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Industry Innovation: Foam for tyre punctures
The foam industry is one that is constantly innovating and it continues to do so in a wide range of sectors. For all of us trying to get outside to get some fresh air and exercise, you may be keen to hop on your bike. If you’re situated in the countryside, or near to an open forest or park, this experience is likely to be even better, particularly if you have a mountain bike.
A mountain bike is respected as the classic cycle of choice for off-road cycling and for riding in areas with rough terrain. Famous for incorporating enhanced features to improve bike durability and performance, modern mountain bikes are incredibly advanced in this respect. However, with mountain biking now seen as an extreme sport that demands strength and endurance from both rider and bicycle, many mountain bike tyres still suffer punctures.
To date, mountain bike riders have often resorted to using spray foam fillers like EVA foam and filled, solid tires to combat punctures. However, using foam filler is only a temporary solution that often doesn’t last, and solid filled tires are both uncomfortable and impractical for high-speed, rough terrain journeys. To address the issue, a UK company has now developed a new type of inner bicycle tyre foam that helps to prevent punctures.
The brainchild of Grizedale Mountain Bike Centre in Yorkshire, the product has been developed to meet the growing demand for tubeless wheels that are resistant to rough terrain. This innovative type of Polyurethane foam material – known as Elastomer – is both tough and highly shock absorbing. Before its use in consumer products, it was often found in shock absorbers built into F1 cars and within the aerospace industry.
Placed inside a tyre, the foam is a high-density material that takes up only a fraction of space within a tyre, and therefore does not affect the air pressure dynamics within it. In turn, this innovation has ensured that the ride quality is not affected. As hundreds of tyre manufacturers tend to spend extortionate amounts of money on testing and creating tyres to work under a number of conditions, this new product has been developed in such a way to ensure that tyre performance is not altered.
To maintain the standard of innovation currently seen in the industry, and to ensure a smooth rollout of such products, this new innovation has been tested on a mixture of tyre choices and a number of aluminium and carbon rims commonly used by mountain bike riders. Furthermore, this extensive testing has stretched to trialling the new foam material under a range of tire pressures by professional mountain bike riders. To date, the product has received much praise, particularly in light of how well the material compresses under force, and helping to distribute high energy impacts to alleviate the strain on certain tyre pressure points.
eFoam is thrilled to see the industry undertake such excellent innovations, and in turn, is proud to be an innovation-first UK manufacturer. We’re looking forward to implementing many of the new product developments currently surfacing in the market. Should you wish to discuss new product developments, or indeed your own foam requirements, please do contact us.