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Bridgestone Airless Bicycle Tire Technology Could Pass to Autos

Image: Bridgestone Airless Bicycle Tire Technology Could Pass to Autos
(Bridgestone)

By    |   Monday, 24 Apr 2017 07:05 AM

Bridgestone's airless bicycle tires not only could make the hand air pump obsolete, they could eventually shake up the automobile tire market.

The design, which replaces the inner tube and a portion of the wheel's spokes with thermoplastic resin supports, has been tinkered with since Bridgestone first introduced the concept in 2011, according to the website The Drive.

An airless tire, though, may not be ready for another two years.

"In 2013, Bridgestone revealed its second generation air free concept non-pneumatic tire featuring improved load-bearing capabilities, environmental design and driving performance," said the Bridgestone website. "However, there are developments and enhancements to be made before airless tires are available for consumers."

"…Despite this, the demand to keep up with the continuous advancements in the auto industry suggest that airless tires would be a welcome step forward for consumers as well as the auto industry."

There are airless tires on the market already, but they are made mostly of solid rubber or plastics and used on golf carts, trailers, and lawnmowers.

"If eventually adopted for cars, airless tires have the potential to improve fuel efficiency since they'll never deflate or lose their shape over time, but also improve safety, given they also can't dangerously explode," said Gizmodo contributing editor Andrew Liszewski.

"With bikes, however, it's more of a convenience thing, since cyclists would no longer have to carry a pump, or wrangle a spare inner tube. Bridgestone is hoping to have its airless bike tires ready for consumers by 2019, just ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, although it remains to be seen if they'll be approved for official cycling competition in time."

Fox News said a price tag and size availability for the Bridgestone bicycle tires have not been determined.

Bridgestone said the airless tires concept matches the company's goal of using more sustainable materials.

"The materials used in the tire are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources. No part of a non-pneumatic tire ever needs to go in the garbage, which goes hand-in-hand with Bridgestone's effort to create a 'cradle-to-cradle' system in which all tires are first recycled and then factory-refashioned into new tires"

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Bridgestone's airless bicycle tires not only could make the hand air pump obsolete, they could eventually shake up the automobile tire market.
bridgestone, airless, bicycle, tires
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2017-05-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 07:05 AM
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