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Bicycle Car Tires

Several bike tires in place of each car tire
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Instead of one big wheel at each corner of the car, have four bicycle wheels bolted together. If the bolts that hold them together are the same bolts that hold them onto the car, even better.

If one tire gets a hole, the other three at that corner of the car can probably still support the car's weight.

If a tire needs changing, the hardest part becomes jacking the car up and getting the bolts off, since the skinney bike wheels can be taken off one at a time, and they are individually much lighter than any car wheel.

You can store two or three skinny wheels in the trunk, in less space than a full sized wheel (this assumes you don't pierce all 4 tires at once).

Repairing a bike wheel is easier than repairing a car wheel, since it can easily be lifted up to a work area at a convenient hand height. And if you want to apply a patch to the inside, instead of using a plug, it's easy to remove the tire from the wheel and put it back, using only a screwdriver.

If a hole in a tire can't be repaired, you can get a new rubber tire for it at any sporting goods store, for around $20, and easily put it on yourself. And if you don't mind putting a new tire on a wheel on the side of the road, you can even store spare tires in your glovebox.

If a set of bicycle tires wears unevenly, for example the outside one is more worn than the inside ones, then you could rotate the individual tires to get more even wear. Or perhaps replace the most worn tire, then rotate.

The bicycle tires are narrower and have a rounder profile, and the spaces between them are deep enough to channel water away from the road contact surfaces, so hydroplaning is reduced, even if the tires don't have deep treads.

goldbb, Feb 09 2009

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       promising idea[+]
FlyingToaster, Feb 09 2009
  

       I like this idea, but I have doubts. Car tyres are not just wider than a bicycle tyre, but also deeper. So, your bicycle tyres would have to be narrow but deep (maybe 1 inch wide, 3-4 inches deep).   

       I'm not sure you can do this easily: low-profile tyres are possible because the outer (tread) surface can constrict the tyre; there isn't a way to apply a "flattening" force needed to generate a very high-profile tyre easily.   

       Also, you might have stability issues. Bicycle tyres will come off the rim if dragged sideways, whereas a wider car tyre won't; four adjacent bike tyres might be hard to retain in skid. Also, if the tyres were the same depth as a regular car tyre (see above), they'd be very floppy from side to side.   

       Finally, you might have problems with stones getting in between the tyres, causing wear and damage.   

       There are many advantages to this idea, but I don't think it could work.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 09 2009
  

       I'm sure pumping the tires up will be a lot of fun.   

       Could work though. Maybe this should be renamed Modular Car Tires?
mitxela, Feb 09 2009
  

       Pumping up the tires could be made simpler than you think, if the owner has a clamp-on manifold to distribute the air from the pump to 4 tires at once.   

       A bigger issue than inflating the tires, is that it's much harder to detect underinflated tires, since only the outside ones are fully visible. You'd need a tire pressure monitoring system, with a sensor mounted in every tire.
goldbb, Feb 10 2009
  

       Having ridden bicycles a lot I can tell you they get far more flat tyres than cars. It may be a pain to change a car tyre but it would be far worse having to change a bicycle tyre every month or so.
Bad Jim, Feb 11 2009
  

       [Jim] The major reason bikes flat out so much more is the light weight of the tires (desirable when you're moving all the weight yourself). I would assume these would be designed significantly heavier. Also desirable since you'd want a tread life higher than a couple of thousand miles.
MechE, Feb 11 2009
  

       given that tomorrow's cars' engines might not have the same space-usage requirements, it would be feasible to have more than 2 rows of tires laterally.
FlyingToaster, Feb 11 2009
  
      
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