I’m going to complete a trio of articles on Tannus products by reviewing Tannus Armour.
Tannus Armour is a tyre liner for mountain bikes made with the same rubber compound as their airless tyres. But rather than provide a full airless tyre it provides only a liner which can be installed with a tube.
This is a unique product for mountain bikes at the moment. There are many tyre inserts that are designed to run with tubeless setups. These things prevent you from smashing your rim and tyre when you land hard.
The important thing to note is that such products work with a tubeless system. They do not replace it.
Tannus Armour is quite different. It replaces you tubeless system. With tubes…
The Tubeless System With Tubes
I’ve been running tubeless for about as long as tubeless tyres have been available. Maybe it’s my riding style or maybe it’s Nerang’s Three Hills track, but I’ve had way too many flats running tubes. When tubeless came along I was an early adopter.
My new eMTB comes with 2.8 inch tyres. I would have thought it was nearly impossible to pinch flat these things but I did it on my second ride. Down Three Hills. So I knew I needed a tubeless system.
Having enjoyed Tannus other products recently I was keen to try Tannus Armour. But I hesistated because they’re a “tubeless” system that uses tubes. Would I flat again?
Why Not Go Tubeless?
Yeah, good questions. Tubeless has massive (MASSIVE) benefits when you’re riding. But it’s a pain in the butt in the garage. If you’ve got the right tyre and rim and sealant it all goes well. But usually it’s messy and a bit annoying. And then you have to refill your sealant gump after a month of so. Then along comes Tannus promising the benefits of tubeless on the trail with the ease of tubes in the garage. That’s why.
Also, when it comes to a commuter, these things rock. It’s better protection than a standard tyre liner. It’s less effort than tubeless. And it has run flat protection.
This isn’t the hardest job you’ll ever do but not the easiest neither. You have to squeeze a tube and a tube liner into a space where normally only a tube would be. In the generous confines of a 2.8 inch mountain bike tyre this isn’t too hard. But I’ve also installed Tannus Armour on my wife’s commuter. It has fat 700c tyres, about 40mm. Making it all work together was exhausting.
Run Flat Protection
Run flat works a treat. I have to tell you that the biggest sized tyre for the Tannus Armour is 2.5 inch. And mine are 2.8 inch. Ive tested the run flat and it works. It’s not fast. It’s not fun. But it works. My wife’s bike has the Tannus Armour that actually fits the tyre and the run flat on that is exceptional. I know that she’ll make it home from work even if she punctures.
There’s a big ding in my wheel where I cased a gutter hop. I can blame the extra weight that sits in the arse end of the eMTB. Or I could be honest and tell you that my bunny hopping isn’t good at the best of times. Whatever. Main thing is I smashed the absolute crap outta that thing and I did not puncture.
I’ve smashed it up and down every trail without complaint. Including many runs down my nemesis, Three Hills.
I did pick up a slow leak somewhere and have replaced the tube since. Not before testing the run flat though. Why would you interpret a slow leak as a warning when you can wait until it becomes terminal? I’d rate the flat protection as outstanding. I’ve split open mountain bike tyres in rough sections before. So I rate one slow leak as a win.
Summary: Big Win For Tannus Armour
If you want a tubeless system without hassle of tubeless then this system rocks. If you want a system that’s as good as tubeless then you’re on a winner. If you want pinch-flat protection then sign up. If you want never to have tubeless sealant all over your garage floor then sign up. Tannus Armour works just like you’d hope it would. And then some.
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