Excuse the pun in this wheel related post, but is it just me or does it really seem that we are going around in circles here?
We started out with stone wheels and upgraded to wooden wheels with spokes as they were lighter. Then we thought we were smart inventing air filled tires as they provide a smoother ride but alas, they are susceptible to leaks.
Now we go back to airless tires. Both BridgeStone and Michelin are developing new airless tires based on a concept that seems to reflect back to the old time wagon wheels, but with the difference that the spokes are now made out of flexible plastic material. It seems that with the advent of new materials (like oil based plastics) we can go back in time and pull out shelves concepts that with the new materials we can make work better.
Sooo.. what’s next? We go back to stone wheels but then made out of futuristic organic materials? Humm.. not a bad idea.. We’ll call them… feet!