We reviewed Tannus Tyres some time ago and it was well received by our readers and Tannus, so when we bumped into Ricky from Tannus Tyres at the Cycle Show, he was keen to tell us about the newer Tannus Aither 1.1 tyre.
So what’s new? Tannus claim an improvement in rolling resistance from 7% to just 2% over the 1.0 tyre, which is also now much lighter at 370g. There is also now 50% more airspace in the compound making for a much more forgiving tyre and these changes in compound also improve grip. Sound like Tannus have made some huge steps. Let’s have a look.
We tested both the 700×23 and 700×28 tyres to get a feel for both road riders using them for training and also for commuters in and around town. Out of the box the tyres appeared to have a faint sparkly glitter appearance and this is due to the production process but it wipes off. On the road the tyres in both sizes initially felt a bit slippy, and although we were told the tyres don’t need running in, we found they needed a hundred miles or so before confidence had grown enough and the tyres had scrubbed up a bit to grip. It could be coincidental but it was generally agreed that on the 3 sets of tyres we tested, the first few rides required a bit of extra caution. After this initial ride, the grip was found to be good and consistent with what we would expect. I didn’t notice a huge difference in grip over the 1.0 tyre but this isn’t a bad point for the tyre, it’s more indicative of how good grip already was for a solid tyre.
Rolling resistance certainly seemed better than the previous incarnation and whilst you still feel a bit of extra effort, it’s not quite the treacle experience of old and it’s only really noticeable as the speed begins to increase. Commuting round town and in the city it is a very small extra effort and certainly a worthwhile compromise for the peace of mind of being puncture free on the way to the office.
Comfort is still a little lacking when bombing round country lanes and every small rut is felt but for those who run high tyre pressures in a 23 tyre it feels like a 110psi tyre. It takes a little getting used to if you run a lower pressure and certainly is more notable on the 28 tyre but for me it certainly isn’t a deal breaker, most people would happily trade a softer ride the first time they are stood road side with cold hands and a snapped lever trying to change a tyre that doesn’t want to come off.@TannusEuropeTyres improve on winning formula with the Aither 1.1 Click To Tweet
So, have things improved? Should you buy them? Pro triathletes Lucy Charles and Reece Barclay both seem to think so, and are using the tyres on training bikes whilst eyeing up places at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I myself made no secret in the past of my like for Tannus tyres, and whilst not harbouring olympic ambitions, I am a mile muncher and have had more than my fair share of punctures, often worsening my mood by missing the flint and having a second puncture on the same ride a few miles later, so riding without fear was a revelation when it first happened. I still highly rate these tyres. The 28 are a great choice for commuters, I didn’t feel the improvements in comfort but don’t feel this to be a big issue in towns where the roads are generally ok. I did and still do love riding down the streets no longer worrying about the puddles of glass and debris scattered around. Rolling resistance on my flat bar single speed felt similar to the Specialised Armadillos and Schwalbe Marathons that had previously been gracing the wheels of old faithful, and by the time you have added the weight of inner tubes, wheel tape, and tyres together, there isn’t even a weight penalty to using solid tyres. Lets not forget the saddle pack you can leave at home now, with the spare tubes, levers, pump, and extra paraphernalia. Suddenly this becomes the lighter option.
The 700×23 tyres were indeed much firmer than the 28, which is true of any tyre option, be it clincher, tub, solid, it’s the nature of the beast, less tyre means less cushion. They were though, also, much faster than the 28 or even the 23 Aither 1.0 and although a little slower than a Conti 4 season, it’s winter, and I’ll happily trade a little speed for an uninterrupted ride. Club runners will know the feeling of 8 pairs of eyes watching them change a tube on a country lane, fending off the cold as they patiently watch you fumble with tube and pump whilst secretly wishing they hadn’t let you come!
Things have certainly moved on at Tannus Tyres. They are still an option that requires compromise, but now it’s an easier decision to make and the sacrifices in speed are small enough to be acceptable to all but the most speed obsessed Strava tart. More positive steps from Tannus in an increasingly demanding market.