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Ordered a set of airfree tires to test
#1
I making a test and thought it might be helpful to other riders. I have had experience cycling on greentyre airfree tires having used 4 sets while riding in West Africa over a 10 year period. Over there flats were a regular occurrence, especially if you spent any time on asphalt roads where semi-trailers ride regularly on bald and even exploded tires, leaving little metal pieces on the roadway. The airless tires had a little squishy feel to them but never posed a problem and never failed. Meanwhile, back in the US, I commute 20 miles, round trip, and ride around 7500 miles a year, in almost all conditions. I can't afford to miss or be late to work, because of a flat, so I'm interested in giving the latest airfree technology a test run. I've ordered the tires (700x28c with a 95psi feel setting) and will mount them on one of my bikes and post information/experience for anyone who might be interested. This is totally impartial as I just thought it might be of interest to someone out there. The first test will be to see how long it takes before I have my new tires!
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#2
I hope they work better than they did for me some years ago, I rode them on road bikes and mtb.
I found them very hard to fit on narrow rims, they needed to be tied to the rim as you worked around and large levers were needed, a 2 man job!!
On road they gave a poor ride feel and also loosened spokes, needing frequent wheel truing, they were just about acceptable off road on a mtb but I wouldn't use them again on road, puncture proof tyres and selfsealing tubes work better, in my opinion.
Hopefully the technology has improved.
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#3
Be interesting to see what they're like, but I'd personally go with "ghetto" tubeless (Stans no-tubes stuff). Having watched the test videos for it I'm absolutely staggered. Ultimate proof: My mate ran tubeless on his hardtail on a rough downhill course, no problems. He changed his tyre and therefore had to whack a tube in. He got through 12 tubes in one day.

I'm curious as to whether you can actually run this on a road bike (Sorry for the slight hijack).
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#4
Keep this post updated I am definitely interested in your findings.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#5
Update: It has been 2 weeks and I haven't received my tires. I guess the 95psi setting makes my order a special order. They normally come with a much lower psi rating and I didn't want them to be too soft. So I am still waiting. I hope they come soon!
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#6
I received my tires last night. Two weeks and a day after making my order. They were the correct size and type of tire. Very light weight as it says 3lbs on the box. Now comes the mounting, which I hear can be a bit difficult. By the way the tires were shipped direct from Nu-Teck in Englewood, CO although I ordered them from Airfree.com. I'll keep you posted.
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#7
(05-26-2010, 03:32 PM)mikethebike Wrote:  I received my tires last night. Two weeks and a day after making my order. They were the correct size and type of tire. Very light weight as it says 3lbs on the box. Now comes the mounting, which I hear can be a bit difficult. By the way the tires were shipped direct from Nu-Teck in Englewood, CO although I ordered them from Airfree.com. I'll keep you posted.

Just be VERY CAREFUL with the wheel walls Wink .
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#8
(05-26-2010, 03:32 PM)mikethebike Wrote:  I received my tires last night. ... I'll keep you posted.

I'm also interested in how this goes. I recall trying solid inner tubes on a Peugeot road bike I had in the mid 80's. Then, as now, I had a knack for finding sharp objects along my path. If I recall correctly, I stopped getting flats, but the ride just didn't feel right. I hope the tires will give you a better result than the tubes gave me.
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#9
Well, this is Friday, my day off. I picked up the new Schwinn Cutter fixie that I am going to make my commuter bike for the life of these new airless tires. The first wheel took at least 45 minutes and I had quite a few minutes of dispair, thinking that I needed at least 4 other hands as my hands were very tired but then all of a sudden I caught on to the technique! I'm totally serious when I say that the second wheel only took 5 minutes, counting the time to tie the tire on to the wheel at 2 places before doing the prying with the special tool. They are both on and in good shape. No damage done and now I know how to do the job! I had watched video on line showing the tire being put on at the factory and it looked simple. It is actually just as simple as that (once you get the technique). I had to post this because I am pumped to get out and do a 20 mile or so test run before the day is out. When I squeeze the airless tires between my fingers they feel just a little firmer than my gator skins that I keep at 90-95lbs. They look just like any other tire, not obviously airless unless you look for the valves. I'll write about the ride, later today. If you can't tell, currently I am pleased and excited!
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#10
Well I rode about 15 miles on the new tires and noticed immediately an increase in rolling resistance. I am definately disappointed with that aspect. The tires seem to be secure but when making tight turns you can definately feel that the tire is rolling sideways on the rim. I'm not concerned about it coming off but I will curtail my speed in order to avoid that sensation. I will take the bike on my daily commute tomorrow, 20 miles round trip. This will give me a better idea as to whether the "no-flat guarantee" is worth the additional pedal effort and patience in the curves and turns.
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#11
Quote:Very light weight as it says 3lbs on the box

Hang on so these tyres weigh 3lb a pair or 3lb each? that seems pretty heavy to me, especially when my massive dual ply Downhill tyres are about 2lb each. No wonder you say there's bucket loads of rolling resistance.
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#12
(05-29-2010, 11:44 AM)JonB Wrote:  
Quote:Very light weight as it says 3lbs on the box

Hang on so these tyres weigh 3lb a pair or 3lb each? that seems pretty heavy to me, especially when my massive dual ply Downhill tyres are about 2lb each. No wonder you say there's bucket loads of rolling resistance.

They weigh 1.5 lbs each and yes there is serious rolling resistance compared to the stock kenda tires which came on the bike.
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#13
I now have approximately 70 miles on the tires and there have been some "interesting" developments. If I hit my rear brake for a quick stop the rear tire will actually skate in the rim for what feels like several inches before grabbing and making a normal stop. (Maybe I could spray some hairspray in there like I do for handle bar grips.) I am truly disappointed in these tires but want to get some of my money's worth so I am continuing to run them (personal pride I guess). Since I'm flipped onto the fixie gear, I am breaking using my legs for most of my braking/slow down and then applying the rim brakes. So far there hasn't been any skating in the rims pedaling up hills. If that were to happen I would certainly scrap the tires. I am interested in seeing how they wear and hope to get 1000 to 1500 miles before I scrap them and then get another set of Gatorskins. I used airless mountain bike tires before for road and easy trail/path use (4 sets made by GreenTyre in England) and was totally satisfied with their performance in every regard. I truly did not expect any problems with these tires. Don't buy them. At least I'll get some good laughs for my effort!
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#14
Well, somebody has to test the stuff... Wink
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#15
As I said originally, I too used Greentyres in the UK and found them just about ok off road on mtb, but did not give a comfortable ride at all on narrow tyres on road and soon abandoned them. The worst problem was that they loosened the spokes, rapidly, to the extent that the spokes rattled in the rim, and the wheels needed frequent attention, after every ride even! so watch this, could be a major problem on a long ride.
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#16
(05-31-2010, 03:49 PM)mikethebike Wrote:  Don't buy them. At least I'll get some good laughs for my effort!

Bummer, but thanks for posting the review!
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#17
I'll keep posting until I wear them out or they wear me out! I have 270 miles on them now. Nothing new to report. I would say, "by the seat of my pants" that they produce about 20-25 percent additional rolling resistance. No further problems with the tires holding to the rim. Wearing well and they are dependable, so far. They seem to be getting better as they break in but we'll see if that is true.
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#18
They would be awesome for factory applications! Big Grin Glad your keeping the updates. Thanks
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#19
Well, I have now gone past the 600 mile marker. The rolling resistance seems to be a little bit less but riding my other bike reminds me that that the airless ride is not anywhere equal to my conventional tire ride. I have no problems with skating on the rims or loosening of the spokes. However, the rear tire is definately wearing faster than the front and even shows some signs of what I would call unusual deteriation. It might even be starting to separate or break up? I'm keeping a close eye on it.
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#20
I'm guessing that they just look like any other tire, but could you post some pictures?
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