Two years ago, Ohio-based SMART Tire unveiled its NASA-inspired runflat tires, which are designed to be completely airless. Now, the company has revealed that the frames are available for purchase, but it’s all happening via a Kickstarter campaign.
The new frames, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the way we look at bicycle frames in the future, are inspired by the titanium frames NASA created and used on the Perseverance rover. These tires were created to help overcome the way rubber tires slowly leak air and the deterioration they experience.
Tires that never leak are called Metl, and they’re similar to tires you probably played with as a kid. The spring is designed to look exactly like a regular tire, but it’s made of a nickel-titanium alloy called NiTinol instead of the usual rubber material that tires are made of.
SMART Tire calls Metl tires “space age tires” and says they will never need air pressure, and will be just as smooth as traditional pneumatic tires. It will also feature lower rolling resistance, which SMART Tire says will mean less work for the rider. The waiting list for tires currently includes more than 10,000 cyclists, SMART Tire explains on its website. Kickstarter page.
The page still has more than 20 days to go at the time of writing this article, and has already raised nearly $80,000. Its original goal was just $25,000, so it looks like the Kickstarter campaign has been a huge success for the company. If these airless tires continue to rise in popularity, we could see some sort of change in how we use tires in cars as well.
Never having to worry about your tires running flat, that’s a nice thing to me, so I’m all for what we’re seeing with this type of technology.
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