Bicycles

Bridgestone rolls out an airless bike tire

Bridgestone rolls out an airle...
Bridgestone's airless bicycle tire – no flats and no pumping
Bridgestone's airless bicycle tire – no flats and no pumping
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Bridgestone is currently assessing the feasibility of the tires, and states that a commercial version may be available by 2019
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Bridgestone is currently assessing the feasibility of the tires, and states that a commercial version may be available by 2019
Bridgestone's airless bicycle tire – no flats and no pumping
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Bridgestone's airless bicycle tire – no flats and no pumping

It was six years ago that we first heard about Bridgestone's prototype AirFree Concept automobile tires, which utilized flexing thermoplastic resin "spokes" instead of compressed air. As it turns out, a just-announced bicycle version of those tires may end up beating the original to the market.

Developed via a partnership between Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Cycle, the new tires are made mainly from the same recyclable resin as their larger, heavier-duty counterparts – their rubber outer tread can also be recycled.

Bridgestone is currently assessing the feasibility of the tires, and states that a commercial version may be available by 2019
Bridgestone is currently assessing the feasibility of the tires, and states that a commercial version may be available by 2019

Flats are an impossibility, and the tires will never need to be inflated. Additionally, the company suggests that because of those attributes, the tires could allow for greater flexibility in the design of bicycles. On the downside, however, it looks like there's no way of adjusting their hardness.

Bridgestone is currently assessing the feasibility of the tires, and states that a commercial version may be available by 2019. In the meantime, anti-air cyclists may wish to also check out the Energy Return Wheel.

Source: Bridgestone

11 comments
11 comments
BartyLobethal
I wonder how much these will deform under lateral stress. I own a non-tilting recumbent trike fitted with 20" wheels with heavy-duty spokes. I can see them deform during cornering. If these were no worse then I would consider them - I'm thoroughly tired of flats.
Benji
The durability of the spokes is my concern. Also given that the tread is mated to the wheel you'd want these to not cost more than a standard tire or at least for there to be some sort of exchange when you get a new tread to keep the cost down.
AndyHapps
There are already airless bicycle tyres in China.
Paul Anthony
What hubs are these compatible with?
Bob Flint
Make work well on urban environments, but off road could clog the fins. Might also make an interesting method of water propulsion ie; paddle boats...
Nik
I wonder what the air turbulence noise will be like.
fb36
How about trying to find an elastic solid material that can replace air? That can just be filled into a regular tire and turn it into an airless tire? Something similar to aerogels maybe.
LarryWolf
Won't work with all the hub mounted eBikes. Bummer.
highlandboy
Many old fashioned stationary exercise bikes had fins attached to the spokes to create airflow resistance. This tweel looks perfect for getting more exercise, but poorly suited for human powered transport.
manuel.marques@hotmail.fr
Already exist at Michelin as TWEEL since 2005.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2u4ut_michelin-invente-le-pneu-ss-air_news
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