The concept of "airless tire" is not new, we have seen it for some years as ideas that have arisen from various manufacturers, but in all these cases the idea has been focused on cars. This is how Bridgestone now seeks to give a twist to this concept to adapt it to bicycles, where the proposal is very interesting.
Bridgestone itself showed off its ‘air-free concept’ wheel in 2011, and now believes the technology is mature enough to be tested initially on bikes.
Airless tires for bikes
The tire, which is not actually a pneumatic tire, is made of thermoplastic resin that allows for a unique, solid spoke structure that extends inside the wheel. This structure is strong enough to support the weight of the rider and the various surfaces regardless of the temperature.
Of course the biggest advantage is that no air is needed, so, according to the company, there will be no deformation or punctures, in addition to promising us that the useful life will be extended significantly since wear will be minimal.
According to Bridgestone, another advantage of this futuristic wheel is that they will be made exclusively from recycled materials, since it also seeks to reduce the environmental impact. The synthetic resin used for its manufacture becomes flexible when heated and hardens when cooled, allowing it to be adapted to various formats without losing its original design with use.
The company will launch the first airless tires during 2019 as part of a kind of 'private beta' with some brands of bikes, this in order to have the final product ready to be used in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. After this is when we will be able to see the first commercial products for end users.