As much as big tire companies like to sell you more and more tires, they know that there’d be huge demand for ones that don’t go flat.
That’s why eight years ago Michelin introduced the Tweel, an experimental tire that features an airless outer band wrapped around a complex network of flexible polyurethane spokes. This approach allowed the wheel to sense and adjust to the road terrain while also maintaining strength and support. In 2011, Bridgestone unveiled their own version that features a lattice-style array of thermoplastic spokes. Both, however, have been beset by drawbacks such as loud noise (Tweel) and durability issues (Bridgestone airless), which are currently being ironed out prior to any kind of widespread market roll-out.