Review midas/tannus musai 700 x 23 puncture proof tire

Jun 9, 2011
241
1
36
tokyo
#1
i bought one of the musai 700 x 23 solid tires for my commute bike a little while ago. i've heard a few folks express interest in them so here's a quick review.

executive summary: worst tire i've ever ridden. this includes kid's and clown bikes.
pros: no tube, no need to check air pressure, puncture proof
cons: virtually no compliance, heavy, difficult to install, rolls like a brick
should i get one?: maybe

I'd been thinking of getting one of these for my commute bike because a flat on my way home sometimes means i'm not able to pick my kids up from daycare on time. i had been riding a very puncture resistant set up with a gatorskin, tire sealant, and a special rim tape layup that never got flats. I finally decided to try the solid tire after rolling over a small coffee can on my morning commute that cut a non-repairable 3cm gash in my sidewall.

installation
pin width is crucial. the stated rim width compatibility range is 13mm-15mm, however, the tire only comes with two pin sizes that fit down to just under 14mm rims. my rims are track rims with an inner width of just under 13mm (12.9-something). for 13mm rims you need to get a special set of pins that the manufacturer makes available for free, but most shops in town don't stock. also, the manufacturer and distributor sites don't mention anything about the smaller size being available or required at all. so measure your rim and be careful.

the actual installation is by far the most labor intensive and difficult bike maintenance tasks i've ever taken on. there are 40 pins and each one took me 2 minutes of concentrated effort to install. i could only do about 3 or 4 pins before i needed to rest. it may be easier to get in pins in a wider rim, but it's still a lot of work. clearance inside the rim is also important. i had one small section of overlapping rim tape i needed to cut out in order to fit the last pin. with one layer of overlapping velox tape the last pin would. not. go. in.

performance
this is not a race or performance tire by any means. it's heavy and harsh (lots of road vibration transmitted) and rolls a little like you're dragging something behind you. i've found that the tire has gotten a little more compliant after breaking in but it still doesn't roll that well. is that bad? maybe not. i've been thinking of it as resistance training, which is something i wanted to add to my commutes. it's also change the way i ride a little to make up for the poor compliance characteristics by posting more over bumps and being generally lighter on my rear wheel. the grip isn't as good as the gatorskin i had been riding but seems to be OK even in the rain. grip has also improved with wear. wear seems like it might be a problem, though. it seems to be wearing pretty quickly, but i'll need to ride it a bit longer to see how it holds up.

summary
while not a good tire, mine has been working out for me. not having to worry about flats is great, and because of the poor rolling qualities i'm getting more training out of my short commute. it's fine for rides up to around 30 or 40k, but i would NOT want to take it on longer rides up in the mountains.