TOKYO -- Bridgestone Cycle could have cyclists walking on air with the announcement of its punctureless tires. Developed jointly with parent company Bridgestone, the new bicycle tire does not need air, thus never punctures.
The Japanese bicycle maker said the nonpneumatic tire employs an "air-free concept" that Bridgestone has been developing for automobiles.
The company plans to start commercial production of the tires by 2019 after developing bicycles that can use them.
The air-free tire has a unique spoke structure that serves as a cushion, eliminating the need for inflated tubes used in traditional pneumatic tires. The wavy, flexible plastic spokes are designed to absorb impact and vibration from the ground.
Thanks to the use of plastic, which can be easily produced in different shapes and colors, the new tire also creates endless design possibilities, the company said. The company is also considering the use of different color spokes in front and rear tires.
Bridgestone Cycle plans to invite the public to try out the tires at events hosted by Bridegestone. One event will be in the southern prefecture of Fukuoka on April 30 and another in Yokohama on June 4. Feedback from users will help the company tweak development of the tire before its official release, the company said.