Unveiled at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show back in 2013, Bridgestone’s much-anticipated “Air-Free Concept” (Non-Pneumatic Tire) is ready to hit the market in 2019. Although the initial application seemed to focus solely on automobiles, the revolutionary technology is being engineered for bicycle tires. What better way to see if the concept works prior to putting the tires on a roadster.
Next Generation Bicycle Tire
On April 17th (2017) Bridgestone Corporation announced its collaboration with its own Bridgestone Cycle – together they plan on developing the “next-gen bicycle tire” that never needs to be inflated with air. Impervious to punctures or flats that compromise the tire’s integrity, Bridgestone’s technology “uses a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tires,” according to a recent press release. “The spoke structure is made from thermoplastic resin.”
From improved load-bearing capabilities to its rubber in the tread position, Bridgestone’s “Air-Free Concept” strikes the perfect balance between innovation and sustainability. All the materials used in the tire are fully recyclable, which falls right in line with Bridgestone’s environmentally-friendly mission:
“Bridgestone is pursuing this technology 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.”
The Bicycle Industry
Just imagine being able to whip down your favorite mountain bike trail without having the slightest concern of puncturing a tire. Or never worrying about periodically filling your bike tires during your commute to and from work. Reducing tire maintenance means only freeing up more time to enjoy the riding experience.
Bridgestone’s commercially-viable non-pneumatic tire is poised to shake up the biking industry. From electric fat tire bikes to street bikes designed for competition, Bridgestone’s technology eliminates the need for inflated tires. Bicycle manufacturers will start designing their new models around the Air-Free concept, whether it’s a top-of-the-line mountain bike or state-of-the-art street bike.
About Bridgestone Corporation
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.
Source: Bridgestone Press Release