No-Flat Tires and a Six-Pound Bicycle

Wouldn't it be nice if you never got a flat tire on your bike...ever? Or if your full-sized road bike weighed less than a gallon of milk? Good news. There's a new no-flat tubeless bike tire arriving in 2011. Bad news. A six-pound bike—which has indeed been created—would cost you an estimated $45,000.

Hutchinson Serenity No-Flat Bike Tire
Hutchinson Industries has been making bike tires since 1890. These days one of its business mainstays is producing no-flat truck and car tires—including the tires used by the U.S. Presidential Fleet. Now the company has expanded this technology to its new Serenity line of No-Flat bike tires, available in 2011.

Instead of an inflatable tube, Serenity tires use a "micro-cellular inner-tube" that is essentially a foam donut inside the tire. According to the company, it approximates the cushioning and comfort of a pneumatic tube at 50psi. But unlike traditional tubes, it will never, ever go flat. (As this "screwy" picture from urbanvelo.org illustrates.)

The French company has already produced Serenity tires in 20", 24", and 26" versions; a 700c is also expected soon. Exact pricing and availability have yet to be announced; I'm guessing they won't be cheap.

The World's Lightest Bike
TriRig, a triathlon gear site, recently posted this fascinating article about the lightest road bike ever built. It weighs all of 2.7 kilograms (a shade under 6 pounds), a marvel of featherweight parts and carbon-fiber technology.

Everything about it is custom (several components were made as one-off prototypes by bike equipment manufacturers), which means that it's not a bike you could readily buy or even build from available parts. The bike's builder, Jason Woznick of Phoenix-based Fairwheel Bikes, estimates that it would cost at least $45,000 to recreate.

So don't expect to see one anytime soon—but do expect to see the ultralight technology that made this bike possible incorporated into an increasing number of high-end bike components in the future.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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