The SMART Tire Company is reinventing the wheel. Literally.
Partnering with NASA, the start-up is rolling out a revolutionary new metal tire. Appropriately named, METL is composed of nickel and titanium. This same technology was developed for the Mars Rover missions. Scientists needed to find a product that could still function on a planet with extremely cold temperatures.
The result is something straight out of a sci-fi novel.
METL tricks out your bicycle with a futuristic wheel that is both airless and will never go flat. The SMART Tire Company ditches traditional rubber for a shape memory alloy that flexes with any terrain, whether you’re on earth or on the moon. Made from interconnect springs, these unique metals can contract, expand and bend without losing any structural integrity. The flexibility to snap back to its original shape promotes a puncture-free experience.
Put the pedal to the metal in any condition. This first-ever product is coated with a poly-rubber blend for long-lasting tread. The patented grip keeps you cruising along in any weather. Road, gravel, MTB or even commuter cyclist benefit from this increased traction and safety.
Not yet released to the public, the design has already gained traction. The SMART Tire Company has announced plans to further expand into electric bikes and scooters. Co-founders Earl Cole and Brain Yennie envision future applications for motor vehicles as well.
Little is known about METL’s final specifications, but there could be a potential speed bump for road cyclists. This rubber alternative may weigh in too heavy. It definitely won’t fit into the “ultralight” category. This will be less of an issue for mountain bikes and e-bikes, which already use heftier wheels. Riders will have to “weigh” this drawback against the advantage of not having to invest in messy sealants or repair kits while on the road.
The SMART Tire Company may be letting the air out of your tires, but it might be the price tag that truly takes your breath away. NASA-endorsed products don’t often come cheap. One-of-a-kind alloy screams luxury. METL positions itself as an investment. No leaks. No tears. This could be the last tire you’ll ever need.
These space-inspired wheels will crash-land into bicycle shops in early 2022.