bridgestone's air-free bicycle tires let you wave goodbye to punctures

bridgestone's air-free bicycle tires let you wave goodbye to punctures


tokyo-based tire company bridgestone have set our to save cyclists from punctures with their air-free bicycle tire, created together with bridgestone cycle co. the next-generation wheel is a practical application of the company’s ‘air-free concept,’ which eliminates the need for tires to be inflated with air. instead, the tires support the rider’s weight by using a unique structure of spokes made from thermoplastic resin, which stretch along the inner sides of the wheel. the futuristic looking tires are made from entirely recyclable materials, and bridgewater are working to maximize the cyclical use of warn tires right back into new ones. 

the ‘air-free concept’ removes the need for air by using resin spokes to support the weight of the rider

bridgestone first disrupted the (air) flow back in 2011, when an idea for an airless car tire was patented. the ‘air-free’ concept was designed not only to prevent riders and drivers alike pulling up on the hard shoulder to change their tires, but also in a bid to reduce c02 emissions and make transport more sustainable. come 2017, the company have finally adapted their technology for bikes. by simplifying the structure of the classic tire, bridgestone has reduced the resistance caused by wheels continuously changing shape as they roll. this in turn maximizes efficiency and reduces wasted energy—whether that comes from gas or man-power.

all the materials used in bridgestone’s airless tires are recyclable

by using thermoplastic resin—a synthetic resin that becomes flexible when heated and hardens when cooled, allowing it to be processed into a variety of shapes —bridgestone has unveiled design possibilites for next-generation bicycles that have never been seen before. the company set out to make the bicycle tire available in 2019, just in time for the tokyo olympics in 2020. in the future, the japanese tire-makers aim to continue working on their mantra to fuse convenience with sustainability, proposing even more ways of cycling using the ‘air-free concept,’ while adapting the technology to be used in various other types of tires.

the airless tire is designed to be equally convenient and sustainable

bridgestone first made waves with the airless concept for cars back in 2011

  • I don’t get many punctures, but this is good idea if they get the costs down for the lower income parts of the World.


    JimCan says:
  • Hmmm. Tellingly the product is photographed on a utility bike and not a performance oriented bicycle. They include no videos of the product in action and finally concede that they first developed it for cars (ever seen a car driving around on Bridgestone airless tires?) but now make it available for bicycles in a desperate attempt to push a product nobody wants and that has consumed millions in R&D. To be fair, Bridgestone is not the only company to have thrown money down the pit of ‘airless tire technology’ and come up short. The air filled tire is over 100 hundred years old and endures because, despite all it’s failings, it works. Back to the drawing board guys….

    littlecog says:
  • @littlecog It’s so easy to criticize other people’s hard work isn’t it? Tellingly.

    Tai says:
  • Since the post talks about Tokyo’s Olympics Games, what about to bring some data about performance. Already made test in wind tunnels? It seems it is not very aerodynamic otherwise it will works only for utility bikes could be fine

    Alex says:
  • Its a wheel, not a tire. How does one adjust the “pressure?”

    TimH says:
  • apparently the two previous commenters don’t live in cities where the drivers of cars and especially pickup trucks toss bottles out on the pavement just to torment cyclists.

    rich says:
  • @JimCan I know right, I mean look at all the R&D invested into automobiles, trains and airplanes when the shoe just works. I mean if something works we should all emulate you because who needs all this newfangled technology anyway. Cell phones, don’t need those because phones work just fine and don’t need phones if pen, paper and stamps just ‘work’ right? What do you care how they invest their money, are you an investor or on their board of directors? If people had your type of thinking we’d probably still be in the dark ages or worse.

    JimCant says:
  • What is the weight of these tires compared to a combination “flat-less tire” such as the Schwalbe Marathon Plus and a thorn resistant inner tube (a combination that rarely-I never have had one-has punctures)? The claimed reduced resistance, which may maximize efficiency and reduce wasted energy has great appeal.
    If the weight is less and performance is comparable or better, I would love to have such a tire on my recumbent trike when I venture on a cross-country tour next year!

    Bob Clark says:
  • I can see how the design could emulate the suspension aspect of performance of a ‘real’ tire, but what about grip? Also the length of the resin spokes suggest that there could be a fair bit of lateral squidge which would make steering unstable. Nice idea but the press release appears to be premature.

    Thephilipmarsh says:
  • It is wonderfull!

  • I would love to replace my current tires. I have to put air in the tires at least once a week, to keep the pressure up, and I’ve had a flat on my front tire going pretty fast, down hill and taking a turn.

    I don’t wear motorcycle leathers clothes so biting it and getting road rash is not high on my list of things to do, not on my bucket list.

    I have a moon saddle for a seat so sticking to the old way of doing things simply because the pros do or for what ever reason does not work on me.

    Make the bike better and I will buy.

    David Burrell says:
  • > bridgewater are working to maximize the cyclical use of warn tires right back into new ones

    Surely they’d recycle *worn* tires (with or without warning from the tires).

    Jack Vermicelli says:
  • Hi
    Little Sport Bikes is a bicycle shop in Dublin Ireland .
    We would be very interested in distributing/stocking these wheels can you send more information on price and your terms & conditions
    Many Thanks Ken Duffy

    Ken Duffy's says:
  • When the tread wears away do you replace the whole wheel then? Also, no obvious sidewall would rule it out for xc/enduro/dh etc
    Still, it’s always nice to see folk try to innovate and improve bikes, it may prove to seed even better ideas

    Spp says:
  • Anyone who has ridden a pedal or motor bike in wet or mucky conditions knows how easy it is to get road slop thrown up from the wheels. These cool looking forms appear to have a serious dysfunction. One which would require extra fender-mudguards or a special riding suit that would shed the muck off of the rider… Ever had a stone flung at your window at high speeds from another vehicle’s tire? These are a sure fire design boom/boon to the insurance industry. A failure in the basic form eclipsing realistic function.

    Robert Hubany says:

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