5,000 miles of puncture-free riding in 2024

Pundture-proof tyre for bicycles

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.

punctured bike tyre

That sinking feeling

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.

Tannus solid bicycle tyres

Tannus tyres are made from a polymer compound that comes in a range of colours


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.

 

Comments

  1. Sam M

    Reply

    I had 4 flats in short succession and seriously looked into buying a pair of these but they were out of stock at all the suppliers I could find here (Australia). I only ride a couple km each day to commute so it was a serious run of bad luck (and one self-inflicted after I somehow left a plastic tyre lever INSIDE the tyre which immediately snapped and punctured my new tube).

    I stumped up for a pair of marathon plus tyres but decided I was sick of changing tyres so I’d wait until the next flat before I swapped them.

    So of course it’s been 6 months since then without a puncture and the $220 tyres are just sitting on my shelf still.

  2. Kate Ball

    Reply

    I’d love to try these tyres either on the tandem I share with my learning disabled daughter or on my wheelchair: I tow my wheelchair behind my Brompton for work and leisure journeys when I’m not using the tandem (which has a wheelchair mount on the pannier rack).
    Unfortunately the way I tip up and hitch the wheelchair onto the Brompton rear pannier rack messes up the tracking on the angled rear wheelchair wheels, meaning the tyre wear really fast: I’m particularly worried about punctures on the wheelchair as these are the only tyres I can’t change – currently have Schwalbe Marathons but they’re a narrow, tight size!- and these tyres look like a solution!

  3. Steve Connolly

    Reply

    Tannus tyres are brilliant – absolutely a must if you want to avoid the possibility of having a puncture completely. They handle as well as an old set of Swalbe Marathon plus tyres, but are far lighter. In fact, by not needing an inner tube plus rim tape plus spare plus tyre levers plus pump, Tannus work out lighter. I would judge their feel harder than a pneumatic tyre, even inflated to very high pressure (>100 psi), but their ride comfort is still perfectly acceptable. The fact you never need to check their pressure on the way out in anticipation of the morning commute is a Godsend.

    • SAM

      Reply

      I’m fast approaching 64 years old and roadside punctures absolutely kill me. My poor hand flexibility makes this a chore I could do without!! I would love a chance to try them ASAP.

  4. DarC

    Reply

    I would love to try these, not had solid tyres since my 1960’s made tricycle over 50 years ago!
    I’m still pedaling all these years later, wonder how many punctures I’ve had over all those decades?

    • Richard Kelly

      Reply

      Hello, these look great. After coming off my bike years ago and badly breaking my wrist I hate fixing punctures

    • Peter Lawson

      Reply

      As the donkey said in Shrek….
      Me…me…pick me! What about me!

  5. Steve

    Reply

    My wife is disabled after 3 spinal fractures and recently fell breaking her femur. As she is completely dependant on me, punctures worry me whilst I am out cycling, trying to get a bit of me time. I would love to swap for tannus tyres, just to give me piece of mind that I can get home without the worry of a puncture. As I live rural, farmers often cut hedges, leaving sharp bits on the road, it is not uncommon to get 3 or more punctures. This is a step forward, no doubts.

  6. Daniel Menashe

    Reply

    I love cycling, but changing a tyre at 7 am in the dark on my commute to work isn’t my idea of fun. These would be fantastic for me

    • Darren Charles

      Reply

      These tyres are the way forward for cycling as you can just think about whats a head of you rather than always looking at the road surfaces for glass ,giving you peace of mind and no worries, as well they are saving the planet as you no longer need to keep buying inner tubes also when the tyres have had their full usage the aither compound can be recycled, another benefit is it keeps you fit cycling and saves money ,its a no brainer, it would not matter how hard they feel you would never have to stop to repair a puncture in the dark ,freezing, raining weather.

  7. Paul Jackson

    Reply

    I’m really excited to try Tannus tyres on my bike as I’m unable to repair or replace an inner tube due to problems with my hands.
    Puncture proof tyres would give me the confidence to do longer rides and they would improve my health too.

  8. Sam

    Reply

    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 ETA

      Reply

      Thanks for the info, Sam – really helpful insight into living with Tannus tyres

  9. Craig

    Reply

    This is a very interesting prize. The article and comments about what is “new” technology to me, is also insightful. Well done for introducing the subject ETA.

    • Richard Kelly

      Reply

      Hello, these look great.

      After coming off my bike and badly breaking my wrist years ago I hate fixing punctures

  10. Hayley

    Reply

    So sick of punctures. Slime doesn’t seem to work in my tyres. This could be an interesting solution for me.

  11. Steph Dixon

    Reply

    I commute 30 miles a week on my bike and In that time I’ve had 4 flats and had to walk home in the rain several times! This would 1000% help me lol.

    • Yiipeeia

      Reply

      I have tried the thicker plastic inner tubes which still got punctured by blackthorn . I have 24inch. Wheels on a Airnimal Joey, I wonder how difficult that would be to install!

  12. Vinnie

    Reply

    OMG YES, YES YES.

  13. Tim Earl

    Reply

    Oh yes. I read about these a while ago and would really like to try them.

  14. John Stables

    Reply

    Sick of punctures this winter – please help!

  15. JohnB

    Reply

    Yes, would love a set of thes to try.

  16. David Gray

    Reply

    I’d be interested in how the ride and grip compare.

  17. Peter Clark

    Reply

    I’ve got one bike that I keep at a station for a short commute in the city. Having to reinflate them periodically is a right pain as I have to take my track pump with me so these would be great for that particular bike. Don’t see myself adopting these on the bikes I use for my longer rides

  18. Mags

    Reply

    Would love to try these on my second (electric) bike, as it’s very difficult to get the rear wheel off. I discovered that when I got the first puncture with it, which caused me then to join ETA Cycle Rescue. Of course, I haven’t had a puncture on either of my bikes since! For my touring (non-electric) bike I’ll probably stick with Schwalbe Marathon, for better handling.

  19. Bazza

    Reply

    Would certainly like to give these a go for local rides.

  20. adrian price

    Reply

    I HATE FIXING PUNCTURES SO ID LOVE THESE

  21. Andrew

    Reply

    My bike is so heavy the extra weight won’t make any difference

  22. Fiona McLuckie

    Reply

    I would love a set of these! My commute is 12 miles round trip and punctures are a nightmare, especially when it’s dark and cold…

    • Jon Godfrey

      Reply

      My wife’s roadie has had tannus tyres since 2016. She’s never lookef back and on those days where it’s rained hard and there’s detritus all across the back lanes I use to cycle to work daily, I won’t lie- I borrow her bike. The weight difference is negligable: for a start, I’m not carrying the tyre levers, pump or tubes that I normally would be, so it pays to read beyond the headline in this sense. They don’t roll quite as fast as a high performance pneumatic, but then, when the roads are grotty, I’m not that bothered. I’d love a set to put on my winter wheels, please!

  23. Jenny C

    Reply

    I would love a set of these

    • Deena porteous

      Reply

      That would be awesome,and yes please.

  24. james

    Reply

    after all thje punctures sounds like a goo idea

  25. Jill

    Reply

    Having got two punctures this morning, front and rear, tyres like this would be a wish come true.

  26. Liz MacGregor

    Reply

    I have often wondered about these tyres. Being an older rider who nowadays tends to just pop down to the local shops (so having to fiddle with pumping up my tyres too frequently is tiresome (!) – and difficult with my arthritic fingers) on roads strewn with potholes, this would be just perfect. Yes please!

  27. Mark B

    Reply

    I would absolutely love to give these a go.

  28. Alasdair Carter

    Reply

    I’m getting too old to change punctures and too old to go fast – so these would be ideal!

  29. Philip Gregg

    Reply

    As the ETA is the ethical choice I’d be interested to know whether anyone at ETA calculated the environmental effect of these tyres compared with a normal tyre which can be recycled when warn out.

    • The ETA

      Reply

      We have not, although there are so many variables. For example, it depends on how many conventional tyres, inner tubes and repairs you’re avoiding.

  30. Alastair

    Reply

    Had a spate of punctures recently. Winter riding with thorns, stoney washes over the roads has given me the sort of reputation I don’t want!! Scottish winter roads are not a good place to be sorting punctures either – no matter how well you’re dressed.

  31. John Darby

    Reply

    So many punctures, not enough time! These would make all the difference!

  32. Jonathan Hunt

    Reply

    Having a former life as a “performance” cyclists, I’ve never given these serious consideration. But I have always been curious. Now, with e-bikes providing the power these days (for my urban riding at least), the loss in efficiency isn’t really a problem. I hope I win as I’m curious to find out if they really do cater for every tyre size – I have quite an array across my stable of bikes.

  33. Susan Edwards

    Reply

    Imagine a world with no punctures……… ❤️❤️!

  34. Steve

    Reply

    Two tyred to think about it…

  35. Gillian

    Reply

    I’d love to give a pair of these a spin on my daily Cambridge commuting bike please.

  36. Karen V

    Reply

    I have MS and arthritis in my thumbs, cycling is everything to me but getting a puncture is my big dread what with so many hawthorn hedges. These tyres would let me relax more

  37. Les Gunbie

    Reply

    My tyres are a glass shard magnet at the moment …

  38. ChrisB

    Reply

    Love to give these a try, my tyres are a bit old now and replacements of this type would be great.

  39. Mark

    Reply

    Solid prize!!!

  40. Gayle M

    Reply

    I use my bike with hub gear to commute and have had 2 punctures where I couldn’t do a roadside fix. It’s always a concern that it might happen again so I’d love to give these a try

  41. Mike porteous

    Reply

    Yes please 😎

  42. Sarah

    Reply

    These sound just the ticket. If I had a pair of these it would mean less kit to carry and more confidence that I would turn up at my destination at the time planned, which would be fantastic.

  43. John

    Reply

    Punctures are a riders bugbear, I would love to try these and maybe be a convert and never do a puncture repair again lol

  44. Jan Altus

    Reply

    I’m disabled, with arthritis affecting strength and dexterity in my hands, so changing a traditional inflatable tyre is now an impossibility. Tannus tyres could give me back my freedom to cycle, without the fear of a puncture and being left isolated.

  45. Colin

    Reply

    let’s go . . !

  46. Adrian

    Reply

    I now ride an e-bike, that I love. It’s a lot heavier than a normal bike, and I’m worried it’ll be much more of a pain getting a puncture. Maybe these tyres could be the answer?

  47. Jamie J

    Reply

    Definitely interested in giving these a try…

  48. Richard Gibson

    Reply

    Looks like Tannus tyres aren’t a let down

  49. Sue Davis

    Reply

    Clearly I’ve been living under a stone. Never heard if this type of tyre. I just cycle out with fingers crossed I don’t ever have to deal with a flat when I’m too far away. Mostly I just walk the bike vack home. I don’t carry kit because I can never get the tyres off or on again. So I’m pretty useless really. Should know better as cycling is my only mode if transport

  50. Iain Shanks

    Reply

    I’ve been thinking about giving these a go so would love to win a pair

  51. Bill

    Reply

    As everyone knows, having a puncture in the cold and wet weather is no fun at all and, now that I’m an OAP, is the main reason I tend not to cycle too much in the winter time. Having a pair of these tyres to try out on my bike would definitely get me out more.

  52. james

    Reply

    I’m often told I’m full of it ( hot air that is) so airless tyres are perfect

  53. Bill Reynolds

    Reply

    I have had these tyres fitted to my Dahon Vitesse for some year’s and are happy with them! No more pleasant, sunny day tour being spoiled by a lousy puncture!! I well remember on a tour of North Wales in the 1980’s having a puncture and having to use a muddy, road side puddle to find the puncture…NEVER AGAIN!!

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