Forget flat tires, the Energy Return Wheel by Colorado-based designer Brian Russell is completely airless, and aims to solve that problem for good. Instead of air, ERW uses rubber that’s been stretched over a series of carbon nano tube reinforced composite rods designed to provide the same cushioning as traditional tires. The rods are fully adjustable, enabling the tension on the rubber to adapt to different road conditions and terrains, improving both flexing and recoil cycling for riders. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.
“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,” reports Inhabitat.