Is it all in my mind? And solid tyres?


February 13, 2015 by welshcyclist

I’ve done a few commutes with my new back wheel now, I feel as if I’m going faster, and the pedalling seems so much smoother? Looking at the times for my commute, however, they remain average, for me, at least, and painfully slow to the average roadie.

Has the new back wheel speeded me up? I don’t know, the bike feels more comfortable, and the power transfer seems to have improved. Maybe the old wheel, damaged as it was, was making it harder work for me on the Pioneer? That’s, probably, the best explanation I can come up with, on my lonesome.

So the upgrade on my bike, has improved things in a comfort text, or at least in my mind.

I have begun to think of how, I can improve my commute, by upgrades of any sort. Then on one of the cycling web sites I came across Tannus tyres, have a look at their web site. Tannus make solid rubber tyres, something I looked at in my early days of commuting by bike, probably eight years ago. Back then puncture free solid tyres were rubbished by cycling aficionados, as being too slow. But speed has never been one of my major concerns, the joy of being out in the fresh air, self propulsion, even helping save on emissions, are all more important to me. To coin a phrase cycling is just fantastic.

Speed wasn’t and still isn’t important to me, but making cycling more hard work for me is? Back then, the idea of 10% extra rolling resistance did not outweigh being puncture free. To day Tannus claim that has been cut to 2%, and at a cost of £90 a pair for my bike, seems reasonable to have that added peace of mind, that I will always get to work on time, without having a puncture. On top of that these solid tyres are good, they claim, for 8,000 miles. I am definitely interested, do you my faithful reader know of, or have any experience of solid tyres.

Compared to the effort I was putting in with my old (broken) back wheel to my new shiny one, I’d have to put a measure of 5-10%, so 2% extra rolling resistance doesn’t frighten me. “Peace of mind”, as Amen Korner sang about would bring that bit more pleasure to my commute. I’ve already said, (there’s another few words from a pop song), in a reply comment to John Berry on this blog I am thinking of upgrading to a new front wheel on my Pioneer. Now puncture free tyres? Would they add the icing to the cake, that I am already enjoying?

I need to do some more investigation, I’ve already asked a question on Cyclescheme, who previously advised never use solid tyres, perhaps I should ask on Cyclebug and Bikeradar as well as contacting Tannus to ask some pertinent questions.

Watch this space, faithful reader.

21 thoughts on “Is it all in my mind? And solid tyres?

  1. Maybe you had a tail wind lol. They don’t appeal to me, how do they compare with Schwalbe marathon pluses in terms of weight? With summer not far off, you’d want lighter tyres. Also seem a lot of money especially given the torture buying a new wheel was for you.

    • Since we became a one car family a couple of years back I’ve saved a fortune, so a new xyz for my bike is not a problem, but still requires thought and consideration of the cost… Still saving for yet another bike lol

      • welshcyclist says:

        I am basically a one cycle chap, of the several bikes I have I only use two, my commuter 90% of the time and my single speed the rest, another bike doesn’t thrill me that much. But upgrading what I have is now very interesting to me. Oh for a Rohloff hub….One day maybe! Cheers

    • welshcyclist says:

      I’ve had a Schwalbe marathon plus on the back wheel since last winter and only had one puncture, I haven’t even compared the weights as a consideration, thanks for the tip. Still investigating, Tannus tyres have already responded to one of my queries, fixing solid tyres to the rims doesn’t negate going back to pneumatics. Cheers

      • welshcyclist says:

        And no, I didn’t have a tail wind, the wind always blows against a cyclist in my part of the world, no such thing as wind assistance here, lol. Cheers

      • That’s good, I’d be keen to find out more, you could negate the weight by not carrying the repair tools and pump you’d normally carry, though wheel weight is worse that belly weight lol

  2. tootlepedal says:

    I shall be interested to hear how your research into solid tyres goes. I am relying on Schwalbe Marathons and have been mercifully puncture free for quite a while.

    • welshcyclist says:

      I asked Tannus tyres if there is a loss of handling ability while riding a bike with solid tyres fitted, that’s a major “against” reason 1quoted bike “experts”. I haven’t had a reply yet, but I guess the only way to find out is to ask someone, who has ridden with them, to give their opinion.

      • tootlepedal says:

        Interesting. Let me know what they say.

      • welshcyclist says:

        I’ve had a report via John Berry, to steer clear of these Tannus tyres, as they are terrble! Sadly, there seems a lot more to be done to get solid tyres anywhere near the properties of pneumatics, I hate punctures, but it looks as though I’m going to have to live with them for awhile yet. Cheers

      • tootlepedal says:

        I’ll stick to my Schwalbe Marathons then. Thank you for the information.

  3. John Berry says:

    Just read this on facebook regarding Tannus Tyres

    “For any of you considering putting Tannus Tyres on your steed;

    Here is my Tannus Tyre review
    They are truly AWFUL! Absolutely RUBBISH! They advertise an increase to rolling resistance of 8% but it’s more like 25%. Which basically means it is like cycling with the back brake engaged, and when you come to a hill they are even worse.
    I did 245 miles in the week after I fitted them and it was terrible, I felt like I was working twice as hard to go 2 or 3 MPH SLOWER. The ride is very harsh too, so they’re uncomfortable aswell. I don’t think I can condemn these tyres any more than I have. My advice steer well clear.”

    So apparently they aren’t very good, I think I will be sticking with my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres for the winter 🙂

  4. Did you buy and try in the end?

    • welshcyclist says:

      No to solid tyres, but my new back wheel was kind of forced on me. The rim was all but falling apart, I ended up paying £50 plus, for one that was on sale at Tredz, in Swansea.

  5. Edmund Murray says:

    I rode a different make of non-pneumatic tyre 40 years ago when commuting on London towpaths. I am sure the technology is much better now, the ride was a bit harsh and slow then, but worth it for the total freedom from flats. Ride Schwalbe Marathon Plus now & impressed by their robustness.

    Have just discovered your blog by chance, and feel an affinity, not just because of the cycling connection but that my late father came from your part of Wales & was a signalman for his whole career. Edmund.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Hi Edmund, Great to hear from you, do you know what signal box your dad worked in and when? I don’t think the surname Murray would be much used in south Wales. It’s great to look up the history of the boxes and their associated signallers. Cheers.

      • Edmund Murray says:

        Very good to hear from you. My father was born in 1907 in Swansea, moved to Ystradgynlais but had to leave looking for work, his first railway job being in Parkend in the Forest of Dean & subsequently in Birmingham, Somerset and for a long time in Gloucestershire, where I was brought up. His father was from the north of Scotland & moved to South Wales as a driver for the LNWR. I believe my father’s uncle was a bigwig inspector on the railway, so a lot of railway connections in the family. As you say, not many Murrays in your part of the world, but a very common name in Scotland and Ireland.
        Like your style of writing, the everyday being a pleasant adventure, although I have never found punctures much fun. Best wishes & stay safe, Edmund.

      • welshcyclist says:

        Hi there Edmund, Thanks for the info and your comment about my blog. I want to recommend a another cycling blog that I think you will enjoy. Type tootlepedal into your search engine, I read it most days, Tom is a real inspiration for me. Let me know how you feel about his blog. ChEERS.

  6. Edmund Oliver Murray says:

    Have read what you recommend and it is good stuff, as is yours. Keep up the good work & keep those wheels turning. Edmund.

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