Airless, puncture-proof mountain bike tire in the works

Airless, puncture-proof mountain bike tire in the works

Nothing can derail mountain biking fun like a punctured tire. For those who aren't too nifty with their roadside repair skills, a new airless, puncture-proof tire is on the way.

ERW airless mountain bike tires ©2012 YouTube, LLC

Known as the Energy Return Wheel, the new tire was originally developed for cars, but now its makers, Colorado-based company Britek Tire and Rubber, are busy creating prototypes for mountain bikes.

According to Gizmag on Wednesday, the new tires not only eliminated flat tires -- which eliminates the need to pack along a pump, spare tube, and patch kit -- but can also improve fuel efficiency and performance.

Each tire has a layer of rubber in its center, with rubber treads on the outside, while elastic cushions occupy the space between the two, writes Gizmag. While this leaves room for a lot of caked mud and rocks, a thin sidewall can be added to keep things clean.

The tire does provide some give, just like a traditional tire, and the amount of give can be adjusted depending on terrain and traction needs. Road and BMX prototypes are reportedly also in the works, but meanwhile, there is no word on when riders can get their hands on a pair of the mountain bike tires, or how much they'll need to shell out.


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