If you ride aggressively, or are hard on tires, you’re probably familiar with tire inserts. A number of different options have popped up over the past few years promising reduced flats and better ride quality from your tubeless tires. Tannus initially took a different approach, instead introducing their Armour insert which was actually meant to work with tubes. That product still exists, but now Tannus is moving into the tubeless tire insert world as well.
Tannus makes some big claims with their tubeless Armour, which they say are the result of a challenging design process. “This is the hardest project we’ve ever done,” said Youngki Lee, Head Engineer of Tannus Tires. “The market for tubeless inserts has serious competition, so we had to design something that we believe is truly a better solution than those currently available.”
To that, the insert uses a winged shape that is said to “provide a smooth but active ride feel that’s not overly damped.” The shape also provides 20mm of rim protection, and a claimed 50% more vibration damping for small bumps over their competitors. It even claims to be faster rolling than a tire without it by 3%.
Tannus actually has some hard data to back up these claims using a Spank rim with Maxxis Minion DHR2 27.5 x 2.3″ tire, which can be downloaded from their site. One interesting tidbit from their testing – every tire insert they tested resulted in lower rolling resistance than the same tire without a tire insert. Obviously, since this is Tannus’ own internal testing, it would be good to see these results verified by an independent tester, but it’s still pretty interesting.
Made from their proprietary Aither 1.1 foam, the inserts have a claimed weight of 150g for 27.5 and 160g for 29″ wheels. Those inserts are intended for tires ranging from 2.1-2.6″ wide.
An additional benefit to the design is that it’s supposedly easier to install than other inserts. Average install time is said to be around five minutes. They also do not appear to require a special tubeless valve since there is a vacant channels that sits on top of the valve.
Each insert sells for $50, and can be purchased now directly from Tannus.