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  #1  
Old 01-06-2008, 06:37 PM
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markallyn markallyn is offline
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Smile Airless Tires

I have had to contend with flat tires like any cyclist; however I have been thinking. . .

I have noticed that bicycle tire technology has not seemed to advance much over the years; unlike computer technology.

Do any of you know if there is any research going on on creating tires that are not pneumatic (depandend on air)?

I figure that if something can be done to create the same kind of ride as air tires but does not depend on air, that would be a killer app (like a Microsoft or Google) for the bicycleing community.

Sure, there must be venture capitalists in our community; wouldn't this be a viable area of research to fund?
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2008, 06:58 PM
drosen drosen is offline
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Default Try going here

Found this site on the web....

http://www.airfreetires.com/

Dale
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2008, 06:59 PM
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Default Venture some of your capital

Buy yourself a pair of these. Ride them for 6 months and report back.

Airless Tires
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2008, 08:50 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Tire liners and tire sealant... is about the best technology has done in the last many years. Nothing will stop a carpet tack as I found with my first trek into downtown but a quick trip to 7/11 put enough sealer (normal car tire emergency inflator) in the tire to get home.

My wife is the flat queen... puncturing her 12-1/2" electric scooter tires quite regularly. These things are a pure pain to fix. Opted for tire liners and slime and a high quality tube (schwalbe) and did some careful rim sanding to make sure no sharp edges existed. That bit of effort seems to have paid off.

The airless fad has come and gone many times over but it just isn't the same. The air in bike tires is shared all around to provide high pressure and a conforming contact patch. No airless tires can do this.

On the other hand, tubeless tires rely on extreme tire sealant technologies. With proper treatment, you can just bury nails and glass in your tire to your heart's content only having to redo the effort when the tire carcass fails.

Need a cheap tire liner? Cut the beads off an old tire and wrap it inside your present tire. Will probably do wonders with those burrowing shards of glass.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2008, 12:44 AM
Tait Tait is offline
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I have to say... Hillsboro is the worst for flat tires. I suspect it's because the streets get swept rarely and therefore accumulate debris.

I've tried the kevlar strips designed to prevent tire punctures. They did nothing to stop a couple of nails I picked up shortly after installing the strips.

I've also tried a couple different slimes. Neither worked for me. In one instance, I had to stand in the rain for half an hour before the slime even began to slow the leakage of air, and it never halted the leak enough to make the bike rideable.

I now carry a spare tube, tire wrenches, a pump, and a mini-patch kit just in case. It seems to be the only thing that will reliably get me going if I get a flat.

What I have found is that since I put a couple Serfas Drifter Dual Sport road tires on my bike, I have less trouble than with the mountain bike tires that came with my bike. (Plus it rides so much smoother!) It won't stop a nail, of course, but it seems to help with the small stuff -- glass shards, etc. I tend to attribute this to the much thicker rubber the Serfas tires have as compared to the others. That said, when I do go mountain biking, the Serfas tires are almost useless, so I end up swapping back and forth.

I must caution riders about using airless tires. I don't recall Oregon's law, and haven't time to look it up right now, but many states have legal requirements that prohibit non-air-filled tires of any form for any type of vehicle, bicycles included. Make sure to check before you go that route. (Anyone know the reasoning for these kinds of laws, by the way?)
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2008, 04:22 AM
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markallyn markallyn is offline
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Exclamation Laws against airless tires ?!?!

Come on!

Laws against airless tires! I have never heard of such a thing! How do cops
enforce something like that?

Mark
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2008, 09:00 AM
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I do recommend going over your tires once a week in the nice lit dryness of your garage or living room (hey, that's where I do some bike work!) and picking out the bits of glass. Stops a lot of flats before they start.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:49 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Exclamation ORS 815.280 bicycle equipment requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tait View Post
I must caution riders about using airless tires. I don't recall Oregon's law, and haven't time to look it up right now, but many states have legal requirements that prohibit non-air-filled tires of any form for any type of vehicle, bicycles included. Make sure to check before you go that route. (Anyone know the reasoning for these kinds of laws, by the way?)

The following was taken from:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/07orlaws/...0.dir/0821.htm


Relating to bicycles; amending ORS 815.280.



Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:



SECTION 1. ORS 815.280 is amended to read:

815.280. (1) A person commits the offense of violation of bicycle equipment requirements if the person does any of the following:

(a) Operates on any highway a bicycle in violation of the requirements of this section.

(b) Is the parent or guardian of a minor child or ward and authorizes or knowingly permits the child or ward to operate a bicycle on any highway in violation of the requirements of this section.

(2) A bicycle is operated in violation of the requirements of this section if any of the following requirements are violated:

(a) [A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.] A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

(b) A person shall not install or use any siren or whistle upon a bicycle. This paragraph does not apply to bicycles used by police officers.

(c) At the times described in the following, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment that meets the described requirements:

(A) The lighting equipment must be used during limited visibility conditions.

(B) The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.

(C) The lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any bicycle consistent with this section.

(4) This section does not apply to electric personal assistive mobility devices. Equipment requirements for electric personal assistive mobility devices are provided in ORS 815.284.

(5) The offense described in this section, violation of bicycle equipment requirements, is a Class D traffic violation.



Approved by the Governor July 17, 2007



I didn't see anything in there about pneumatic tires.

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  #9  
Old 01-08-2008, 10:36 AM
Val Val is offline
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As mentioned, airless tires have been done and redone, and some people really like them. My experience is that they are incredibly difficult to install, ride only marginally better than a bare rim, and are truly frightening when cornering, especially on wet pavement. They also totally eliminate the ability to tune your ride for comfort or traction by varying the pressure. There are times when it may seem that keeping air confined in pressurized chambers is an impossible task, but in the long run it's well worth it. Any of the sealant products that are installed by removing the valve core will work well at pressures below 90 PSI, and will seal most punctures up to 1/16". I have had several encounters with street sharps in which I heard the distinctive "pss, pss, pss" of air escaping from a rotating body, only to have it stop before I could pull over to check it out. Wonderful feeling, that. Tire liners help, too, and can be augmented with the addition of a dead tube between the live tube and the liner. This gives a layer of unstressed rubber between the stretched rubber of the live tube and anything sharp, and also helps cushion the sidewalls against pinch flats. If all that is too much trouble, try Schwalbe's Smart Guard system, as seen on the Marathon Plus and other tires. This incorporates a full 5mm of resilient rubber cushion, too thick for a tack to penetrate. The rubber is chosen for its ability to expel debris, rather than allowing shards to work their way further in with each revolution, as is the case with most tread rubber. The ride is also excellent. The only drawbacks are the weight and the price, but if flats are a recurring problem, both those penalties can be less objectionable than being stuck by the side of the road. Keep 'em rolling!
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2008, 06:14 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tait View Post
I have to say... Hillsboro is the worst for flat tires. I suspect it's because the streets get swept rarely and therefore accumulate debris...
And I thought it was just the Henry Hagg Lake route that was cursed and doomed to a flatting out. Thought I cheated the P~=|=~e Faery last time out only to find the tire "airless" the next morning.

Oddly enough, it seems to be the only flats I've had on the west side except one shard of glass creeping into the tube over a period of a month.

BTW, I run Schwalbe Marathons (not Plus) and really like them.
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