I think I agree with Sheldon on this one:
Of all the inventions that came out of the bicycle industry, probably none is as important and useful as Dr. Dunlop
's pneumatic tire
. Airless tires have been obsolete for over a century, but crackpot "inventors" keep trying to bring them back. They are heavy, slow and give a harsh ride. They are also likely to cause wheel damage, due to their poor cushioning ability. A pneumatic
tire uses all of the air in the whole tube as a shock absorber, while foam-type "airless" tires/tubes only use the air in the immediate area of impact.
Airless tire schemes have also been used by con artists to gull unsuspecting investors.
Pop over to the commuting forum to see what they have to say about airless tires - they're slow (like pedaling through molasses), and fairly unreliable, since they can be prone to slipping off the wheel. They're also a LOT heavier.
And what does being green have to do with it? If you want to be green, get a patch kit. You can patch the same tube a dozen times before it needs replaced and, to be honest, with the exception of my double-tubular blowout last night, I haven't had a flat tire in a decade.