Monday, January 31, 2005

Ground Beneath the Tweels of History

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
From Boingboing, Michelin has a new tire/wheel combo that freaks me out, baby.

The heart of Tweel innovation is its deceptively simple looking hub and spoke design that replaces the need for air pressure while delivering performance previously only available from pneumatic tires.

The flexible spokes are fused with a flexible wheel that deforms to absorb shock and rebound with ease. Without the air needed by conventional tires, Tweel still delivers pneumatic-like performance in weight-carrying capacity, ride comfort, and the ability to "envelope" road hazards.

Michelin has also found that it can tune Tweel performances independently of each other, which is a significant change from conventional tires. This means that vertical stiffness (which primarily affects ride comfort) and lateral stiffness (which affects handling and cornering) can both be optimised, pushing the performance envelope in these applications and enabling new performances not possible for current inflated tires.

Well it's about time. We've been using pneumatic tires for far too long. If we don't stop we're going to run out of air. Thank you, Michelin.

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