Would you ever go back to running inner tubes instead of a tubeless setup? While it might sound like a step towards the past, Tannus Armour is proposing that it's a good option for some riders - but not all riders - when combined with their insert that wraps around the tube. Yes, I know there is already a load of foam-like tire inserts out there on the market, but this is one of the few (only?) designed around an inner tube. Tubeless Shmoobless? Maaaybe.
Here's how it works. You use any inner tube, and that gets wrapped with Tannus' Armour layer that's a full 15mm thick at the top before tapering to just 2mm as it runs down the inside of the sidewall to below the tire's bead. Tannus says that the system offers in excess of 20mm of protection when combined with some tires, and that both the tube and the 2mm thick sides of the insert provide ''lateral protection and support to the sidewall, thus reducing the risk of pinch flats.'' They cite vibration damping as a benefit, too, and the whole setup starts at a reasonable $35 USD.
The 27.5'' insert is said to weigh 270-grams, and the bigger version adds another 20-grams to that.
Okay, but why? Tubeless systems, while far from being trouble-free, are pretty dialed these days just so long as you're using the right tires, rims, and pressures, so why would anyone consider this tube'd hybrid setup? Tannus rightfully points out that some riders and racers simply just prefer tubes, and also that some bigger, faster riders have stuck with inner tubes solely because it's much more difficult to unsteat a tire when a tube is inside to help hold it onto the rim.
All the usual benefits apply here, too: lower pressures and likely more traction, better tire protection, and some rim defence as well.
I'm not sure if the Tannus Armour system is going to take off, but another option can't be a terrible thing, and especially as every other insert out there has been designed around a tubeless setup. So, do you think this makes sense? And would you consider going back to tubes if the Tannus system proves its worth?