These are the new 'Air Free Concept' airless bicycle tires developed by Bridgestone that the company hopes to bring to the market by 2019, or approximately five months after the world ends. Whether it ends with a bang or whimper remains to be seen, but I'm hoping for a bang, preferably by a massive alien laser cannon.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tires supporting the weight of the vehicle, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, meaning that the tires require less maintenance. At the same time the worry of punctures is eliminated. In addition, the spoke structure is made from thermoplastic resin and, along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources. Further, by pursuing extremely low rolling resistance and contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions through use of proprietary technologies, Bridgestone believes it is possible to achieve even higher levels of environmental friendliness and safety. Bridgestone is pursuing this technological development with the aim of achieving a "cradle to cradle" process that proactively maximizes the cyclical use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.
Green technology! Reducing, reusing, recycling! Admittedly, it is annoying getting a flat when you're out biking. Still, I'm not convinced we're thinking outside the box enough. I'm thinking instead of making airless bike tires, we should be making seatless bikes. "So I'm supposed to pedal around with a seat post up my ass." Get connected, become one with the road!
Thanks to Javier, who agrees if it's not a step towards hoverbikes, it's a step in the wrong direction.