DIY Airless Tires Pass Various Practical Tests, Aren’t Expensive

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We are now in the era of electric cars but we are also on the cusp of another major breakthrough in automotive technology: airless tires. Thanks to Michelin and its Unique Puncture-proof Tire System (or Uptis), we may see airless tires on production vehicles in a few years – more likely on the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt.

But people from Driven Media in England do not want to wait. So they decided to make their own airless tires out of materials you can usually buy from your local hardware store. More importantly, they test their creations – on track and in public apps.

To make each tire without air, people needed 14-inch steel rims from Ford Mondeo, 15 pieces of cut fresh water pipe, and a smaller pipe that served as anti-vibration. To tighten it, more than 300 nuts and bolts were used. Overall cost? Only £300 per wheel or about $397 at current exchange rates.

for test, Driven Media using a Caterham Seven as a test vehicle. Weighing in at about 1,764 pounds (800 kilograms), the weight on each wheel at rest is about 200 kg (441 lbs) – and DIY airless tires can carry it easily.

At slow speeds, the presenter said that airless tires feel like regular tires, but as they go faster, the oddity of the imperfect circle shape becomes more apparent. The tires are noisy and the ride is bumpy.

However, DIY airless tires pass the important tests that make their existence valid. In the prick test using a nail bed, nothing happened. In road tests involving speed bumps and potholes, tires are mandatory.

On the last track test involving drifting, did the tires hold up intact? Watch the entire video above and see what happens.

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