Just got word that some testing is getting done on
airless bicycle tires. The details are being kept secret, but we know the
testing is on a new urethane. We hope to know more soon and will apprise our
Many people have heard that the Nu-Teck airless bicycle tire factory closed. When that happened the new owner turned to me and asked him to help find a buyer.
A few months later a machine shop / tool and die maker in Florida bought the factory. Everything was brought in by truck and I got to help unpack the factory.
Making airless tires is hard work and you learn to appreciate that when moving the equipment and all the things that go into making a tire.
Like kids around the Christmas tree, we unpacked box after box and crate after crate cataloging everything. I shot a couple of videos too.
Anyway, all of the tire molds come in real large heavy crates. In one of the crates was a metal tire mold that had never been made before.
This gorgeous tire had been waiting for us to discover it because the owner of Nu-Teck never made the tire because he thought it was too wide to fit modern rims.
Ah but times have changed and rims have gotten wider.
The tire has been named the AirLyte Monarch Cizetta Sabel and will be released soon.
AirLyte Monarch is a new tire company that I helped found and the name means "air transformed by mono-formed arch". Pretty catchy and sounds good too.
So naturally we give a Butterfly as the logo to show the tire is light.
The Cizetta Sabel is named after an Italian Race Car from years ago because this new tire has an Italian influence in it. The low profile and wide stance will make this tire smoother and faster than anything before it. The SABEL stands for Shock Absorbing Elastomer because the urethane we will use absorbs shock.
In fact this tire is so gorgeous, that we made up several bicycle racing wheels to go with it. This will be no ordinary tire. You can help speed up the process by emailing us and letting us know how many tires you want to buy when it comes out.
This gets looked at a lot, I think people are drawn to an airless tire and most people I presume have never seen an airless tire, let alone one that has been cut.
Remember to measure your rim to make sure the airless tire yo choose will indeed fit the rim. Tires like the Daytona actually snap into the rim and are real hard to dislodge and never come off of the rim.
Many people will know this tire as the Daytona TT. Made for years by the Nu-Teck Corporation in Colorado. Marvel Compound Tires of Cocoa Florida has taken the Daytona tire and made it with a new material called "Speed Core Technology".
The "Speed Core" is a dense cross linked urethane polymer compound (hence the name Marvel Compound) that rolls better than any airless tire developed so far.
Back in 1999, Thomas Wills of Deland Fl, a product designer helped me design a new airless tire. The philosphy of this tire came about after I had conversations with wind tunnel operators and other key industry people. The main point of the this tire and wheel was to create a "blended wheel" look. This look is where one cannot tell where the tire begins and the rim or wheel begins and ends.
This concept was meant to pave the way for a new suite of products both airless and rubber pneumatic.
Flash forward 15 years and one cannot tell the difference between a wheel designed 15 years ago and the newest fastest wheel from Mavic. The Mavic CXR is a full carbon wheel with a matched tire for optimum wind tunnel performance. This wheel has won a tour stage on the Tour De France.
We aren't accusing Mavic of anything other than making a great looking wheel. It is satisfying though to have created something so far in advance that it is just now being appreciated.
Congratulations to Thomas Wills. While he had nothing to do with the Mavic wheel, it is clear to see that he was ahead of his time.
A few weeks ago, I was invloved with a video production. I got to thinking that this (video) might really help the website both in sales and information. So we hired a video producer and we are getting to work on an installation video and a video to show how the airless tire fits into the rim (bicycle).
After seeing myself on camera, I decided I was not good looking enough for prime-time. So, in the videos, the website visitors wil see only my hands but not my face. However, I discovered I could make audio (a movie without images) quickly and easily and thusly have "gone to town" with the concept.
Over the next few months, we will try out several approches and your feed back is appreciated. Send in your questions and maybe I'll answer one of them in audio for all of the internets to experience.
This picture of a wheelchair tire was taken by me in 1999 using a really terrible digital camera and I took the picture holding the tire in one hand and the camera in the other. The picture was taken in my back yard just a couple of months after I got in the airless tire market by starting a website. After I took the picture, I painstakingly cropped out the back ground and uploaded the picture and named the tire "the Shasta Wheelchair Tire". And to this day, we sell maybe one or two a month. Not exactly a big seller because it is an OEM type product. The shape of the tire is actually good for ease of movement and this tire is found on less expensive wheelchairs.
What makes this so interesting is that so many people use the Air Free website images and illustrations to sell product and all these "pirated" images are done so with out our permission. If the webmasters of these websites would at least acknowledge where they got the pictures then the website visitors wouldn't be confused.
Normally manufacturers take their own pictures and allow distributors to use the images to sell. Air Free took its' own pictures and supposed manufacturers in the US and Asia use Air Free images, confusing people because the manufacturer to distributor informational chain is broken. Air Free took its' own pictures of almost everything it sells using its' own camera and studio. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers who sell airless tires are using Air Free images and illustrations to further their own profit motives and the Air Free brand is diluted. Manufacturers are supposed to have their own pictures to share with distributors like Air Free, not the other way around. If a company like Air Free wants to take its own pictures and or use manufacturer supplied ones, then a company like Air Free is entitled to use either. The manufacturers of Airless Tires however, are not allowed to use the images off of a distributors website unless there is an agreement, and certainly not if no acknowledgment is made as to where the images or illustrations came from.
For example: it should be clear to a website visitor that images on a retailers website may either be supplied by a manufacturer or by the retailer. Simply going to the manufacturers website will assure the website visitor that either the supplied images are being used or if the retailer wanted to, supply their own. This way the customer knows that the retailer if they took their own pictures has possession or knowledge of the product and if the retailer has manufacturer supplied images, then the assurance is that the retailer has the manufactures permission
There are a lot of Air Free images on a lot of websites. For that we should be congratulated. It is not often that a small company like Air Free with practically no resources has what the leaders in the industry do not have, and that is pictures of their own product.
To the Asian companies that use our images, "Hey we'd love to do business, but can't you take your own pictures?". And what makes this so bizarrely comical, is that some of the offending websites are "watermarking" our images as if to claim ownership of them. To the American companies that use our images, "Hey we'd love to do business, but can't you take your own pictures and quit confusing people?".
Until manufacturers and "rouge" websites take their own pictures or use manufacturer supplied ones, Air Free Tires will continue to make the assertion that because we get copied so frequently and so blatantly, "Air Free is the Undisputed King of the Internet"
Airless tires work great in the industrial setting. We all knew that. But it took some enterprising individuals to come up with this aluminum rust free bike with a drive shaft instead of a chain. This bike looks like a million bucks and is perfect for companies that have fleets of bicycles which are basically accidents waiting to happen. What makes this bike extra extra special is that the Rugged Bicycle can save on injuries and downtime. Rusted chains break and chains that work perfectly well will snag pants legs and cause injuries. Find out more at www.ruggedcycles.com
Airless tires today can be either bicycle, wheelchair, wheelbarrow or many other tires that are made from what is called a "Spin Cast" process. This method allows the tires to be balanced and the spinning compresses the urethane making it denser the faster it spins. Tires made this way are used for low speed and low weight situations. Airless tires are usually fitted to a rim by "snapping" into place or being "sandwiched" by hub halves.
Tires made from injection molding are called "solid tires" and are used on Forklifts or skate wheels and everything in between so they will be discussed in another article.
Airless tires are made by a number of manufacturers throughout out the world. All spin cast urethane tires have a degree of bounce to them with some manufacturers tires being more springy than others. While there is air trapped in the urethane, the material used plays a larger role in how the tire will behave under the load of a rider.
Today's' airless tires are safe when properly installed and will give years of reliable service in almost all situations. The best ones have "cords" inside them that keep the tires on the rims.