Schwalbe’s world first Airless System
Never pump again!
100 percent maintenance-free cycling: Schwalbe is launching the revolutionary Airless System. An extremely elastic, thermoplastic polyurethane inside the tire ensures smooth running and comfort. The upside for the trade: only certified specialist retailers can fit and sell it!
Carefree all round – you can take that literally with this tire. Once fitted, the new Schwalbe Airless System will roll for up to 10,000 kilometres in normal use – no maintenance, no punctures, no pumping. The tire’s air pressure “feels” like 3.5 bar and its handling replicates that of a normal inner tube. René Marks, Schwalbe Product Manager Touring, says, “With comfort, durability and zero maintenance, our Airless System offers a real alternative to the inner tube!”
What sounds like a wish will become a reality this season, whether for rental bike providers, commuters or simply for cyclists who never want to use a pump again. E-bikes too, which make exacting demands on tyres due to their high weight, higher average speed and greater stress when cornering, will benefit from the long-life, maintenance-free Airless System.
Thousands of mini air cushions – a new dimension for restoring force
Solid tube systems are already available. What makes this new Airless System so unusual are the technical properties of the foam particles, made of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU), known under the Infinergy brand of BASF. Incidentally, this is the same material that is used in the soles of Adidas Boost running shoes. There it is supposed to absorb the impact, provide comfort and even deliver an energy boost due to its rebound elasticity.
“It is precisely this sensational restoring force which makes the difference compared to foams used previously for solid tubes,” René Marks explains. “The physical force which makes the compressed material spring back to its original position is more than twice as high with this E-TPU foam than with earlier systems.” The reason: the E-TPU foam consists of thousands of tiny hermetically sealed (sintered) spherical air bubbles. They form a highly elastic air cushion and even continuous loads due to constant flexing and high temperature fluctuations have hardly any effect on it.
“The Airless tube with its thousands of mini cushions and enormous recovery capability offers huge advantages over previous materials for solid tubes,” René Marks explains. “The technical advantages though go hand in hand with a certain loss of performance, so rolling resistance and weight are slightly higher than with normal inner tubes. But wherever 100% zero maintenance takes priority, where all-round carefree tyres are in demand or if customers really never want to pump a tire again, the Airless System beats the inner tube hands down. On the other hand, for cyclists who value good performance, a finely balanced act between tire, tube and ground, for these riders the inner tube remains the first choice. Cycling enthusiasts and cyclists who travel longer distances are also well advised to use the classic butyl tube.”
Exclusively from specialist retailers: fitting of the Airless System
The Airless System is fitted with a special machine. At five to ten minutes per tire, the effort required is only slightly more than normal fitting. Fitting is only possible at specialist retailers and can only be carried out by Schwalbe-trained dealers who have first been certified following a training course. “Laymen cannot fit the system. We only sell the fitting machine and the three-part Airless System through specialist retailers because only they have the necessary technical expertise,” René Marks stresses.
The system consists of a 40-622 sized Airless tire, the Airless tube of white thermoplastic polyurethane and a blue Airless ring. This ring ensures that the system is compatible with different rim shapes. The system is approved for wheel rims with an inner rim width of 19 to 21 millimetres. An Airless System for one wheel – consisting of one tire, one tube and one ring – will sell for an RRP of € 84.90. Initially, the system will only be available in Germany and the Netherlands.
According to Product Manager René Marks, “With its high mileages and technical advantages, the Airless System is a real alternative for certain target groups! At first some customers may find it a little unusual to have their tyres fitted at a specialist shop but they have their car tyres fitted by a specialist so this is no different. Getting an all-round carefree system in return is extremely attractive for many cyclists, e-bike riders and rental bike providers.” The Schwalbe Airless System is a joint development from Supreme Dutch and Schwalbe.
Further information and photos:
SCHWALBE | Ralf Bohle GmbH
Telefon: +49 22 65 109 57
Fax: +49 22 65 109 25