have to give these the most glowing review ever and even then I doubt I'd risk £120.

If they maybe offered a 60 day return for refund policy people would risk it. If they don't sell loads the cost/price is unlikely to come down.

If these do live up to the hype then certainly these would be ideal for commuting and those folk who ride a few times a year on a summers day and dread punctures as they don't know how to fix or carry kit.

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Infide [8 posts] 2 years ago
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Problem I think will be if you brake hard on them - you risk putting a flat spot on the tyre if you skid which you'd feel when riding from then on....

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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Infide wrote:

Problem I think will be if you brake hard on them - you risk putting a flat spot on the tyre if you skid which you'd feel when riding from then on....

Like any tyre really then?

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Tobias F [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Yea. Hmm. I suffer less than one puncture a year, across multiple bikes and thousands of kilometers. And my tyres are not expensive - highest end ones are Gatorskins. So I think I shall stick to pneumatics for now.

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Chuck [588 posts] 2 years ago
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As well as the puncture benefits I think there are a lot of people who expect to be able to just pick up their bike and ride it, and who don't know you need to pump your tyres up every now and again. So the low maintenance aspect is maybe a selling point too.

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Chuck [588 posts] 2 years ago
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DaveE128 wrote:

I wonder how grip, comfort, rolling resistance will all vary with temperature.

Yeah, it's worth thinking about why it is that pneumatic tyres made solid ones obsolete despite the puncture thing!

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bigshape [167 posts] 2 years ago
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i suppose when it gets icey you could fire a load of staples into them for extra grip  19

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Masterchief [25 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

and it can withstand temperatures of -15º to + 50º.

Hmm what about heat from rim brakes? Could that not potentially bring the temperature above 50 degrees?

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rogermerriman [114 posts] 2 years ago
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Intresting idea if it can be made to work, I have heard some reasonable reviews, re ride/efficiency though partically in cold wet days, grip would be intresting to know.

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Jacobi [172 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd give it a go but at £120 a pair it's a bit pricey for my pocket. I think I'll stick with the Schwalbe Durano Performance until such times as the price comes down.

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3cylinder [96 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm seriously tempted for the Brompton - a bit of extra weight and rolling resistance is irrelevant there

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Oolon Colluphid [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Good on them for trying. If this could be made to work I'd certainly stick a set on a commuter bike for £120 a pair - 6000 miles is pretty good. I don't think I get as much as that out of the Conti Four Seasons I use through the winter, which cost plenty and which, whilst very good, aren't puncture proof.

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nortonpdj [174 posts] 2 years ago
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lucky you! do you ride in winter?

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JustADude [2 posts] 2 years ago
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Is that really going to hold on to the rim that well?

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bikecellar [268 posts] 2 years ago
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These may be different but I am old enough to remember the "Green Tyres" which gave a very uncomfortable ride, lost fillings and broken spokes.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 2 years ago
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Are you allowed to use on the public road in this country resilient material tyres on a vehicle that can exceed a speed of 10mph?

I've lost touch with the regulations that cover this issue. Will research.

As to the price This will come down over time and what price do you put on peace of mind. I can see great potential in this technology especially with regard to commuting.

Edit: There is no current legislation in this country that would prohibit the use of resilient material tyres on pedal-cycles for use on the public road irrespective of speed. God I really am a  26

Puncture free commuting is within reach.  16

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tomturcan [66 posts] 2 years ago
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Will be interested to hear how reviewers describe the feel of the tyres on different road surfaces and in different conditions. They could make an excellent winter tyre, or even sportive/audax summer tyre if they feel right. Love the colours!

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evojm72 (not verified) [368 posts] 2 years ago
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Never underestimate the desire for the lazy cyclist to take the path of least resistance. Although I could buy a about 3 pairs of gatorskins for that!

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atgni [430 posts] 2 years ago
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evojm72 wrote:

Never underestimate the desire for the lazy cyclist to take the path of least resistance. Although I could buy a about 3 pairs of gatorskins for that!

The solid tyres increase rolling resistance by 2%. So does the lazy cyclist have pneumatic tyres?
Puncture normally equals taxi for me, so these might be cheaper in the long run  3

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Infide [8 posts] 2 years ago
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glynr36 wrote:
Infide wrote:

Problem I think will be if you brake hard on them - you risk putting a flat spot on the tyre if you skid which you'd feel when riding from then on....

Like any tyre really then?

I don't think so. I'd think the inner tube would partially compensate for any flat spots on a casing.

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themartincox [553 posts] 2 years ago
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I am well up for trying these out, if they are as good as I would hope then surely they would be ideal for transcontinental?

no need to carry 2 spare tubes, pump, patches and levers etc - thats weight and space being saved right there!

looking forward to seeing how they go!

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brodibike [17 posts] 2 years ago
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Installation could well be fun if it's anything like fitting solid tyres to wheelchair wheels. The last one of those I did took about half and hour a tyre and left me physically drained despite using the foot long plastic lever tools supplied.  16

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CapriciousZephyr [87 posts] 2 years ago
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tomturcan wrote:

Will be interested to hear how reviewers describe the feel of the tyres on different road surfaces and in different conditions. They could make an excellent winter tyre, or even sportive/audax summer tyre if they feel right. Love the colours!

Shhh, let's not let the New Forest (and elsewhere) NIMBYs know about these and just try to catch the looks on their faces as a whole sportive sails untroubled through their sea of tacks...

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