Watch: New Airless/Flat Proof Bicycle Tires
Russ Chastain 11.17.16
Ever had a flat tire on your bike? I have, and it’s no fun at all, especially when you’ve hit a patch of prickly pear cactus and you end up with too many holes in the tube to patch. Well, someone has come up with a couple new models of bike tires that provide flexibility and shock absorption without the need for inflation.
For reasons I cannot explain, two separate companies have been created for these two types of tires. Why not one company with two models? I have no idea, but word has it these folks were running a bike shop and decided that there had to be a better way than repairing/replacing/throwing away so many tires and tubes, so they conjured up these two types of tires.
Ever Tires have holes in the sides and a network of interior structure that allows for good flexibility without the need for inflation. This should translate to fewer jolts while riding, unlike those solid tires we all had on our tricycles back in the day. They say it’s made of “a patented polymer blend that is durable and pliable without being subject to the weaknesses of rubber tubes or tires.”
They’re guaranteed to last at least 5,000 miles, which is a looong ways to ride a bike if you’re me. They say, “That’s like riding from San Francisco to Washington DC and back again.” They also say “you can be puncture proof in less than 5 minutes.” Gotta love that.
The catch is that you’ll need to replace your wheel as well as the tire, so it’s likely to be a pretty good investment to swap over from old-school pneumatic tires.
Nexo Tires are “for those who put on a few more miles and have a few more gears.” The solid-looking tires lack the holes of the Ever design, and they say Nexo tires “handle, perform, and brake nearly as well as a standard road bike tire.” I call them “solid-looking” because they actually have itty-bitty cells inside, which allow them to be flexible but tough.
Nexo tires are sold individually, so you can install them on your wheels. They use a system of plastic T-bolts that engage with the portion of the wheel rim that “grabs” the bead of a standard tire.
Pretty cool. Both tires are currently listed under one Kickstarter campaign, so maybe they’re part of one company after all. Either way, this could be a great stride towards making bike tires more durable and thus better-suited for off-road use. And after all, isn’t the great outdoors better when you can get away from roads?