Airing down - Titanium tires FTW

Cycling — The SMART Tire Company

Interesting concept, but I will withhold judgement till this is actually available

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Ah! That’s cool! I first saw METL tires in lat 2017. Back then…even though the rover tires I saw looked very much the same as those bike tires…the ‘grip’ of the tires was much, much less than rubber tires. To the point where cornering on a bike would have been a for-sure life threatening event. I guess they solved that problem!

But the price point must be very high? Anyhow, super cool technology.

Incredibly skeptical.

Mars rovers move slowly and the tires aren’t meant for the grip needed by a road bike
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/glenn/2020/the-little-tires-that-could-go-to-mars

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The rover has a top speed on flat, hard ground of 4.2-centimeters per second, or 152 meters per hour. This is a little less than 0.1-miles per hour. For comparison, a 3 mile-per-hour walking pace is 134 centimeters per second, or 4,828 meters per hour.

As a nerd, these are rad.

As a cyclist- don’t think so.

All valid stuff to think about.

But…don’t underestimate these people. :smiley: They are very clever.

“Our 1st prototype was built to simulate a standard pneumatic road bike tire (700c) at a tire pressure of 100 PSI. It was installed in tandem with the pneumatic tire on the same bike and taken for a test ride. This was the moment that caused so much initial excitement around METL™! The difference between the tires was not noticeable, despite being two different models. We’re currently finishing our 2nd generation prototype based on initial feedback, and will be in the lab with NASA modeling precise properties prior to product launch, to ensure the best possible riding experience. As a structural tire firmly fastened to the wheel rim, we consider these tires to be extremely safe. Unlike a pneumatic tire, there is no possibility of losing air pressure, and folding around corners is also very unlikely. Depending on the model, they can also operate with a flatter footprint for increased traction.”

Clever at marketing? Claiming to use technology that was designed for something very very different from a bike even if it was the result of lots of research from nasa doesn’t really show cleverness. What is this NASA modeling? Rover tires are meant for low speed to handle lots of different terrain like sand and rocks, not at all like what a road bike encounters. Remember, the round trip communication time to Mars is very long so there isn’t much steering input

@enki42 I don’t think you know enough to say if the tires are the greatest thing ever or the worst thing ever. It’s good to be skeptical…especially in this case. Not so good to be slightly informed but vociferous.

Clever at materials science and fabrication. Very clever.

Interesting :thinking: Aside their claims I wonder what it actually rides like on wet roads :thinking::thinking:

That’s awesome stuff! For sure looks like something Gravel-hipsters would slap on their bikes in a heartbeat.
So I’d say these people are actually not very clever in their marketing :joy:

My point is that they are claiming they have something great because it is based on something from NASA. But the needs NASA has for is rivers are very very different from what a bike needs.

Like if I claimed to make the best bathroom mirror because it’s based on the work NASA did on the James webb telescope. The mirror on that telescope is great and lots of research was fine to make it but none of that really matters for a bathroom mirror where anti fog is useful and the James webb telescope doesn’t care one but about fog

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First we got bikes made of space-aluminium, then we got bikes made out of space-carbon, now we get space-tires. What’s not to love? :yum:
(it better not be another “astronaut-icecream”)

Also: This is perfect for an hour-record attempt on the moon or mars. Nobody could beat that.

The great 2025 cycling debate: Titanium, Steel, Aluminum, or Carbon Fiber tires

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Yes! And what happens if you hit a patch of sticky mud? :joy: That could be fun.

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I imagine a group ride on muddy terrain looks like forgetting to put the lid on a blender

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It reminds me of that old saying, ‘Dirty faces ride METL tires.’

I could also imagine riding gravel would wind up sounding like a never-ending rattle spray paint can as bits of gravel get trapped inside the tire.

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