Let’s talk about the latest vanity mod for my Brompton. This was how it looked like the last time you saw it.
There’s this fairly new local Brompton group on Facebook, and it’s just chock-full of posts about vanity mods, upgrades, and all things British-flag related. A lot of local B owners I know (I’m talking about you, Wayne.) are mod-leaders in their own right. Their demand for “things” is what triggers supply.
The first time I saw these tires on Wayne’s infamous Paul Smith inspired Brompton, all I really saw was that they were colored. COLORED. BROMPTON SIZED. TIRES. My mind couldn’t even get past that. And then, I found out that they were tubeless tires.
Seriously, what could be better?
I started imagining about how my Brompton would look so fun with blue tires. It’s practical too — being tubeless meant I never had to worry about getting a flat tire again. That in turn meant I didn’t need to bring a whole bunch of tools and spare parts either.
More research led me to find out that the tires were a product from a company called Tannus. The particular model for smaller wheeled bikes is the Nymph. Dimensions for the one used with a Brompton is the same as a Schwalbe Kojak (16×1.25 or 32-349). Each tire size has two air pressure options — the lower one is around 60ish psi while the higher one is around 80ish psi. And, as mentioned, they come in a rainbow of options.
At the last OCBC Cycle Singapore Roadshow, I headed over to the Mighty Velo (formerly known as Diginexx) booth to pre-order an aquamarine pair for myself and poke around with the MV crew.
When the tires finally arrived, I dropped my bike off Mighty Velo. It took a while for them to fix it on due to the sheer number of people switching tires. When I collected my bike with Bless, we decided to cycle home just to test the tires.
Off the bat, you could feel the difference when pedalling. It took a lot more effort to maintain the same speed as regular tires. Bless and I both downshifted to a gear lower than our usual. I think the difference is mostly because the tires are so thin and the “pressure” isn’t as high as it should be for those kind of thin tires. It was technically the same as a Kojak with 80ish psi. My Tikit, which uses Kojaks, runs at least 90psi minimum.
At the end of the day, I would recommend these tires to:
- people who go more for style than speed
- people who don’t really cycle fast, for like, ever
- people who don’t want to fix flat tires ever again
- people lighter than 50kg or 110lbs
- people who want a bike that forces them to “workout”
Of course I’m not saying that if you’re not any of the above, you shouldn’t get these tires. They do fulfill their purpose — it’s just that I was expecting a little more out of them. I still have them on the Brompton now, but I’ll probably switch it back to my old tires by the end of the year.