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 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.
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.
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.
- The Japanese billionaire that’s flying around the Moon is looking for eight people to join him
- Nokia has been awarded a NASA contract to bring 4G….to the freaking moon
- The FCC is throwing $886 million at SpaceX in hopes it brings high-speed internet to rural areas
- Harley-Davidson is apparently working on an electric pedal bike