A startup called the Smart Tire Company has licensed the technology NASA uses for their Mars Rover's wheels, and plans to roll it out in bicycle form.
Their METL tires are made from shape memory alloy, which they claim is as elastic as rubber, but with the strength of titanium; the material "rearranges its molecular structure when you bend it, but instantly goes back to its original shape, perfectly," they write.
The metal doesn't actually come into contact with the road (or gravel, or dirt) surface, by the way; the tires will be outfitted with "a new, formulated rubber-like material, Polyurethanium™, for the longest-lasting tread and grip, for all weather conditions."
Because the tires are non-pneumatic and cannot be punctured or torn, the company reckons these are the only set of tires you'd need to purchase for the life of your bicycle.
Made in gold, silver and metallic blue, the SMART Tire Company's METL™ bike tire has a stunning, space-age metallic look and feel. "Cyclists will not be able to wait to get their hands on these very cool-looking, space-age METL™ tires that don't go flat," says Earl Cole, CEO of The SMART Tire Company. "The unique combination of these advanced materials, coupled with a next generation, eco-friendly design make for a revolutionary product."
The company plans to roll the tires out in 2022--before expanding into the automotive sector, assuming the concept truly proves roadworthy on Earth.
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1. What's the wear time for the rubber-like material? It is very thin to last the life of the bike.