Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55
  1. #1
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370

    Solid rubber knowledge

    People have tried to invent and market solid rubber tires over the years, but none have been particularly successful. Saint Sheldon makes it sound like any attempt is doomed to fail and anyone who tries is a snake-oil salesman.

    I'm certainly no engineer, but this seems like a solvable problem. Is it a question of planned obsolescence - pneumatic tubes keep you coming back? Is it that no one has been able to balance comfort, durability, weight and price?

    I want my bike to feel like it's riding on air... but never have a flat... and I want my jetpack.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  2. #2
    tlg
    tlg is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    10,221
    Materials science needs to come a loooooong way to develop a solid material (that's as light as a gas) and exhibits similar properties. Perhaps once they figure out how to alter physics or find an alternative universe.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    439
    Don't forget tunability. If you weigh 125 lbs or 225 lbs, would you run the same "pressure"?

    If you don't want flats and are willing to deal with the goo, tubeless is pretty dang good.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bobf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    170
    A cartoon I saw in an engineering magazine 15 years ago:

    Frowning man says, "It's 2001! Where's my flying car??"

  5. #5
    changingleaf
    Reputation: changingleaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    545
    Not only is solid rubber significantly heavier it creates significantly more rolling resistance than an inflatable tire. Rolling resistance is due to the energy lost when a tire flexes. The energy that was put into flexing the tire does not get fully recovered when it regains its shape. This is multiplied many times by a solid rubber tire.

    See here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_resistance

  6. #6
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Materials science needs to come a loooooong way to develop a solid material (that's as light as a gas) and exhibits similar properties. Perhaps once they figure out how to alter physics or find an alternative universe.
    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    Not only is solid rubber significantly heavier it creates significantly more rolling resistance than an inflatable tire. Rolling resistance is due to the energy lost when a tire flexes. The energy that was put into flexing the tire does not get fully recovered when it regains its shape. This is multiplied many times by a solid rubber tire.

    See here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_resistance
    I was being a little facetious using the term "rubber". I realize a solid tire would need to be a different material. I wonder if there isn't something more along the lines of a stiff gel that would hold it's basic shape (not too liquid), but be able to flex and spring back more than foam.

    I also get there will likely be a weight penalty, but I think most recreational riders wouldn't care too much about that. Rolling resistance, on the other hand, would be an issue.

    I don't know. Maybe it is "unobtainium" after all.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  7. #7
    tlg
    tlg is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    10,221
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    I was being a little facetious using the term "rubber". I realize a solid tire would need to be a different material. I wonder if there isn't something more along the lines of a stiff gel that would hold it's basic shape (not too liquid), but be able to flex and spring back more than foam.
    Liquid doesn't compress/flex. It'd be 1000x worse than a foam rubber. And a LOT heavier.

    I don't know. Maybe it is "unobtainium" after all.
    Like I said... once they figure out how to alter physics or find an alternative universe.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,186
    Maybe aerogel - not solid gel per se (gelatin), but a porous gel.

    I was pondering this: an aerogel type of material in the tire that had enough strength/durability to act like a run flat tire and also allow for some pneumatic inflation to control/select overall tire hardness. E.g. tire with aerogel acts like a tire with 60 psi in it and user can add air to "pump" up the tire to desired equivalent pressure.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: OldZaskar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,956
    Air is a really good material for the application - it's light, can be "rigid" and is tunable. Pretty cheap too.
    I think the magic should be applied to the tire and/or tube. A near weightless tube that was impervious to punctures would provide the best of all (or most) worlds.
    The perfect tube could end up being better than tubeless. Tubeless is really a pain in the ass attempt at overcoming tubes... because tubes can be heavy and will puncture

  10. #10
    Troll-ish....
    Reputation: No Time Toulouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    869
    Probably the only semi-viable replacement for pneumatic tires is based on a spring-toroid with a rubber tread (similar to the tires on the moon buggies). Light, flexible, but expensive and difficult to install. If it's worth a few thousand to you, I'm sure somebody makes them.....

  11. #11
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370
    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Probably the only semi-viable replacement for pneumatic tires is based on a spring-toroid with a rubber tread (similar to the tires on the moon buggies). Light, flexible, but expensive and difficult to install. If it's worth a few thousand to you, I'm sure somebody makes them.....
    Price might be prohibitive, but weighed against the value of tubes... the time and energy of changing said tube (sometimes in the cold rain)... the occasional sidewall blowout... possible injury from a flat at speed... and the peace of mind of knowing you can ride flat free...

    Then it gets interesting. I'm not sure it's a thousand dollars worth of interesting...
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally Posted by bobf View Post
    A cartoon I saw in an engineering magazine 15 years ago:

    Frowning man says, "It's 2001! Where's my flying car??"
    hehe, we will still be asking that 10-20 years from now.

  13. #13
    Wandering
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    A near weightless tube that was impervious to punctures would provide the best of all (or most) worlds.
    Isn't that a latex tube?
    --
    All the best,
    Ron
    Central-Western NJ, USA

    There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.
    --- James Allen Hightower

  14. #14
    a real member's member
    Reputation: blackfrancois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    2,929
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    I want my bike to feel like it's riding on air... but never have a flat.
    what's the big deal with getting a flat?

    i've only had one this year. and it feels rather good to be able to patch a tube on the side of the road and get back on my ride within ten minutes.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  15. #15
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370
    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    what's the big deal with getting a flat?

    i've only had one this year. and it feels rather good to be able to patch a tube on the side of the road and get back on my ride within ten minutes.
    I'm gonna guess it wasn't dark, raining, and 38 degrees...

    If so, PM me your number and I'll call you to change my next flat.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  16. #16
    grizzly moderator
    Reputation: dcgriz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2,714
    Here you go:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Solid rubber knowledge-image.jpg  
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: kjdhawkhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
    Here you go:
    I bet that spins up real quickly. Those rims are basically as light as air.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    20,513
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    People have tried to invent and market solid rubber tires over the years, but none have been particularly successful. Saint Sheldon makes it sound like any attempt is doomed to fail and anyone who tries is a snake-oil salesman.

    I'm certainly no engineer, but this seems like a solvable problem. Is it a question of planned obsolescence - pneumatic tubes keep you coming back? Is it that no one has been able to balance comfort, durability, weight and price?

    I want my bike to feel like it's riding on air... but never have a flat... and I want my jetpack.
    Just for reference, people have been working on this issue for 150 years without anything you could call success.

    "I'm certainly no engineer, but this seems like a solvable problem." I am an engineer and I disagree. Unless of course you have a way to convert "business physics" into the real thing. If you do possess that ability, you can become fabulously wealthy by selling weightless and frictionless pulleys.

  19. #19
    Adventure Seeker
    Reputation: Peanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5,106
    I'm confident if the wheel is reinvented, it'll get applied to the auto industry before it transitions to bicycles. Look how many years it's been since auto tires have used inner tubes! Even today, tubeless is not mainstream, but is reaching moderate acceptance.
    Granted, something totally new could come to bikes first, but it sure as heck won't be by a tire company, but an accidental discovery.
    I'm really looking forward to going tubeless on my next rig.
    I have a single track mind

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,872
    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    I'm confident if the wheel is reinvented, it'll get applied to the auto industry before it transitions to bicycles.
    Yes, I remember seeing something like this in automobile magazine 25 years ago.

    Name:  airless-tire.jpg
Views: 278
Size:  39.1 KB

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,872
    My tricycle way back in my single digit age era had solid rubber tires. I don't remember how it felt riding but it sure was maintenance free.

  22. #22
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,436
    Scroll down a bit to see a World War I era German contingency tire ("Notbereifung") made from steel springs. There were no new bicycle tires on the market at that time. Used ones fetched a small fortune.
    Fahrradbereifung - Wikiwand

  23. #23
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Just for reference, people have been working on this issue for 150 years without anything you could call success.

    "I'm certainly no engineer, but this seems like a solvable problem." I am an engineer and I disagree. Unless of course you have a way to convert "business physics" into the real thing. If you do possess that ability, you can become fabulously wealthy by selling weightless and frictionless pulleys.
    You seem to have mastered the ability to continually pee in everyone's Wheaties. Physics, not to mention biology, would suggest that's impossible too... but here you are anyway. So nothing's impossible.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: kjdhawkhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    My tricycle way back in my single digit age era had solid rubber tires. I don't remember how it felt riding but it sure was maintenance free.
    Mine had "air filled" rigid plastic tires. I remember hitting some nasty bumps. And I remember the catastrophic failure of the front after too many hard stops and starts.
    If only they'd been solid unobtainium, I'd still be riding it: RBR fit experts be durned.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

  25. #25
    What the what???
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,370
    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Scroll down a bit to see a World War I era German contingency tire ("Notbereifung") made from steel springs. There were no new bicycle tires on the market at that time. Used ones fetched a small fortune.
    Fahrradbereifung - Wikiwand
    I think they're on to something. We'll call it "The Tigger"!
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Automobile Knowledge
    By bigmig19 in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 03-25-2009, 04:34 PM
  2. KHS CX-100 - Share the knowledge!
    By CarbonFiberFootprint in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-06-2009, 06:16 PM
  3. Solid Rubber for Big Riders????
    By snodog1 in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-30-2007, 11:18 AM
  4. Bible Knowledge
    By MikeBiker in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 06:56 PM
  5. Wheel knowledge
    By FieldSandwhich in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-29-2004, 06:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •