for over 100 years, regular tires have been filled with air, working well but posing problems like punctures. thanks to michelin, the industry will see — hopefully soon — a breakthrough with its unique puncture-proof tire system (uptis), a set of airless tires supposed to be fitted on the next-generation chevy bolt. the development of these airless tires has been going on for over a decade, but still nothing hits production.  


taking inspiration from michelin, UK-based driven media has unveiled and tested their own homemade airless tires, built by a racing driver and a mechanical engineer.

DIY airless tires made of PVC pipes, bolts and nuts




for their homemade airless tires, driven media used a 14-inch steel rim from a ford mondeo and, on the outside, 15 lengths of a fresh water PVC pipe. smaller anti-vibration pipes were added to the outside to make sure things run a bit smoother. for the grip, they used the thread from a normal tire wrapped around the outside and joined in the middle. to keep it together, they used over 300 nuts knots and bolts.


‘we were obviously very confident about our creation, but this was the first time the tires had ever been on a car, so we weren’t sure if they would hold up,’ driven media said on the testing video. ‘however, we did some homework. we know that the car with drivers weighs about 800kg, so when stationary, that’s roughly 200kg per wheel. so before we push them to 100 miles an hour and drifted them on the racetrack, we needed to see if they would hold up at normal speeds.’

DIY airless tires made of PVC pipes, bolts and nuts


the team begins testing the tires, and after the first lap, there was one clear downside — the tires were pretty noisey. also, the more they drove the tires, the more they started to come apart, with bits flying out of it.


‘despite our tires being uncomfortable, noisy, and prone to losing a few nuts and bolts, we knew we had a better shot at the next test and it was the official driven media bed of nails test. rubbish normal tires would stand no chance. but this would finally show why our new airless tires are the future. the test was a definite pass.’

DIY airless tires made of PVC pipes, bolts and nuts


they tested the tires on the road to great success, even going through massive potholes that would’ve probably resulted in a puncture in normal tires. the last test consisted of drifting, with results that were better than expected.


‘by no means are they perfect. yes the could do with being a bit quieter, and a lot rounder, but they really do hold up to nails, potholes, and heavy driving. and for some homemade wheels created from a drain pipe, a cut-up tire and a million bolts, that’s not bad.’

DIY airless tires made of PVC pipes, bolts and nuts


project info:


name: DIY airless tires

made by: driven media