Invention: Run Flat Tires for Mountain Bikes

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by B. Sanders, May 7, 2003.

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  1. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    I've invented a run-flat mountain bike tire system, offering several benefits:

    - Allows aggressive riding at extremely low pressures
    - Limp-home mode at 0 psi
    - Prevents rim damage from ground contact
    - Locks tire to rim at all pressures
    - Simple, reliable, user serviceable/replaceable
    - Very lightweight system

    Now what? I can't build and test a prototype without specialized, expensive tire building equipment.
    I'll need to partner with a tire mfr. for this one. Don't want to approach tire mfr's without a
    patent in hand. Patents are expensive ($10k, or more). Catch-22. A patent agent (legit, recommended)
    told me that all I need is "prior art" (diagrams of the design) notarized and date-authenticated. I
    have 1 year to bring the product to market before filing for a patent in the US. Diligence in
    product development and prior art take precedence over patent thieving, apparently. (Nice to know,
    isn't it?)

    Does this sound like a product worth developing? I don't know much about the possible market for
    such a product. It will be about 150 grams heavier than normal tires, and about 2x as expensive, so
    it's not for everybody.

    -Barry
     
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  2. Andy Chequer

    Andy Chequer Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I've invented a run-flat mountain bike tire system, offering several benefits:
    >
    > - Allows aggressive riding at extremely low pressures
    > - Limp-home mode at 0 psi
    > - Prevents rim damage from ground contact
    > - Locks tire to rim at all pressures
    > - Simple, reliable, user serviceable/replaceable
    > - Very lightweight system
    >
    > Now what? I can't build and test a prototype without specialized,
    expensive
    > tire building equipment. I'll need to partner with a tire mfr. for this one. Don't want to
    > approach tire mfr's without a patent in hand. Patents
    are
    > expensive ($10k, or more). Catch-22. A patent agent (legit, recommended) told me that all I need
    > is "prior art" (diagrams of the design) notarized and date-authenticated. I have 1 year to bring
    > the product to market
    before
    > filing for a patent in the US. Diligence in product development and prior art take precedence over
    > patent thieving, apparently. (Nice to know, isn't it?)
    >
    > Does this sound like a product worth developing? I don't know much about the possible market for
    > such a product. It will be about 150 grams
    heavier
    > than normal tires, and about 2x as expensive, so it's not for everybody.
    >
    > -Barry

    I can't think of anybody who's so blighted by punctures that they'd shell out twice the odds to not
    cure it properly. You might sell a few to Wally World customers, but I figure those who haven't just
    bought a bike on a whim will stick with patches which don't weigh 150g more, cost twice as much and
    result in a shit handling bike.

    As for commuting on glass strewn streets, I find old inner tubes slit and wrapped around the inner
    tube to be more than sufficient to stop 90% of punctures.

    My two cents.

    Andy "Think Prevention?" Chequer
     
  3. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I've invented a run-flat mountain bike tire system, offering several benefits:
    > >
    > > - Allows aggressive riding at extremely low pressures
    > > - Limp-home mode at 0 psi
    > > - Prevents rim damage from ground contact
    > > - Locks tire to rim at all pressures
    > > - Simple, reliable, user serviceable/replaceable
    > > - Very lightweight system
    > >
    > > Now what? I can't build and test a prototype without specialized,
    > expensive
    > > tire building equipment. I'll need to partner with a tire mfr. for this one. Don't want to
    > > approach tire mfr's without a patent in hand. Patents
    > are
    > > expensive ($10k, or more). Catch-22. A patent agent (legit, recommended) told me that all I need
    > > is "prior art" (diagrams of the design)
    notarized
    > > and date-authenticated. I have 1 year to bring the product to market
    > before
    > > filing for a patent in the US. Diligence in product development and
    prior
    > > art take precedence over patent thieving, apparently. (Nice to know,
    isn't
    > > it?)
    > >
    > > Does this sound like a product worth developing? I don't know much
    about
    > > the possible market for such a product. It will be about 150 grams
    > heavier
    > > than normal tires, and about 2x as expensive, so it's not for everybody.
    > >
    > > -Barry
    >
    > I can't think of anybody who's so blighted by punctures that they'd shell out twice the odds to
    > not cure it properly. You might sell a few to Wally World customers, but I figure those who
    > haven't just bought a bike on a
    whim
    > will stick with patches which don't weigh 150g more, cost twice as much
    and
    > result in a shit handling bike.
    >
    > As for commuting on glass strewn streets, I find old inner tubes slit and wrapped around the inner
    > tube to be more than sufficient to stop 90% of punctures.
    >
    > My two cents.
    >
    > Andy "Think Prevention?" Chequer
    >
    >
    >

    Or you can go "expensive" and get Mr. Tuffys. In Arizona, another inner tube might not be enough to
    stop the slew of cactus needles. I rode with
    Mr. Tuffys and Slime-filled tubes, but then I don't like changing or repairing tubes.

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
  4. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I've invented a run-flat mountain bike tire system, offering several benefits:
    > >
    > > - Allows aggressive riding at extremely low pressures
    > > - Limp-home mode at 0 psi
    > > - Prevents rim damage from ground contact
    > > - Locks tire to rim at all pressures
    > > - Simple, reliable, user serviceable/replaceable
    > > - Very lightweight system
    > >
    > > Now what? I can't build and test a prototype without specialized,
    > expensive
    > > tire building equipment. I'll need to partner with a tire mfr. for this one. Don't want to
    > > approach tire mfr's without a patent in hand. Patents
    > are
    > > expensive ($10k, or more). Catch-22. A patent agent (legit, recommended) told me that all I need
    > > is "prior art" (diagrams of the design)
    notarized
    > > and date-authenticated. I have 1 year to bring the product to market
    > before
    > > filing for a patent in the US. Diligence in product development and
    prior
    > > art take precedence over patent thieving, apparently. (Nice to know,
    isn't
    > > it?)
    > >
    > > Does this sound like a product worth developing? I don't know much
    about
    > > the possible market for such a product. It will be about 150 grams
    > heavier
    > > than normal tires, and about 2x as expensive, so it's not for everybody.
    > >
    > > -Barry
    >
    > I can't think of anybody who's so blighted by punctures that they'd shell out twice the odds to
    > not cure it properly. You might sell a few to Wally World customers, but I figure those who
    > haven't just bought a bike on a
    whim
    > will stick with patches which don't weigh 150g more, cost twice as much
    and
    > result in a shit handling bike.

    Actually, these tires would be marketed to extreme mountain bikers who need reliability and best
    possible traction, which requires very low tire pressure. Of course, you can pump 'em up if you want
    more pressure. It's just that you can also let out the air for those technical root-infested
    nightmare climbs, and still not risk ruining the rims when things get ugly. The limp-home run-flat
    capability is just icing on the cake, not the primary purpose of the product.

    > As for commuting on glass strewn streets, I find old inner tubes slit and wrapped around the inner
    > tube to be more than sufficient to stop 90% of punctures.

    That's a different application. The tire system I've invented is for off-road use in extreme
    conditions requiring maximum traction, where the trail is punctuated by rim-endangering
    wildly-varying terrain (drops, rock fields, etc). There currently is no tire system that I'm aware
    of which addresses all of these issues well.

    BTW: They are *not* airless tires.

    Thanks for the input, Andy.

    -Barry
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote

    >
    > That's a different application. The tire system I've invented is for off-road use in extreme
    > conditions requiring maximum traction, where the trail is punctuated by rim-endangering
    > wildly-varying terrain (drops, rock fields, etc). There currently is no tire system that I'm aware
    > of which addresses all of these issues well.
    >
    > BTW: They are *not* airless tires.

    Without wanting you to divulge any crucial details, I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire,
    that can operate a very low or no airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.

    With a tire of any conventional thickness and no air, there is only so much 'meat' between the rock
    and the rim.

    Hope it works, though...;)

    Pete
     
  6. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote
    > >
    > > That's a different application. The tire system I've invented is for off-road use in extreme
    > > conditions requiring maximum traction, where the trail is punctuated by rim-endangering
    > > wildly-varying terrain (drops,
    rock
    > > fields, etc). There currently is no tire system that I'm aware of which addresses all of these
    > > issues well.
    > >
    > > BTW: They are *not* airless tires.
    >
    > Without wanting you to divulge any crucial details, I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire,
    > that can operate a very low or no airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.
    >
    > With a tire of any conventional thickness and no air, there is only so
    much
    > 'meat' between the rock and the rim.

    The patentable portion of my design solves this problem, while retaining all of the advantages of
    low-pressure tires. For the sake of handling, you would want *some* air pressure in the tire. The
    zero-pressure mode is only for emergencies (and until I test it, I don't even know if it will really
    work.) I'm also thinking of applications for my invention in 4x4 off-road vehicle competition tires,
    which have similar need for low-pressure running and limp-home zero-pressure mode.

    > Hope it works, though...;)

    Well, until I build a few prototypes, it's just a pipe dream. I do think it would work, and very
    well. Not sure what to do next.

    -Barry
     
  7. John Morgan

    John Morgan Guest

    > <snip> I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire, that can operate a very low or no
    > airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.

    That's why HE invented it, and not you, silly!

    As for the idea, it's great we still have people in America inventing stuff! On the flip side, I
    doubt I would have a use for a tire like this. As it is, I run my regular tubed tire/rim setup with
    Panaracer Fire XC (the cheap kind) at about 25-30 psi. with no problems. Plenty of grip, and no
    pinch flats in the 4 months I've had them. I've only ever damaged a rim from a pinch flat once... it
    was from cruising down a fast rocky fire road at about 35 mph. Luckily I was running Sun Mammoth
    rims, the impact would have taco'ed a lesser rim, I suspect.

    -John Morgan
     
  8. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "John Morgan" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > <snip> I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire, that can operate a very low or no
    > > airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.
    >
    > That's why HE invented it, and not you, silly!
    >
    > As for the idea, it's great we still have people in America inventing
    stuff!

    Thanks! Yeah, there are a lot of inventive people in the US. We have a lot of dreamers, I guess.
    (That would be me.)

    > On the flip side, I doubt I would have a use for a tire like this. As it is, I run my regular
    > tubed tire/rim setup with Panaracer Fire XC (the
    cheap
    > kind) at about 25-30 psi. with no problems. Plenty of grip, and no pinch flats in the 4 months
    > I've had them. I've only ever damaged a rim from a pinch flat once... it was from cruising down a
    > fast rocky fire road at
    about
    > 35 mph. Luckily I was running Sun Mammoth rims, the impact would have taco'ed a lesser rim, I
    > suspect.

    John, that's exactly the situation that my invention is designed for: Fast, rocky descents on
    low-pressure tires, where rim damage and pinch flats are likely. So, you *would* have a use for such
    a tire. Next time you might not be so lucky.

    -Barry
     
  9. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    John Morgan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > <snip> I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire, that can operate a very low or no
    > > airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.
    >
    > That's why HE invented it, and not you, silly!
    >
    > As for the idea, it's great we still have people in America inventing
    stuff!
    > On the flip side, I doubt I would have a use for a tire like this. As it is, I run my regular
    > tubed tire/rim setup with Panaracer Fire XC (the
    cheap
    > kind) at about 25-30 psi. with no problems. Plenty of grip, and no pinch flats in the 4 months
    > I've had them. I've only ever damaged a rim from a pinch flat once... it was from cruising down a
    > fast rocky fire road at
    about
    > 35 mph. Luckily I was running Sun Mammoth rims, the impact would have taco'ed a lesser rim, I
    > suspect.
    >

    Ahem - Nokian Gazzaloddi 2.6, Mavic D521 rim, 12 PSI, standard 1.75 - 2.25 (or summink) tube, 20 +
    MPH in places, down 2 or 3 miles of _boulder_ strewn trail, off ledges, landing in rock gardens,
    total lack of smoothness (downright clumsiness actually) on the part of the rider, felt much fear,
    but no pinch flats, no rim damage. Just thought I'd trot that one out.....again........

    Shaun aRe - gotta get me a good portable pressure gauge, heheheheheh.........
     
  10. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Shaun Rimmer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > John Morgan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > <snip> I have trouble visualizing a non airless tire, that can operate a very low or no
    > > > airpressre, and still give adequate protection to the rim.
    > >
    > > That's why HE invented it, and not you, silly!
    > >
    > > As for the idea, it's great we still have people in America inventing
    > stuff!
    > > On the flip side, I doubt I would have a use for a tire like this. As
    it
    > > is, I run my regular tubed tire/rim setup with Panaracer Fire XC (the
    > cheap
    > > kind) at about 25-30 psi. with no problems. Plenty of grip, and no
    pinch
    > > flats in the 4 months I've had them. I've only ever damaged a rim from
    a
    > > pinch flat once... it was from cruising down a fast rocky fire road at
    > about
    > > 35 mph. Luckily I was running Sun Mammoth rims, the impact would have taco'ed a lesser rim, I
    > > suspect.
    > >
    >
    > Ahem - Nokian Gazzaloddi 2.6, Mavic D521 rim, 12 PSI, standard 1.75 - 2.25 (or summink) tube, 20 +
    > MPH in places, down 2 or 3 miles of _boulder_
    strewn
    > trail, off ledges, landing in rock gardens, total lack of smoothness (downright clumsiness
    > actually) on the part of the rider, felt much fear, but no pinch flats, no rim damage. Just
    > thought I'd trot that one out.....again........

    Shaun, thanks for the real-world data. If you can really ride like that on12 psi, and no pinch
    flats, then the product I've invented might not solve as many problems as I had imagined. That's
    pretty amazing, really, even with those big meats.

    I appreciate your input on this.

    -Barry
     
  11. W E I

    W E I Guest

    i think you will need to have a tech document with detailed explanation and drawings. you can then
    consult with a pattern lawyer who is specialized in the area of engineering who will help you for
    revisions.

    afterwards, you can then approach either indistrial design firms or investors/capitalist etc with
    non disclosure agreement signed before hand. raise the basic fund for a pattern. as the process
    starts, you can then talk to manufacture and big companies.

    w < appliced a pattern before with my teamworkers (the thing didn't go through but i still think
    it's very cool and helpful for people)

    >
    > Well, until I build a few prototypes, it's just a pipe dream. I do think it would work, and very
    > well. Not sure what to do next.
    >
    > -Barry
     
  12. Slacker

    Slacker Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I've invented a run-flat mountain bike tire system, offering several benefits:
    >
    > - Allows aggressive riding at extremely low pressures
    > - Limp-home mode at 0 psi
    > - Prevents rim damage from ground contact
    > - Locks tire to rim at all pressures
    > - Simple, reliable, user serviceable/replaceable
    > - Very lightweight system
    >
    > Now what? I can't build and test a prototype without specialized, expensive tire building
    > equipment. I'll need to partner with a tire mfr. for this one. Don't want to approach tire mfr's
    > without a patent in hand. Patents are expensive ($10k, or more). Catch-22. A patent agent (legit,
    > recommended) told me that all I need is "prior art" (diagrams of the design) notarized and
    > date-authenticated. I have 1 year to bring the product to market before filing for a patent in the
    > US. Diligence in product development and prior art take precedence over patent thieving,
    > apparently. (Nice to know, isn't it?)
    >
    > Does this sound like a product worth developing? I don't know much about the possible market for
    > such a product. It will be about 150 grams heavier than normal tires, and about 2x as expensive,
    > so it's not for everybody.
    >
    > -Barry

    For me personally, I wouldn't be interested because I just assume get stiffer walled, thicker cased
    tire if I had flat problems. I would rather put that extra weight in a heavy duty, well handling
    tire. Just my $.005
    --
    Slacker
     
  13. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "w e i" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > i think you will need to have a tech document with detailed explanation and drawings. you can then
    > consult with a pattern lawyer who is specialized in the area of engineering who will help you for
    > revisions.
    >
    > afterwards, you can then approach either indistrial design firms or investors/capitalist etc with
    > non disclosure agreement signed before hand. raise the basic fund for a pattern. as the process
    > starts, you can then talk to manufacture and big companies.
    >
    > w < appliced a pattern before with my teamworkers (the thing didn't go through but i still think
    > it's very cool and helpful for people)

    Thanks wei. Much appreciated. NDA's are pretty standard in my business. I'm thinking the best thing
    to do first would be some informal market research.

    -Barry
     
  14. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    "Shaun Rimmer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > John Morgan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    >
    > Ahem - Nokian Gazzaloddi 2.6, Mavic D521 rim, 12 PSI, standard 1.75 - 2.25 (or summink) tube, 20 +
    > MPH in places, down 2 or 3 miles of _boulder_
    strewn
    > trail, off ledges, landing in rock gardens, total lack of smoothness (downright clumsiness
    > actually) on the part of the rider, felt much fear, but no pinch flats, no rim damage. Just
    > thought I'd trot that one out.....again........

    "Shaun, thanks for the real-world data. If you can really ride like that on12 psi,"

    Yup - see, these tyres roll very slowly (heh...), so, I keep 'em up at 50 - 60 + psi for
    road/trail approach etc, then, if the weather is bad and the trail rough, I drop the pressure. I
    just keep letting it out and squeezing the tyre (my pump's gauge is useless below 25 psi, and I'm
    aiming for around
    18). Several (many) times, I've arrived back home and gone to a compressor or some such to fill them
    back up, and find they are usually down to around 14 psi. 3 or 4 times, down to 11-12 psi. I've
    heard the loud 'ding' of the tyre bottoming on the rim several times on rocky rides,
    heheheheh........

    "> and no pinch flats, then the product I've invented might not solve as many problems as I had
    imagined. That's pretty amazing, really, even with those big meats."

    Well, there's a couple of things to take into consideration here:

    19) Although the bike weighs about 36 lb, I weigh only about 155lb, maybe 165-170 with heavy pack of
    tools, extra layers and water.

    20) These tyres are designed specifically with DH brutes in mind, and have the stiffest sidewalls
    for a bike tyre I've seen outside of motorcross, but they weigh a heck of a lot (can't remember
    for sure, but around 2 lbs at least), and cost £30 - 40 each.

    "I appreciate your input on this."

    No worries, but don't be disheartened out of turn - I'm just one guy, with one personal set of
    variables - you need much more than that to base your judgement on.

    Later Barry,

    Shaun aRe
     
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