Gallery: BriTek’s Brilliant Airless Bicycle Tire Reinvents the Wheel

 

Flat bicycle tires could be a thing of the past thanks to BriTek‘s amazin Energy Return Wheel. Whereas most bike tires regulate tire firmness with air pressure, with the Energy Return Wheel one simply adjusts the tension of the rubber that is stretched around a 29-inch carbon fiber wheel.

Initially tested on cars, the airless tire is comprised of two layers of rubber – one at the center, stretched and held by adjustable rods, and the other on the outside. The space between, usually filled with air, holds a series of elastic cushions. The internal scaffolding of rods and cushions allow the tire go give and, according to Britek, react better to compression. As the internal rubber layer gets compressed by bumps from the road, the elastic potential energy stored within the wheel is returned and converted into forward momentum.

The Energy Return Wheel is still being tested (the company is considering adding thin sidewalls to the fiber rims, to keep mud and trail debris from piling up within them). Whether or not the new bike tire represents the future of everyday cycling remains to be seen.

+ Energy Return Wheel

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12 Comments

  1. Shawn Powell September 24, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I am a blink virtual

  2. Kai Jokela July 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    They don’t explain their energy return claim. it is just a claim.
    “As the internal rubber layer gets compressed by bumps from the road, the elastic potential energy stored within the wheel is returned and converted into forward momentum.”

    How the elastic energy from bump is directed forward?? My simple brain tells me that if that wheel hits a bump, it will immediately bounce to opposite direction and that would be up or slightly backwards. Not forward.

    They have car wheels too. Car wheel rims get compression, or pressure (car’s weight and bumps. With air filled tyre, this pressure is spreaded evenly around the rim. But with ERW the energy from a bump hits that point of contact on wheel rim. This means ERW rims will get much more punishment and they have to be stronger. They can work, but bicycle rims are a totally different story.
    Bicycle rims are build with spokes that are in tension (not in compression like in a car). Bike wheel is held in shape by spokes pulling the rim. Air filled tyre takes bump energy and spreads it evenly around the rim. ERW wheel in a bicycle rim is a very bad idea unless they start making rims with spokes that are in compression… In the promo video they use normal rim. it will get wonky and beaten up pretty soon.

  3. Mary Wazelle June 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    The military was toying around with this concept on hummers a while back, they seemed to give and roll too much for quick stops and proper handling. I always hoped it would see the light of day.

  4. Carson Huang May 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    where can I get one of these? and what rate?

  5. freeradical May 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Yeah, these would be cool for road bikes… For Mtn bikers it would just suck after the first “Mud” crossing and find your wheels each 10-lbs heavier and terribly out of balance! :/

  6. Francisco Jimenez April 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    And here is a promotional video for them that I found on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYW5EcxCPzc

  7. Francisco Jimenez April 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Yes, these wheels are for sale, but they are not cheap at this point ($625)- plus maybe they can shipped to India and other countries for more. Here is the company webpage for this wheel: http://www.energyreturnwheel.com/

  8. royishan April 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Is this still at prototype stage or can it be bought for a 26″ 2×2 mtb?
    Is there a store somewhere that can be contacted for the ERW’s.. can it be bought online!!?? please give selling details!

  9. magsb November 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    BTW, I really LOVE the technology!!!!
    Question: what if the trail was muddy? wouldn’t all the mud get into the tire?

  10. Michael Barber August 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I want

  11. amritananda sandy May 18, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Request – Details of the Seller of – Bicycle\’s – Energy Return Wheel – in India.

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