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Revolutionary new bicycle tires inspired by NASA don’t need to be filled with air

Published Sep 17th, 2023 10:34AM EDT
never-go-flat tire
Image: Smart Tire Company

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Two years ago, Ohio-based SMART Tire Company revealed its NASA-inspired never-go-flat tires, which were designed to be completely airless. Now, the company has revealed that the tires are available to purchase, but it’s all happening via a Kickstarter campaign.

The new tires, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the way that we look at bike tires going forward, were inspired by NASA’s titanium tires, which it created and used on the Perseverance Rover. These tires were created to help overcome the way that rubber-based tires slowly leak air and the deterioration they face.

The never-go-flat tires are called Metl, and they look similar to slinkies you might have played with as a kid. The spring is made to be shaped just like a normal tire, but it’s made of a nickel-titanium alloy called NiTinol instead of the usual rubber material that tires are made of.

SMART Tire Company calls its Metl tires “space-age tires” and says that they’ll never require air pressure, and will ride just as smooth as traditional pneumatic tires. They’ll also feature low rolling resistance, which SMART Tire Company says will mean less work for the rider. The waitlist for the tires currently sits at over 10,000 cyclists, SMART Tire Company explains on its Kickstarter page.

The page still has over 20 days to go at the time of writing this article, and it has already garnered close to $80,000. Its original goal was just $25,000, so the Kickstarter campaign seems to have come off as a huge success for the company. If these never-go-flat airless tires continue to rise in popularity, it’s possible we could see some kind of change to how we utilize tires on cars as well. 

Never having to worry about your tires going flat sounds like a nice thing to me, so I’m all for what we’re seeing with this kind of technology.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.