Hutchinson introduces airless tires

Hutchinson Tires introduced an airless, flat-free tire at Eurobike and will give a demonstration this week at Interbike, allowing attendees to ride their new Serenity tire over a bed of nails!

Instead of the usual airless solution of a solid rubber or foam tube, Hutchinson uses a “light and strong composite structure” that was developed with Biron Engineering. I’ll try to find out if Hutchinson’s “micro cellular innertube” is some kind of honeycomb or just a lighter foam that still maintains some rigidity.

According to Hutchinson, the Serenity flat free tire was developed specifically for the Velib bike share program in Paris to reduce maintenance expense and downtime. Hutchinson claims the tires are lightweight, strong and durable, with the inner “tube” designed to last the lifetime of the bicycle. Hutchinson claims an “ingenious shock absorbing system” results in a good balance between performance and comfort for this urban utility tire.

The tires ride like a pneumatic tire with about 50 pounds of air in them, says Hutchinson, and is based on technology used in Hutchinson auto and truck flat-free tires used by the military, off road vehicles, and the American Presidential auto fleet.

When the tire is available for sale at the end of 2010, Hutchinson says they’ll be available in a range of colors.

17 Comments

  • Wuss912
    September 20, 2010 - 7:05 pm | Permalink

    i’ll wait for your review …. but color me skeptical…
    i like being able to adjust the ride by adding or removing air…

  • Andy
    September 20, 2010 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Ya know, I can just see this possibly working. I’ve seen those flat-free tires on fork lifts, and it seems like a decent idea for people that are willing to compromise weight for never fixing a flat. I can’t imagine these being lightweight though. As with most gear, expect it to be cheap, light, and durable (pick two).

  • Andy
    September 20, 2010 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Ya know, I can just see this possibly working. I’ve seen those flat-free tires on fork lifts, and it seems like a decent idea for people that are willing to compromise weight for never fixing a flat. I can’t imagine these being lightweight though. As with most gear, expect it to be cheap, light, and durable (pick two).

  • September 20, 2010 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Andy, aren’t forklift tires solid rubber, though?

    I’ve tried solid / foam bike tires, and they’re FAILs. I’d like to try out Hutch’s “composite” tires to see if they differ.

  • Andy
    September 20, 2010 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an example… http://auto.howstuffworks.com/tweel-airless-tire2.htm
    It can certainly flex a lot, depending on how open the tire is. If you have pockets of air instead of an open wheel, it would hold shape better, although then you’d get small flat sections over time.

  • September 20, 2010 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I thinking exactly of that tire earlier but couldn’t remember what it was called! Thanks for passing that link along.

  • Anonymous
    September 20, 2010 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This has been tried before, and is never successful. I’ll wait for the reviews, and I really hope it’s been done right this time, but I’m doubtful for the time being. If it works, I’ll be waiting for an 80psi-equivalent 700x25c.

  • Anonymous
    September 20, 2010 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This has been tried before, and is never successful. I’ll wait for the reviews, and I really hope it’s been done right this time, but I’m doubtful for the time being. If it works, I’ll be waiting for an 80psi-equivalent 700x25c.

  • Anonymous
    September 20, 2010 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This has been tried before, and is never successful. I’ll wait for the reviews, and I really hope it’s been done right this time, but I’m doubtful for the time being. If it works, I’ll be waiting for an 80psi-equivalent 700x25c.

  • September 21, 2010 - 2:29 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen the other attempts so I’m dubious, but this *is* Hutchinson after all.

  • September 21, 2010 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Yup it’s good.
    I was at the outdoor demo yesterday.

  • September 21, 2010 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Tell me more! How’s the ride compare against other commuter type tires?

  • Andy
    September 21, 2010 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s probably perfect! Oh, unless you are still dealing with that whole “gravity” nonsense. :D

    Do tell! Do they have a strip of pavement to test on also, or is this a concrete floor?

  • September 21, 2010 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Outdoor Demo is held outdoors. BIg dirt area in the desert with tents, mountain bike course, and a couple hundred miles of roads.

  • February 13, 2011 - 3:13 am | Permalink

    One key that gets overlooked quite a bit are the moving parts in the chain. The chain here, first of all, you want to make sure you have some good chain tension, there’s not a whole lot of slack, you want between one inch to two and a half inches of play in the chain, if you get more than that, it’s going to be too sloppy and your chain has a chance of coming off.

  • Anonymous
    April 10, 2011 - 3:21 am | Permalink

    Any news?

    These tires don’t seem to be available anywhere yet, and I’m having trouble finding contact information for Hutchinson besides a postal address. I will write them a letter and ask about these tires.

  • April 11, 2011 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Eliza, I was just thinking of this tire when I saw the news about Michelin’s
    new tube. I’ll send a note to Hutch and ask about it.

    Sent from my Googaw

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