Watch A YouTuber Build Working DIY Airless Tires Out Of Hardware Store Parts

The YouTube channel Driven Media has set out on building their own airless tires and has put them to the test.

Airless tire concepts comprise the air cushion of a pneumatic tire with plastic or composite structures to support the weight of the vehicle instead. Producing an airless tire with comparable performance and longevity to conventional designs has proven difficult. The area is still being researched.

The airless tires built by Driven Media are decidedly low-tech. They consist of a set of 14″ steel rims off a Ford Mondeo, fitted with sections of plastic downpipe bolted around the periphery, with a tread cut from a conventional tire wrapped around the outside. Gaps between the downpipe sections are accentuated with smaller-diameter pipe sections with the aim of approximating a round wheel, though the end result is visibly lumpy. Over 300 nuts and bolts are used to hold the airless tires together.

For testing, a Caterham Seven 270R was pressed into service. Weighing only around 1200 lbs. unloaded, it’s the ideal platform for testing the homebrew design without overstressing things.

The design seemed to be operational. In driving on the test track and regular roads, the wheels hold together, only throwing off a few nuts and bolts here and there. They even survive speed bumps and a pothole strike at speed, and the team even manages to throw up some tire smoke doing burnouts on the track.

Admittedly, they’re not the roundest wheels, with significant vibration at even low speeds. Road noise is almost twice as loud compared to Caterham’s standard tires.

Nevertheless, it proves that airless tires can easily be built on your own at home!

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