Schwalbe is taking airless bicycle tire technology to the next level with its latest Airless System.
Schwalbe’s Airless System consists of an outer tire combined with an airless inner one, which the German company is hoping garners the interest of all segments of the cycling market, to include urban cyclists, commuters, public bike share programs and even ebike owners, claiming their technology offers puncture free riding, while also capable of handling the higher speeds and weight requirements of electric bikes.
Schwalbe claims its Airless System can provide up to 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometers) of puncture-free wear under normal use without the need for maintenance. “The Airless System brings an intuitive feel of an air pressure of around 3.5 bar making the driving characteristics comparable to those of an inner tube,” claims Schwalbe.
“With regard to comfort, longevity and maintenance-free system, our Airless System offers a real alternative to the inner tube for the first time”, states René Marks, Schwalbe product manager touring.
While solid inner tube systems already exist, Schwalbe says its new Airless System distinguishes itself from the competition. “The technical properties of the foam particles, consisting of thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU), known under the Infinergy brand of BASF. Incidentally, it is the same material that is used in the soles of Adidas BOOST running shoes. The Airless tube has excellent damping and flexibility characteristics and offers lots of comfort.”
“Exactly these suspension characteristics makes the difference in comparison with the foams used for solid tubes so far,” explains René Marks. “The physical force with which the compressed material returns to its original shape is more than twice as high with this E-TPU foam than with existing systems. The cause: the E-TPU foam consists of thousands of sealed air balls. Together they form a highly elastic air cushion. That presents great advantages over current materials for solid inner tubes and makes it a real alternative to the inner tube.”
Schwalbe also says, the maintenance-free characteristics of its Airless System far outweigh whatever performance loss there may be in terms of rolling resistance.
Exclusively for specialist retailers
The Schwalbe Airless System is mounted using a special assembly tool, which they say takes about the same time as a traditional tube and tire set-up. However, the installation requires a knowledgeable bike mechanic who has been certified by them to install it.
Schwalbe’s Airless System currently consists of a 40-622 size tire, an Airless tube of white thermoplastic polyurethane and a blue Airless rim strip.
According to Schwalbe, the strip ensures compatibility of the system with a number of different rim sizes, with widths ranging from 19 to 21 millimeters.
The Schwalbe Airless System is currently only available on the European market, which retails for 84.90 euros.
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