A puncture-free tyre with the handling characteristics of a pneumatic tyre remains the Holy Grail of cycling.
The Tannus range of airless tyres might be impossible to puncture, but they don’t handle as well as a conventional tyre. Oh, and they’re slightly heavier, too. However, life is about compromises. If your commute isn’t too long and you’re not racing the clock, airless tyres are an option for those who’d rather avoid roadside repairs.
Win 5,000 of puncture-free cycling
We have a set of Tannus tyres to give away. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a set, leave us a comment at the bottom of this page. We’ll pick a winner and then be in touch to find out which tyre size and style you’d prefer. While we have your attention, don’t forget cycle insurance from the ETA includes Cycle Breakdown for free. If your bike suffers a mechanical breakdown or puncture, we’ll be here to help.
British inventor John Boyd Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic tyre (for the wooden disc wheel of his son’s tricycle) in 1887. The innovation transformed the performance of bicycles and contributed towards development of the first car by cycling fanatic Karl Benz.
Since then, attempts to produce solid puncture proof tyres for bicycles have been too much of a compromise in terms of weight, rolling resistance, grip and stability on the rim to be considered a mainstream alternative to inflatable tyres.
What are Tannus tyres like to live with?
According to one of our readers: Tannus tyres are excellent. I put them on both my kids town bikes when they went to uni so they could get around without taking spare kit, the risk of being late or getting stranded. My wife has them on her bike as she won’t ride a bike on her own if she has to worry about punctures. But they are a hard ride and don’t handle like a pneumatic tyre, I ride 25-35 miles a day on a hilly commute and use tubeless tyres or tubeless tubulars and would not swap. I build my own wheels and bikes so was happy fitting tannus tyres, I would recommend strongly that you should have a fairly robust rim and wheels need to be well trued and spokes tight before fitting tannus as they are hard work to get on or off, like very hard work. Great solution for round town, go for the widest softest version you can fit on.
The ethical choice
The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.
The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.