Bridgestone has this week announced a next-generation bicycle tire that does not need to be inflated with air. Unlike most air less tires that use a solid rubber composite tube, these tires actually do away with the tube itself, relying on a clever mix of design and physics to give you the airless tire!
The concept of air less tires isn’t new. The Tokyo-based tire company has been playing around with the idea at least since 2011. And you can already get wheels made from a solid rubber composite if you’ll be riding on terrain where the risk of punctures and flats is high.
Bridgestone’s approach replaces the tube and a portion of the bicycle wheel’s spokes with a thermoplastic resin structure. This construction is better engineered to absorb bumps and provides an overall smoother ride. bridgestone claims the thermoplastic resins that are used in the spokes and rubbers “help realize more efficient use of resources.” The tires require less maintenance, and the fear of a puncture completely vanishes.
The wheels are made completely out of a recycled thermoplastic resin and are set to be available by no later than 2019.