Michelin's Airless Tire Might Actually Start Existing

Illustration for article titled Michelins Airless Tire Might Actually Start Existing

We've been promised airless, puncture-proof tires for-bloody-ever by this point. But pump-haters, your time is arriving: starting next week, a factory in Piedmont, SC is going to start pumping them out.

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Named the Tweel, Michelin's invention in an all-in-one wheel and tire: deforming resin spokes provide the give that air would've previously, and an outer tread gives the same grip as rubber. The benefits are pretty obvious: no air means no pesky punctures, and the slight deformity means the wheel rolls over bumps more smoothly.

There's still no general availability or pricing, but Michelin's currently running a limited trial with skid steer loaders and tractors, and opening an entire factory dedicated to producing the Tweel obviously means that it's not a complete bust. Whether or not you'll be decking your truck out with Tweels in the near future remains to be seen, though. [Autoblog]

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DISCUSSION

We already have puncture proof tires.

We have solid press-on tires for forklift and other appropriate applications and foam filled tires for other industrial applications... why is this news? We've had non-pneumatic options for years and years and years...

Michelin: Kings of taking something that already exists, marketing the crap out of it, and charging more than anyone else for it.