Is this tyre solution even better than tubeless? Claimed to be 100% puncture proof, it’s a tall order – could you be running this set up in the near future? Here’s the low down from designer Tannus:
If you thought tubeless had more or less become standard in off-road cycling, you would have been correct. That was until now, when it was announced that Tannus will be unveiling a revolutionary foam insert for tube setups at the upcoming Taipei Cycle Show. Tannus, who are the worlds #1 brand of airless tyres, have been co-developing this product for the past year with one of the big tyre brands. The “Armour” is the first insert on the market that is aimed at using a tube setup as opposed to tubeless to enable an improved mounting, provide the rider better flat protection and for the sportive rider the ability to ride at lower PSIs without ever getting a pinch flat. Available in 2019 for 29” and 27.5” MTB sizes as well as a several 700C sizes (35-40), the Armour is aimed at all riders, with a focus on off-road cycling, touring and commuting.
The Armour has been developed with Tannus’s familiar Aither technology. Tannus CEO and Head of R&D Youngki Lee, said: “We have the ability to change the properties of the Aither material for different performance. In comparison to the Aither airless tyres, the Amour foam compound is lighter, provides better rebound and shock absorbing.” The development focus was an easy to mount, yet durable and lightweight insert, which has a better rolling resistance than others in the market. Extensive lab and field tests confirmed the superior design and function already.
Designed to be used in conjunction with a clincher tyre and inner-tube combo, the Armour sits between the inner-tube and tyre. At its thickest point, the top of the Armour is ~15mm, which, combined with a tyre, provides in excess of 20mm of puncture protection. The walls of the Armour are ~2mm thick and totally encase the inner tube, providing additional lateral protection from punctures to the sidewall as well as pinch flats. The Armour design allows riders to lower their tyre pressure, whilst at the same time ensuring ultimate protection to their rims. In the unlikely event you get a flat tyre, you can also run on the Armour without any problems under 10km/h, which could be a real lifesaver.
The most noticeable thing about the Armour is its simplicity. Anyone who has installed or ridden tubeless will testify that it is a pain to install and maintain, whilst only being about 60-70% effective against punctures. In contrast, the Armour installation is as easy to set up as a standard tyre / tube combo and requires no special tools or added maintenance.
Due to come onto the market in Spring 2019, the Armour is priced from 29.99 euros, significantly more competitive than the Schwalbe Procore or Cushcore inserts for tubeless. Weight wise, the Armour is between 250g for the 700 x 35-40C and 290g for the 29”, with the 27.5” weighing 270g.
News of the Armour has already spread quickly, with German giant Messingschlager announcing at Taipei that it will be the official European distributor of the Tannus Armour (excluding the UK and Spain). Messingschlager is the second major distributor Tannus have announced within the last month, following the announcement in September of Moore Large as the official UK distributor.