A flat tire is something that’s sure to ruin any bike trip. Thankfully, you can now say “goodbye” to dragging around your patch kits and pumps, as automotive enthusiast The Q recently came up with a truly innovative solution. In a video, he details how to make DIY airless bike tires using PVC drainage pipes. The tires are sort of a Holy Grail — they are a more convenient and efficient alternative to pneumatic tires.
The science and other stuff to know
In his step-by-step video tutorial, the YouTuber uses PVC pipes, bolts, and nuts, to replace his old wheels with the new design. In the end, he rides his bike with the new airless tires, proving the success of his project.
To construct them for your bike, you will need to make some slight modifications as the YouTuber notes in the description of the video. But these are easily done.
Airless bike tires come with lots of advantages. For example, they need to be replaced less frequently than contemporary tires. And because the PVC material used to make these airless tires is more durable, your bike will be able to carry more weight and engage in more strenuous activities. They are also economical to make in terms of labor, materials, and resources.
In cars and other larger transportation vehicles, airless tires have been “a few years away” from production for decades now, as engineering them at scale has proven to be quite the challenge. So far, most tire makers have only managed to produce airless tires for vehicles like low-speed ATVs.
However, solutions beyond bicycles seem like they may finally be on the horizon. Tire brand Nexo has manufactured airless bike tires, and other companies like Michelin promise airless tires for full-sized cars by 2024. Whether they actually arrive remains to be seen, but the future looks promising.