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Your next bike might have airless tires based on NASA rover tech

The tires are being built by SMART through a partnership with NASA.

Smart metl tires on bike based on nasa tech
Image: SMART

You might not realize it, but you probably use NASA tech every day. Now your next bike might have NASA tire technology created for future lunar and Martian rovers, thanks to a startup called SMART.

SMART was founded in 2020, and through its partnership with NASA and the Space Act Agreement, has created its first ready-for-market product using NASA tech – an airless bicycle tire.

The METL tire uses “shape memory alloy” (SMA) materials, which replaces the usually-rubber sections of a tire with a series of interwoven springs. That means no need for inflation, no risk of punctures, and other benefits like better traction and built-in shock absorption.

Nasa developed metal alloy tires
Image: NASA

SMART was co-founded by Survivor: Fiji champion Earl Cole, and engineer Brian Yennie. They worked together with the scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center who first created the new alloy to bring it to the consumer market. While cycling is the first target, the team hope to bring SMA tech to the automotive market after that.

READ MORE: NASA is literally going to fling satellites into space

Their first commercial partner? Ford-owned micro-mobility scooter company, Spin. The SMA tire technology is perfect for the scooter-sharing market, with removing the need for re-inflation and other tire maintenance tasks, while being tougher and more resistant to vandalism.

As someone who’s had their fair share of flat tires in the past, I can’t wait to get my hands on bike tires that never need re-inflating. SMART’s bike tire tech should hit the market early next year.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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