Tannus Armour Protection
We have been riding with the Tannus Armour now for about 3 months and have been overall very impressed with the performance and lack of any maintenance required during that time with one exception which we will come to.
The vast majority of riders are now tubeless with no inner tube, some form of sealant, taped rim and a valve and that works. It has it limitations with wide rims, large tyres and running low pressures can cause tyre burps and a sudden loss of pressure.
Tannus Armour approaches this in a different manner with the use of a standard inner tube and a foam insert that wraps around the tube forming a protective layer.
The tube and the foam insert provide structure to the tyre which sometimes is lacking in tubeless unless you use a tyre insert to achieve this.
The structure allows you to run low pressures without the fear of burping the tyre or the tyre rolling off the rim. During testing we could run 14psi front and 16psi in the rear on 35mm rims with 2.4 tyres but that was the lowest we felt comfortable at.
The foam insert itself creates a buffer against trail chatter and softens the ride but not deadening the feel, just takes the harsh edges of the small bumps. The foam didn't cause us any springing issues which I initially thought it may do being on the edge of the tyre that was in contact with the ground.
The traction descending was excellent with the tyre and insert moulding over rocks and roots creating immense amounts of traction in all conditions. While climbing the grip was also astonishing and made technical climbs much more controlled with the power you could transmit to the ground and thus forward motion.
Weight wise the Tannus Armour v Tubeless is noticeable but only on the longest climbs but even then it is a small price to pay for the unique ride characteristics and low pressures you can ride with.
The Tannus Armour not only protects the inner tube but also the rim from damage from impacts on rocks etc. As the tyre compresses the armour forms a barrier between the tube and the tyre minimising snake bites. The thicker foam on top of the tube eliminates punctures from objects entering the tyre but it does have its limits based on the thickness of the foam.
As I mentioned at the beginning its been great riding with the Tannus Armour but the one slight flaw I have found is that a small thorn found its way into the armour so on replacing the tube it soon went down again. It was hard to find the thorn bust after some careful feeling with my fingers it was found and removed. I believe this was a one off and was the only time this happened in the 3 months of riding so for me it isn't a big issue for the armour as I have no idea how long the thorn had been present or taken to work its way into the foam.
Overall I would say if you are running tubeless but struggling to get a low enough tyre pressure then the Tannus Armour may be the answer to your prayers, simple to fit and work with and offer amazing grip at low tyre pressures.
Overall the Tannus Armour is a great solution for puncture protection, yes it may have a flaw but so do the alternatives.