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.