Flat tires are soon going to be a thing of the past with BriTek’s new Energy Return Wheel. Instead of regularising the tire pressure with air, the new wheel has a carbon fiber interior with a stretchable rubber on either side that adjusts the firmness as we go.
The tire made initial tests on a car. The airless tire has two layers of rubber and in between the two is a series of elastic cushions. This cushioning effect allows the tire to respond better when compressed and quickly come back to original shape when relaxed. In case of air, the energy is lost in air compression, but, in this case, the energy is stored and released back in the form of momentum. This fabulous design will help increase bike power efficiency.
The wheel is still at an experimental stage as the dirt, and other foreign particles tend to get stuck in the inside scaffolding. The company is considering adding sidewalls to keep them out. We, the bike enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for the Energy Return Wheel to be introduced!
See the video of its working prototype here:
Nice to see, but one question:
When I ride in different conditions, I adapt pressure (higher for more flat surfaces, lower for more rough ones). Easy to do: deflate or inflate the tire.
How can I “port” this without air pressure? How can I tune such responsiveness?
“In case of air, the energy is lost in air compression, but, in this case, the energy is stored and released back in the form of momentum”
adding sidewalls defeats the efficiency improvement claims regarding the energy lost in the compression of the air.
to which.. there is almost none.. the difference in pressure when the force exerted on the road by the bicycle is 10 pounds, or 100 pounds.. or 200.. is almost zero, particularly for a road bike.
now the folks who run 3 inch wide tubeless tires at 10 psi on mountain trails at speeds far too high for me.. those folks might find a tenth of a percent energy losses in the air pressure fluctuations inside the tire.. but i’m not convinced they would notice..
I’m interested in the price of the wheels. I work for an electric bike company.