snopes.com  


Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Fauxtography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18 March 2007, 05:01 PM
rnewmanjunkie
 
Posts: n/a
Default Michelin see-thru tires

I got an email the other day and was wondering if anyone can prove or disprove it. Michelin R&D has come up with a see-thru tire. It's only resemblence to a tire is the fact that it is round and mounted on the rim. The tire does not hold air and it is only a couple inches thick. The innovative part is that it is build with these flexible rubber "spokes" that if you run over the curb, will flex with the surface and not damage the tire. They showed a picture of them on a car at 60mph and you can see through the tire. They are supposed to start putting these on cars by 2009 or 2010.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18 March 2007, 05:13 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,859
Default

Seems to have some substance. This from Michelin's website. Apparently they have been dubbed "tweels".

A quick google on "michelin tweels" brings up a number of sites. Here's one with some good pictures.

Some more from Michelin.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18 March 2007, 07:14 PM
Class Bravo
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Yeah, those pictures have been out for a few years at least. I think it's pretty cool--no more having to deal with flat tires. I'm wondering if we'll realistically start seeing them around anytime soon.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18 March 2007, 07:27 PM
Brad from Georgia's Avatar
Brad from Georgia Brad from Georgia is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2000
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 12,656
Default

Cool! We'll be able to have that neat illusion you used to get in Westerns that the wagon wheels were turning backwards....or will we? Digital video may take all the fun out of it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18 March 2007, 07:29 PM
Hepcat
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I would have guess that airless tires were not true. I am really surprised that those are real.

I think the best thing about them would be not having to check your air pressure. I check mine once every few months, and it's one of those things I just hate doing.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18 March 2007, 07:38 PM
White Canvas's Avatar
White Canvas White Canvas is offline
 
 
Join Date: 10 August 2005
Location: Penn Yan, New York
Posts: 283
Default

This sounds cool as far as technology is concerned, but will people buy a clear tire? I think it would be hard to change the "tires are black" mindset.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18 March 2007, 07:43 PM
inkrose115's Avatar
inkrose115 inkrose115 is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,046
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Canvas View Post
This sounds cool as far as technology is concerned, but will people buy a clear tire? I think it would be hard to change the "tires are black" mindset.
As a horrible 3d modeler, I quake in my boots. Luckily I'll be off doing 2D Flash work by the time these puppies are commonplace.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 18 March 2007, 08:09 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,859
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Canvas View Post
This sounds cool as far as technology is concerned, but will people buy a clear tire? I think it would be hard to change the "tires are black" mindset.
We got over it pretty well when whitewall tyres became obsolete.

I think it'll be a while if ever before they become mainstream. Michelin seem to be targeting the concept at the construction, quarry etc vehicle where one can see the advantages.

But who knows with those crazy French?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 18 March 2007, 08:18 PM
dantonini
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I read an article a ways back saying that there are a couple of problems that need to be solved (if they haven't already). This coming from memory so I could be screwing something up.

First problem is that tweels vibrate a lot when travelling over 50mph. This also is probably linked to the other problem which is that tweels have a lot of road noise. This is going to be tough to fix as the open design lets more noise out and they probably give a whirring noise like an exhaust fan.

They might have fixed these problems as I didn't see any mention of noise or vibrations in their releases. But these problems might be why they are starting with things that don't need to move that fast such as construction or military vehicles and wheelchairs.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 18 March 2007, 09:08 PM
Thebobo's Avatar
Thebobo Thebobo is offline
 
Join Date: 10 April 2003
Location: Scranton, PA
Posts: 3,644
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Canvas View Post
This sounds cool as far as technology is concerned, but will people buy a clear tire? I think it would be hard to change the "tires are black" mindset.
It won't work. Remember Pepsi Clear? How about Clear Beer.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 19 March 2007, 12:06 AM
PrometheusX303
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Wikipedia has a page on tweels.

Law enforcement would have to find a new way to stop vehicles equipped with these. Spike strips and stop sticks wouldn't do jack.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 19 March 2007, 05:16 AM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
Join Date: 14 June 2005
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 5,035
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrometheusX303 View Post
Wikipedia has a page on tweels.

Law enforcement would have to find a new way to stop vehicles equipped with these. Spike strips and stop sticks wouldn't do jack.
Bah... easy... it'd be the same method that childhood bullies have used to stop cyclists for ages. Shove a stick between the spokes!

Sure, it'll be a little bit harder to do that with a vehicle travelling at 100+mph but that's why police receive training.

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 19 March 2007, 05:22 AM
mags's Avatar
mags mags is offline
 
Join Date: 23 February 2006
Location: Springboro, OH
Posts: 5,096
Default

When I showed the pictures a while ago to my SO, he was of the opinion that the prototypes are (or at least should be) a cut-away look of what the finished tire will look like.

If they actually are intended to be open, with the spokes exposed, I would think a whole host of problems would be opened up. I wouldn't think that getting mud and gravel in there would help the spokes' durability.

The tires don't need to be air-filled to need sides to keep crap out.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 19 March 2007, 09:25 AM
Gavida's Avatar
Gavida Gavida is offline
 
Join Date: 26 July 2005
Location: Essen, NRW, Germany
Posts: 1,228
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
A quick google on "michelin tweels" brings up a number of sites. Here's one with some good pictures.
What made me laugh in the thread from the above link was this comment:

Quote:
Kudos to Michelin. A well run American Co. kickin azz, and treating it's employees right, in a great city. Bib's the man!!!!
I guess it would break that posters heart if I told him that Michelin is french

Gavida
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 19 March 2007, 10:07 AM
Spikey's Avatar
Spikey Spikey is offline
 
Join Date: 26 September 2005
Location: Buckinghamshire, England
Posts: 822
Default

They'll probably end up with discs covering them, sort of like this.

Another opportunity for advertisements/car brand stamp there, too.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 19 March 2007, 01:40 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Gloucester, ON
Posts: 6,991
Baseball Michelin Tweels in winter conditions

I seriously wonder how these tires will work in winter conditions. After all, during the coldest of January, it is not uncommon for my air filled tires to maintain their shape for the first five minutes of driving (ie, one side of the tire remains slightly flat due to it sitting in that position for the night).

Secondly, aquaplaning is a major concern here in New Brunswick, with at least a dozen accidents every spring attributed to this phenomenon. Can this tire move without aquaplaning?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19 March 2007, 02:06 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,859
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I seriously wonder how these tires will work in winter conditions. After all, during the coldest of January, it is not uncommon for my air filled tires to maintain their shape for the first five minutes of driving (ie, one side of the tire remains slightly flat due to it sitting in that position for the night).

Secondly, aquaplaning is a major concern here in New Brunswick, with at least a dozen accidents every spring attributed to this phenomenon. Can this tire move without aquaplaning?
Winter conditions - don't know.

As for aquaplaning it's the tread on the exterior of a conventional pneumatic tyre that disperses water to reduce the likelyhood of aquaplaning (but not able to eliminate it completely.) The exterior rim of the tweel is similarly treaded, so it should be able to disperse water just as efficiently.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.