Airless Tires?

As you probably already know, we have been riding around on traditional New & Used Tires that have either air or nitrogen for about 100 years now. Even the Pneumatic Tires have provided a great “service” for drivers that go both On & Off Roading; but Michelin is claiming that they have invented something that will change all of our customary & standard thoughts about New & Used Tires.

They have manufactured something called the Tweel Airless Tire. Their announcement about this tire first came out in 2005 .. which was five years ago, so I guess you can say I have some catching up to do. Anyway, if you haven’t already noticed, the word “Tweel” is a combination of the words Tire & Wheel. It’s not like your traditional Wheel & Tire, the Tweel doesn’t necessarily have a hub type construction; there is a firm inner hub that is mounted to the axle. This is surrounded by something called Polyurethane Spokes that are assembled in a specific pattern of wedges. There is something like a shear belt that is stretched across the spokes of the tire; this makes up the outside edge of the tire. The tightness & rigidity that the band has on the spokes & the strength of the actual spokes are supposed to replace the Air Pressure that you would normal find on New & Used Tires today.

You’re probably just thinking, “Well what about the tread?” That’s already attached to the belt; so you have nothing to worry about.

When you have these on your vehicle & they come in contact with the road (obviously, where else are they going to go?), the tire spokes take in the bumps & lumps of the road; just like Pneumatic Tires would. When this happens, the Shear Bands & tread of the tire are deformed as the spokes are bent; but then are back into regular shape after. So I guess you can say it’s kind of like a slinky. When you stretch out a slinky & just maneuver it all sorts of ways, it becomes deformed; right? It’s the same idea with the Tweel Airless Tires.

When there are more flexible spokes in the tire, that means that your ride is going to be more comfortable; lucky you. If you want to make some changes to it after you bought it from Michelin Used Car Tires & New Tires, that may not be so possible; you’re probably just going to have to buy a whole new Tweel if you want some adjustments to it.

When Michelin tested their innovation, they chose to test it on an Audi A4. The Tweels that were installed on the vehicle were made with five times as much sidewise stiffness as a Pneumatic Tire. The test results showed that a vehicle with Tweels made the car more responsive & let the driver have a better handling of the vehicle.

One of the Michelin reports said that the original Tweel just so happens to be inside the 5% boundary of the rolling resistance & mass levels of the current Pneumatic Tires that they’re manufacturing. This pretty much means that you’ll only get an approximately 1% improvement on your gas mileage.

Since this was in 2005 .. & it’s already been 5 years, I’m guessing that they really didn’t make a huge impact on the Automotive Industry like they hoped they would. It was a good try though; right? Since it looks like you’re sticking to the original air-filled tires, visit so we can help you find the right ones.