Solid (airless) Bicycle Tyres

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Fabian, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    (moderators, please relocate this thread if it's not in the appropriate area)

    This company seems to make a variation on foam filled, no flats style bicycle tyres.

    The main points and benefits seem to be:

    How do Air Free tires compare to rubber, air-filled tires?
    In most cases, Air Free tires compare favorably and can satisfy just about every cycling application. While we may call the Air Free tires "solid" or "airless," the tires actually are made of dense polyurethane foam that traps millions of microscopic air cells - so the truth is, they have a fair amount of air in them. We created these tires to imitate the most popular types of rubber tires on the market, so you'll see the tread patterns and shapes and sizes are similar. For example, our Airless 700 X 20 Daytona TT tire is designed to imitate a street-type rubber tire in the 700 x 20 to 700 x 23 range. Both tires would be slick and fast and fairly hard, without a whole lot of give, because the rubber tire would be inflated to about 120 PSI and our tire is designed to feel and look just like that type of tire.

    Why do Air Free tires have a PSI?
    Air Free tires have what we call a "pounds per square inch feel." If I were to pour urethane into a cup, and let it foam up and harden, the resulting urethane would have a PSI feel of about 25, which feels fairly squishy - like a soft bicycle tire. However, if we spin a tire mold at about 400 revolutions per minute, the spinning motion collapses some of the foam, which lets us add more urethane and create a denser material - one that has less "give" to it. The faster we spin the mold, the more urethane we can add and the more firm the tire will be. Most of our tires have a PSI equivalency of about 55 to 60 - that is, they feel about as firm as a rubber tire inflated to 55 to 60 PSI. However, we make some stock tires, such as those in the Daytona and Teton lines, at higher PSI equivalencies for riders who need or prefer a firmer tire. We can also customize the PSI of tires to your specifications

  2. I had one "airless" rear tire from another brand. It was the hardest ride I have ever experienced. I could not have pumped enough air into a regular tire to make it as hard (it would have exploded). My butt hasn't forgiven me yet, and that was 2 years ago.
  3. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    After reading many posts about those I would never buy them. Ever since 1900 folks have been trying to come up with an airless tire that will work like an aired tire. All have failed!
  4. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    Airless tires, why bother?

    I have in my job as a bike mechanic fixed or replaced hundreds of bike tubes. I have never seen a better replacement for the tube tire combination except for one. The only thing that I have ridden on that felt better was a sew-up. My current Motorbicycle has 26 by 1.5 tires and I have used them for over a year without any noticeable wear. I did have a single flat on the rear tire and I will admit it was a pain to fix. I was able to fix it on the road in about twenty minutes mainly because I forgot my extra tube and had to patch my old one on the road.

    With the poor "feel" and difficulty of installing "airless" tubes seems to be a solution without a problem. In the past I have run "Mr Tuffy" tire protectors and I remember wearing a 3 inch bald spot in my commuter bike before I realized that I needed to replace my tire.

    Since bicycles have been using tires and tubes for over seventy years why switch to something "new" when the old standby seems to work so well?

    If you have problems with thorns, do they still make thorn proof tubes? I think its pretty hard to flat the tire that I use and it seems to hold air well so why make it more trouble by going airless?

    P.S. the ride I experienced on the airless tubes I have ridden on was not very good.(maybe they have gotten better)

    Mike Frye the bike guy
  5. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if this style of solid tyre is new, but what seems to be different is that they are not an "insert" type.

    The whole tyre, rim location point through to the rolling tread surface is one unit.

    I have no idea as to how good they are or how effective the nominated PSI ratings feel through the saddle, but the centrifuge method of molding the tyre seems interesting and logical.

    Hopefully someone has tried these tyres and can give feedback.