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New low rolling resistant Airless tires

Old 01-22-20, 09:59 AM
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chas58
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New low rolling resistant Airless tires

Thank's to Bridgestone's sponsorship, their new low rolling resistant Airless tires to be used at this summer's Olympics. Would be interesting if this really worked - although with a design like that I wonder how they handle, or how they might work on an ebike.

Bridgestone says these tires have tested to be equally as efficient at rolling resistance as its current Ecopia low-rolling resistance tires.




more: https://jalopnik.com/bridgestone-say...cyc-1841140591
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Old 01-22-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post

Bridgestone says these tires have tested to be equally as efficient at rolling resistance as its current Ecopia low-rolling resistance tires.
So many questions.

A) what olympic sport is bridgestone going to be supplying to? Or is it just going to be showcased?

B) Bridgestone doesnít make bike tires. So Iím assuming that these airless automotive tires are ďas efficientĒ as their automotive Ecopia tire. Thatís much less difficult considering the insane amount of reinforcement car tires need to not get absolutely shredded by roads and debris. I canít imagine these will come close to even a gatorskin tire in terms of RR. Iíd be overjoyed to be proven wrong.

C) they claim equal cornering grip, which I believe - thatís 100% down to the compound. What I donít see is how their tire will be able to flex isometrically (am I using that word right?) when cornering. Youíd be surprised how hard some commuters whip their bikes. If the tire loses all compliance and essentially becomes a solid rubber tire when cornering, I could foresee this being an issue.

D) Air has the advantage of being infinitely flexible. How much your tire conforms to the road surface is determined heavily by the tire TPI. The higher the TPI, the more the tire can ďdigĒ into crevices for grip. It seems like the airless tire can easily handle macro bumps, but will simply glide over smaller bumps. Equal grip on a smooth surface, sure. Rough surface like chipseal? Iím not convinced.

That being said, air is enough of a PITA that Iíd like to see this everywhere that performance isnít as much of an issue.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:03 AM
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smashndash Bicycle wheels generally only receive a radial load (at right angle to the axle). In fact, spoked bicycle wheels cannot withstand any significant side loading. I am doubtful that these tires will perform as well as pneumatic tires, but I don't see the built-in flex not responding to cornering forces.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:24 AM
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Remember that the Bridgestone Ecopia is a car tire so it will have far more rolling resistance than the worst conventional bicycle tire you could think of.

Consider me unimpressed.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:40 AM
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Just think-- Michelin has been working on the "tweel" since at least 2005 (probably well before) and it's still only suitable for low speed, high load operations like tractors (or lunar rovers.)

If Bridgestone's version has managed to incorporate better compliance without insane weight, I can see it for e-Bike applications where much of the power doesn't come from the rider, or perhaps share bikes, where fleet maintenance is a real issue.

But for the rest of us, the pneumatic tire is up at the top of the best inventions of... ever. We're stuck with it.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:47 AM
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Looks heavy.
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Old 01-22-20, 12:34 PM
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Looks heavy.
The bike or the wheel? ;-)
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Old 01-22-20, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
The bike or the wheel? ;-)
Mostly those wavy gravy spokes.

When they come out with a fat (42+mm), soft, comfy tire that rolls over bumps with nary a jostle to the rider, and has better rolling resistance that a 25mm pneumatic @110psi - then they will have a product that gets attention. That's the trend - fat soft comfy fast and new like old.

Didn't airless tires originally go out of fashion with horseless carriages and the icebox?
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Old 01-22-20, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
smashndash Bicycle wheels generally only receive a radial load (at right angle to the axle). In fact, spoked bicycle wheels cannot withstand any significant side loading. I am doubtful that these tires will perform as well as pneumatic tires, but I don't see the built-in flex not responding to cornering forces.
I have no questions about lateral rigidity or strength. Iím mainly concerned with how the tire will ďdeformĒ to the ground if the tire is only engineered to deform radially. At 35deg lean, radial flex is not going to be enough to keep the tire glued to the ground. Maybe I have it wrong in my head

For example, try poking at the corner of your tire tread cap. The tire will perfectly deform around your finger. Will an airless tire do the same?
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Old 01-22-20, 03:23 PM
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Didn't airless tires originally go out of fashion with horseless carriages and the icebox?
IDK, my tricycle had airless tires. So did my BigWheel (I miss that hand brake); Makes it easier to do fixed gear skid stops...

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Old 01-22-20, 04:44 PM
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Don't "airless" tires pop up every few years in some new incarnation?

Isn't this like oval chainrings?

I think the industry is going the opposite way - with tubeless tech getting better and better, the need for creative responses to flats is becoming less and less important.

Am I being to skeptical/cyinical?
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Old 01-22-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
So many questions.

A) what olympic sport is bridgestone going to be supplying to? Or is it just going to be showcased?

B) Bridgestone doesnít make bike tires. So Iím assuming that these airless automotive tires are ďas efficientĒ as their automotive Ecopia tire. Thatís much less difficult considering the insane amount of reinforcement car tires need to not get absolutely shredded by roads and debris. I canít imagine these will come close to even a gatorskin tire in terms of RR. Iíd be overjoyed to be proven wrong.

C) they claim equal cornering grip, which I believe - thatís 100% down to the compound. What I donít see is how their tire will be able to flex isometrically (am I using that word right?) when cornering. Youíd be surprised how hard some commuters whip their bikes. If the tire loses all compliance and essentially becomes a solid rubber tire when cornering, I could foresee this being an issue.

D) Air has the advantage of being infinitely flexible. How much your tire conforms to the road surface is determined heavily by the tire TPI. The higher the TPI, the more the tire can ďdigĒ into crevices for grip. It seems like the airless tire can easily handle macro bumps, but will simply glide over smaller bumps. Equal grip on a smooth surface, sure. Rough surface like chipseal? Iím not convinced.

That being said, air is enough of a PITA that Iíd like to see this everywhere that performance isnít as much of an issue.
They're not supplying for Olympic sports. They're supplying the tires for use on shared bikes that'll be used at public spaces surrounding the Olympic venues. In Japan, bike share is a big thing.
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Old 01-22-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
They're not supplying for Olympic sports. They're supplying the tires for use on shared bikes that'll be used at public spaces surrounding the Olympic venues. In Japan, bike share is a big thing.
Yeah I anticipated it wouldnít be on sport bikes. But this is definitely a better showcase
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Old 01-22-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Didn't airless tires originally go out of fashion with horseless carriages and the icebox?
What are you talking about there, sonny? My Icebox is just great it will keep a whole head of a cabbage fresh for 4 hours as long as the ice boy is on time and with these new horseless carriages I can get to the market in half the time 6 hours instead of 12 it's a goldern miracle. That rat Dunlop is just trying to kill us all with his exploding tires of doom. Well I gotta go fire up the Victrola and play that new Bix Beiderbecke recording, 23 skidoo!
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Old 01-23-20, 10:47 AM
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I guess it must be an engineering impossibility to design a traditional tubeless tire with an integrated latex or butyl inner layer. Sadly, we can put a man on the moon and condense the entire library of Congress to a microchip, but we just can’t find our way to a practical tubeless bicycle tire.


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Old 01-23-20, 11:09 AM
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No one's put a man on the moon in forty eight years... about the same year as the US bike boom. It's rapidly approaching icebox status.

I can see the attraction of this thing for the manufacturer. A spoked wheel has nearly a hundred parts of a dozen different materials that (unlike chain) must be assembled by hand before going into a very expensive robot for tension and true.
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Old 01-23-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
I guess it must be an engineering impossibility to design a traditional tubeless tire with an integrated latex or butyl inner layer. Sadly, we can put a man on the moon and condense the entire library of Congress to a microchip, but we just canít find our way to a practical tubeless bicycle tire.


-Kedosto
don't think its an engineering impossibility. It's more of a case of small demand (bicycle industry is small) for something that already has an acceptable solution (air tires) with higher performance, lower weight, etc... and at an cheaper price. Replacing the air pneu tire will be an uphill batter on many fronts.
But I can see this happening in the trucking industry where longevity and reliability are more important than performance.
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Old 01-25-20, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Don't "airless" tires pop up every few years in some new incarnation?

Isn't this like oval chainrings?

I think the industry is going the opposite way - with tubeless tech getting better and better, the need for creative responses to flats is becoming less and less important.

Am I being to skeptical/cyinical?
Oval chainrings have actually caught on in MTB.

But yeah, every year that they keep working on airless tires, pneumatic tires get more flat resistant.
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