The end of flat tires has never been this close! Japanese company Bridgestone may soon revolutionize the industry which hasn’t seen much change in decades. A unique, porous structure of thermoplastic spokes is used to support the weight of the bike and cyclist. The new airless tires are made entirely of recyclable materials and Bridgestone is optimize the life cycle of this product by integrating the used directly into new ones.
Bridgestone has been experimenting with airless tires since 2011
What is ingenious in the idea of using their subsidiary brand Bridgestone Cycles Co is that the company is well aware of the issues around customer adoption of new products. Especially when it comes to safety related items, such as tires, it is essential to have enough test results and track record before the technology can be introduced on a broader scale into the automotive industry.
By solving a common problem – the roadside bike flat tire, Bridgestone is certainly hoping to create momentum for this new product and reveal to users the future of potential implementations. Cyclists no longer have to worry about being stranded or having to push their bikes for miles after being stranded half-way through a ride. Cars on the other hand, always have a spare tire around but imagine the possibility of never having to worry about changing one in the middle of a trip or whether the right amount of pressure inside.
The technology behind these tires was patented six years ago but ever since then the company has been improving them by using further developed materials and reducing the costs of the production. The thermoplastic resin for example becomes flexible when heated and hardened when cooled allowing it to perform more efficiently than a regular rubberized tire.