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Michelin Tweel - Bicycle Tire of the Future?

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Bicycle industry news is a little slow today so I'll have to go back into the memory banks to pull something out interesting. Last May, I came across something on that I had wished I had a blog to post it on. And now that I do...

Talking about integration (see Keyword: Integrated), Michelin combined a wheel and a tire to make a Tweel (yeah, almost as creative a name as Wii). Anyhow, the tire is made up of "flexible spokes" of tire rubber joining a hub and the outer tire surface (see the picture, you get the idea). This replaces air in the tire = no more flats! From

"The Tweel promises performance levels beyond those possible with conventional pneumatic technology. The first commercial applications of the Tweel will be in lower-speed, lower-weight vehicles"

The article goes on to say that the Audi A4 outfitted with a set of Tweel tires has better handling response than the conventional pneumatic tire. It also is within 5 per cent of rolling resistance and mass of normal tires. Seems like everyone is getting in the game to re-invent the wheel (see Reinventing the Wheel - Industry Nine). Could we see this applied to bicycle wheels? The sharp edges might make them a little difficult for cornering.

Thanks goes to James for the related article link below in the GreenvilleOnline.

Related articles
Michelin Lets the Air Out of Future Tire Innovation (
Radical new wheel technology (
Tire + Wheel = TWEEL (
Michelin's Tweel Can Never Go Flat (GreenvilleOnline)

2 Responses to “Michelin Tweel - Bicycle Tire of the Future?”

  1. Anonymous James 

    I have been hearing a lot about the Tweel since it was developed at Michelin here in Greenville, SC. Here is an older article about it from our local paper.

  2. Anonymous dokein 

    I was wondering if this might hold promise for making folding bicycles with full-size wheels, but I imagine any tweel flexible enough to fold in half would be to weak to support the weight of the bike and the handle the stresses on it.

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