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Airless Tires - Good Or Bad?

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posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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So many times I filled my bicycle's tires with air. They go flat because I haven't used them all throughout winter. Or something punctured the inner tube. Or whatever.

During SHTF scenario, we have seen scenarios where bicycles can be a great asset. This is especially true if streets and highways are bogged down with cars. Need to keep moving? Use a bicycle.

Only problem is how do you deal with keeping your bike inflated during "crazy" times. Then I remembered airless tires. They were always available but never widely used -- for reasons unknown to me. I figured, with digital age, advancements in construction and chemistry, airless tires should be a lot better than those made in the 80s and 90s.

Here's a link to one manufacturing website:

Air Free Tires

Not sure how many other manufacturers there are. But this comes up first on Google.

Does any one have any experience with "modern/21st Century" airless tires? Pros? Cons? Long term experience?

Pros: Never have to worry about punctures
Cons: Extra weight compared to regular inner tubes, but did modern chemistry fixed the weight issue?
Long-Term: How long does the tire last? Does wear-and-tear degrade the tire's "firmness"? What happens if you keep in storage for long periods of time? Does the tire loose firmness on the side it was resting on?

I figure for SHTF scenario, equip my bicycle with airless tires and keep a pair of extra ones just in case.

Post what you have learned and experienced with airless tires. Many thanks!




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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I imagine the ride would be less smooth...unless it's a flexible rubber. But that then brings the issue of being more susceptible to road wear and being mishapen in a time of non-use as you mentioned.

Seems much handier than trying to find a functional air compressor at a gas station or wherever. Then again, one could just carry one of those old-school hand pumps in a backpack if on a long trip.

The smoothness of the ride might be critical if on a long journey trying to GTFO of someplace. Say you have to get off the bike and run, but pain from poor ride quality impairs that...

[edit on 15-6-2009 by Heatburger]



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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My experience with Airless Tires is limited to bicycle tires.

Yes, they are heavier, but this only affects the weight of the bike overall, not so much the difficulty of pedaling (although it does do that somewhat but it's negligible).

The ride on Airless Tires is much more rough. You feel every bump. conventional air tubes actually do absorb a lot more than we give them credit for.

My biggest gripe about Airless Tires is that they tend to crack more when stored (notice the cracking on your conventional air tube tires when stored over the winter and multiply that by a factor of 10).

However, I never had them wear to a side just from storage, or such.

On the plus side, I didn't have to worry about minor punctures or losing pressure, and such. That was nice.

On a car Airless Tires make a lot of sense, but on a bike, it is a mixed bag. Great on paper, but with it's ups and downs in real life.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 05:43 PM
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They wear down quick, have less grip and are really hard to swap. Only my opinion though.
Have a saddle bag with an extra tube, some instant patches and a couple of cans of compressed CO2.. you'll have a flatty fixed in less than five minutes with practise.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:18 PM
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I've had the same tires on my bike now for a little over a year....one inner tube is cut, then the tire is lined with this, doubled over...the other inner tube is placed inside this extra layer of rubber and treated with sealant...i have an electric kit on my bike, so it's a lot heavier than normal, but the tires are holding just fine.



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 07:16 AM
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I keep two extra tubes, a patch kit with tools, and a tiny air pump on my bike. The whole kit weighs less than a pound!

Michelin has some very good airless tires coming out soon. They have been promising them for about 3 years, but are having trouble with DOT and Congress. They are a honeycomb interior shape that allows flexibility, stability, and performance without using air. The original versions were also retreadable, so they would be much cheaper to replace when worn! I don't know if the final version was going to have this option or if Congress forced them to make it expendable. You know they love to make us throw things away and buy new!

Anyhow, I'm not sure if this tech will bleed over into bicycles, but look for it in cars pretty soon!



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by KSPigpen
I've had the same tires on my bike now for a little over a year....one inner tube is cut, then the tire is lined with this, doubled over...the other inner tube is placed inside this extra layer of rubber and treated with sealant...i have an electric kit on my bike, so it's a lot heavier than normal, but the tires are holding just fine.


That is totally inspired! I wish I had known that trick years ago.

On the airless tires...

I went to buy a set from my local bike shop and the owner warned me off them as he said they caused cracks in the frame and warped the wheels (due to the extra vibration).

This was 10 years ago, so perhaps the technology has advanced since then.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 


Many thanks to all those who replied. Its food for thought.

fraterormus, thanks for posting your experience. How old is your experience with airless tires? Current or a decade old? Knowing they crack 10x more while in storage is something I wouldn't want to deal with. Also, I'm not looking forward having my crotch feel like a donkey kicked it after riding for a day.

and14263, keeping a spare tire and pump is something I already do. But I was wondering if airless tires of today have progressed well or not. For SHTF scenarios, it would be nice to have a mode of transportation where you don't have to worry too much about the tires.

KSPigpen, that is a great idea.

My big question is how old is fraterormus' experience? If its current, then that might seal the deal. But if it is a decade or two old, current technology might have solved his issues.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 12:12 AM
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you think airless bike tires are cool check these out. here is another link.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 12:20 AM
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They tried airless car tires years ago. They did not work here in Arizona. They melted. No joke. Was a good idea though.

Ama



posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by The_Smokeing_Gun
 


Ya, I saw Michelin's videos some time ago. Pretty cool. Hope they work out great and cars switch to these tires. Too bad they dont' have something likes these for bicycles. I'm sure in time if they do well on cars you'll find them on bicycles, sit-down lawnmowers, etc.

Unless, of course, the gov't finally releases anti-grav technology.



posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by amatrine
 


No joke. We've all heard the horror stories about a young kid running out on barefoot and getting his skin melted from the HOT asphalt. That's gotta hurt!

*sigh* I guess we'll have to wait until the bicycle industry adopts Michelin's new tech.



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by Heatburger
I imagine the ride would be less smooth...unless it's a flexible rubber. But that then brings the issue of being more susceptible to road wear and being mishapen in a time of non-use as you mentioned.

Seems much handier than trying to find a functional air compressor at a gas station or wherever. Then again, one could just carry one of those old-school hand pumps in a backpack if on a long trip.

The smoothness of the ride might be critical if on a long journey trying to GTFO of someplace. Say you have to get off the bike and run, but pain from poor ride quality impairs that...

[edit on 15-6-2009 by Heatburger]



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 02:25 AM
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A lot of buggies tend to use airless tire's nowadays, they are actually extremely light weight and very resistant to the elements!
They use a foam inside a rubber tubing, havent seen any big issues go wrong with them, much more reliable than air filled!

Come to think of it im not sure why most bikes do not have foam filled tires they seem much more practicle!



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by rayzr
 


Thanks for the info about buggies.

Does any one know about Specilized Bicycles Armadillo tires? In a 2000 Popular Mechanics issue, they tout that these tires are flatproof:



It was 112 years ago that John Boyd Dunlop invented the first pneumatic (air-filled) bicycle tire—and a few days later, the first flat. Riders have been dealing with flats for decades, but now a California-based company, Specialized Bicycles, has applied for patents on a combination of technologies that promise flatfree riding without loss of performance.

Aimed at recreational riders and cycling enthusiasts, the new next-generation Armadillo family of road, off-road, and hybrid tires is the result of an intensive two-year collaboration between Specialized and DuPont to combine the ride and handling of the company’s premium cycling tires with an innovative three-stage flat-protection technology. Armadillo casings feature a subtread barrier of DuPont Kevlar fabric impregnated with a Kevlar-engineered elastomer that seals all gaps in the fabric weave. A synthetic cap ply material—a lightweight version of the latest off-road motorcycle racing technology—prevents sidewall cuts. The technological troika is so effective that Armadillo recently defeated all challengers in independent lab tests at the University of Nevada at Reno.

The studies were completed in June and compared various Specialized tires against offerings from other leading manufacturers in an all-too-real situation: researchers rode five different tires 12 times each through a wooden trough lined with jagged glass shards. Of the tires tested, only the Specialized Armadillo survived without a flat.

While no pneumatic tire is 100 percent flatproof, the Armadillo flat-prevention technology has proven so effective that Specialized is now offering an unconditional guarantee on all 2000 model year tires. If any Armadillo tire ever flats in use, the company will replace the tube free. Consumers can write to Specialized describing how a puncture occurred along with tire size and tube type to receive a replacement tube at no charge. The best "How I flatted an Armadillo" stories will even be posted on the company's Web site at www.specialized.com. Specialized says its no-fault replacement offer is good through Sept. 1, 2001.

Popular Mechanics : Flatproof Tires

Any experience with Specialized Bicycles' Armadillo tires? Worth the price? Truly flatproof?



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:02 AM
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I know that many offroad motorcycle racers in the calif desert use foam filled race tires.

And the airless bicycle tires i have used were not as hard as the aired tires and took more energy to pedal.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:05 AM
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Moose tubes!!!!!!!!!!
check your local Moto-X store I use -em they are great for off road, and the only downfall is top speeds of over 50-60 MPH they tend not to balance very well



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