Strong, new non-pneumatic bike tire invented by Bend Oregon resident

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
Bend, Oregon’s Calvin Young has invented and is producing his own space-age non-pneumatic bicycle tire...one he hopes will eventually replace traditional bike inner tubes and make flat tires history. This tire could be a game changed for mountain biking.

Space-age tire invention helps Bend native spin new career | bendbulletin.com

“Young’s invention, the METL tire, is modeled on the same technology developed by NASA for rovers to be used on missions to Mars or the moon. Young thought the sturdy tire has Earth applications too and during the summer of 2018 came up with a design that would work for bicycles.
Bend, Oregon’s Calvin Young has invented and is producing his own space-age non-pneumatic bicycle tire...one he hopes will eventually replace traditional bike inner tubes and make flat tires history. This tire could be a game changed for mountain biking.

“Young’s invention, the METL tire, is modeled on the same technology developed by NASA for rovers to be used on missions to Mars or the moon. Young thought the sturdy tire has Earth applications too and during the summer of 2018 came up with a design that would work for bicycles.


The METL tire is non-pneumatic, that is, it doesn’t require air. It holds its shape thanks to tightly woven interlocking springs. The metal springs are encased in polyurethane, and a durable outer tread adheres to the tire.
Non-pneumatic bicycle tires — also called airless tires or flat-free tires — already exist but are not widely used because testing has proven most brands to be too stiff compared to regular tires with air....”
For the rest of the story go to the link below this picture...
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https://www.bendbulletin.com/locals...cle_f46e4d0e-9ef1-11eb-8ac5-8fd7999c1c27.html
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
Here’s the gist of the article (due to copyright rules I don’t want to reproduce the entire article, sorry)

Young’s invention, the METL tire, is modeled on the same technology developed by NASA for rovers to be used on missions to Mars or the moon. Young thought the sturdy tire has Earth applications too and during the summer of 2018 came up with a design that would work for bicycles.



The METL tire is non-pneumatic, that is, it doesn’t require air. It holds its shape thanks to tightly woven interlocking springs. The metal springs are encased in polyurethane, and a durable outer tread adheres to the tire.

Non-pneumatic bicycle tires — also called airless tires or flat-free tires — already exist but are not widely used because testing has proven most brands to be too stiff compared to regular tires with air.

...

“They tend to do a poor job absorbing bumps on the road,” he said.
Then came summer internships at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in 2017 and 2018. He was working with engineers on designing wheels for rovers. The type of tire being developed was airless and uses a shape-memory alloy that springs back to its original shape after being deformed.

...

Young applied for a patent for the tire. Two other NASA engineers, Colin Creager and Santo Padula, were also credited as co-inventors for their work on the rover tires that opened the door to Young’s bike tire invention. The patent for the tire drew the attention of two entrepreneurs, Earl Cole and Brian Yennie. The pair had already created a company called Smart Tire with the intention of bringing new designs to market. Young’s design was a perfect match.

“We first had an interest in the automotive version of this technology, and were preparing to create a bicycle version but then learned that a bicycle version already existed that was co-invented by Calvin and two other NASA engineers,” said Cole. “We were glad to hear that and immediately knew its potential.”
...

“Calvin has been amazing. He works very quickly and diligently,” said Cole. “He was able to build our first bicycle prototype, METL, in no time, and we look forward to the next iteration.”

The investors hope the technology can be applied to other uses too, and have plans to develop tires for cars, trucks and airplanes.

“The bike tire will be a launchpad for tackling the industry as a whole,” said Young...

... Young decided to go to the birthplace of philosophy and spent four months cycling around Greece and Turkey, exploring ancient ruins and camping along the Mediterranean Sea....

... said Young. “So at 25 years old I decided to go back to school and become an engineer.”

.... While working at a coffee shop in Portland, he struck up conversations with a frequent customer, William Winters, a self-employed mechanical engineer.

Winters introduced concepts of engineering, and those conversations planted a seed in Young to pursue the field as a career.

...

Young studied engineering back at Portland State, found his way to the labs of NASA and his eventual path to designing his bike tire. He even managed to wedge in work with Voltaic Systems, a solar panel company.

...
 
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Mfitz

Member
Am I missing something here? The vast majority of mtn bikes already don't use inner tubes, especially those at the target end of the price spectrum. This tire can't be cheap.....
 

Kade

New member
Am I missing something here? The vast majority of mtn bikes already don't use inner tubes, especially those at the target end of the price spectrum. This tire can't be cheap.....
The leading statement about inner tubes is misleading. Even tubeless tires need to be sealed to contain air pressure which makes them pneumatic. This tire does not need any air so it can never get a flat. Tubeless tires in mtn biking can still puncture or “burp” breaking their seal and go flat/useless. These will never fail in that manner.


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