The Urethane Blog

Urethane Filled Bike Tire

Schwalbe Takes Airless Tyres To Next Level

Sales & Trends 550

UTRECHT, the Netherlands – Schwalbe is launching its Airless System. With it Europe’s biggest in bicycle tyres is taking airless to the next level. And maybe even to a much wider use of these puncture-free tyres than ever before.

Schwalbe Takes Airless Tyres To Next Level
New Airless System and its special assembly tools are sold exclusively to specialist retailers that are certified by Schwalbe. – Photo Schwalbe

Schwalbe’s Airless System consists of an outer tyre combined with an airless inner one. It’s not only targeting bicycle ‘fleet owners’ or public bikes but also cycling commuters or regular cyclists and even e-bikers as Schwalbe claims that it offers puncture free riding and is also capable to easily handle the higher speeds and weights of e-bikes.

Driving characteristics

Schwalbe’s Airless System tyres offer a lifetime of some 10,000 kilometers at regular use without maintenance, no punctures and no need for pumping. The Airless System “Brings an intuitive feel of an air pressure of around 3.5 bar making the driving characteristics comparable to those of an inner tube,” claims Schwalbe.

“With regard to comfort, longevity and maintenance-free system, our Airless System offers a real alternative to the inner tube for the first time”, states René Marks, Schwalbe product manager touring.

Thousands of mini air cushions

Solid inner tube systems already exist. What makes this new Airless System so extraordinary are, says Schwalbe “The technical properties of the foam particles, consisting of thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU), known under the Infinergy brand of BASF. Incidentally, it is the same material that is used in the soles of Adidas BOOST running shoes. The Airless tube has excellent damping and flexibility characteristics and offers lots of comfort.”

“Exactly these suspension characteristics makes the difference in comparison with the foams used for solid tubes so far,” explains René Marks. “The physical force with which the compressed material returns to its original shape is more than twice as high with this E-TPU foam than with existing systems. The cause: the E-TPU foam consists of thousands of sealed air balls. Together they form a highly elastic air cushion. That presents great advantages over current materials for solid inner tubes and makes it a real alternative to the inner tube.”

The technical advantages only cause a slight loss of performance, so the rolling resistance and the weight are slightly higher than for inner tubes. However, wherever a 100% maintenance-free system has the priority, the Airless System beats the inner tube.

Exclusively for specialist retailers

The Schwalbe Airless System is to be mounted with a special assembly tool. The installation time is not much longer per tyre as usual. Installation is only possible for bicycle dealers and only by bicycle technicians, who are certified after a Schwalbe training. This training will start in May 2018, initially only in the Netherlands and Germany.

Schwalbe’s Airless System consists of a 40-622 sized tyre, an Airless tube of white thermoplastic polyurethane and a blue Airless ring. This ring ensures compatibility of the system with different rim sizes. The system is suitable for rims with a rim width of 19 to 21 millimeters. The Schwalbe Airless System retails for 84.90 euros.