We have mounted and tested the solid tires by tannus.com; In practice the only acceptable offer in this market segment.
Tannus is a branch of Fine Chemical Co. Ltd, a large Korean chemical company. The alchemy here is a special foam, hard enough to endure you and your bike’s weight for thousands of kilometres, while giving a chance to your back (upper and lower).
With the precious and enthusiast support of Walter Carava`, co-founder of You & Bike, the Italian distributor, we have mounted a pair of Tannus tires (of the softer kind) on a Vrum Unica test bike:
Installation is a little tricky, but less awful than one can imagine. Let's say it takes about three times with respect to mounting a normal clincher + tube.
Once installed, we acknowledge we do love these high-pressure tires, as punctures and rolling frictions are among the worst enemies of the nimble city biker. Our overall feeling over a number of cross-city rides is definitely good, despite our traditionalist biker’s’ pre-conceptions.
You may say that the Vrum Unica’s frame is a perfect combination of stiffness and shock dumping, and you would be right, but we have often (almost) forgotten not having any air between our back and the road below.
It has been noted that rolling friction increases at higher temperatures with foam tires, but winter in Milano is cold enough that we didn't perceive any 'gluing' effect to the asphalt.
However, we have something to say about the aesthetics of the installed Tannus tires: they look a little bulky and the groove has a cheap, too polished kind of design. In any case, we think that forgiving punctures has a lot of value and it can be worth a little loss in confort and a higher price.
To sum up, we will offer Tannus tires as an option on all our Vrum bikes. Send us an email if you are interested in solid tires when ordering a Vrum bicycle.