There's nothing I hate more than getting a flat. It's such a drag to stop my ride, tilt my trike on its side (if I'm lucky and it's only one of the front wheels), pry off the tire, and yank out the tube. Then, upon reassembly, hope that I didn't miss anything sticking inside the tire to ruin a perfectly new tube!
Let it be known that I'm actually paranoid about getting flats so much that I probably go above and beyond what the average ride does. I carry two extra tubes, extra slime, CO2 cartridges, and a hand pump.
Yeah, not fun. Anyway, after returning from a group ride the other day, I discovered that I had a flat...again. Here it is:
That was it. I've decided to throw in the towel on my present tube setup and try something more drastic. I went online and came across Tannus Armour.
Today I installed the first of three, and what follows is a simple unboxing and installation gallery of sorts.
Inside this lovely box is Tannus Armour inserts for my TerraTrike Rambler All-Terrain which has 24" wheels and Schwalbe Big Apple tires.
Inside the big box revealed these three boxes along with some schwag and instructions.
Unboxing one of these units revealed a big red hoop that needed some warming up so it would sit flat. I am working in the sun here in Arizona (about 60F) so it didn't take long.
While the insert was warming up, I examined the tube that came with it. I wasn't sure my existing tubes would fit so I ordered them along with the inserts. It turned out to be a wise choice because the tubes are smaller. I have been running 24" x 1.9/2.125 (top) and the new ones are 24" x 1.75/2.0 (bottom):
My first step was to insert the armor into my tire and see how it fit. The instructions say you may need to trim the insert if there's too much to fit. As you can see, there's no way this would fit back onto the rim, so I trimmed! Luckily there's a guideline to follow as you can see below.
After trimming and aligning the insert inside the tire, I mounted one side of the tire onto my rim and inserted the tube which was partially inflated to make it easier. Note in these next photos you really need to make sure the tube is set properly. You'll also need to tuck in the armor inside the rim using your fingers.
It took some doing, but I eventually got everything to fit. At last, I tipped my trike back onto the ground and observed the tire with the new armor insert. Check out the before and after photos below.
The first one shows the flat with just a tube and tire liner. The second and third photos demonstrate the Tannus Armour with no air yet!
The manufacturer says you can ride about 5mph with a flat tube and not damage your rim. I'm a pretty big guy at 225lbs and the trike with Bafang, battery, bags, and stuff easily surpasses 50lbs (I should weight it all someday). So, I sat on the seat and took this last photo to show you how compressed the liner becomes when the tube is empty and my full weight on it.
Tip: The manufacturer says to deflate the tubes when not in use so the armor can relax and expand back to a natural state. I wasn't expecting this but what the heck, it's only air!
What's next? I've got two more wheels to set up, then it's ride ride ride! I'll post an update after a few rides, then again after six months or so.