Ludwigshafen, Germany – German bicycle tires manufacturer Schwalbe and BASF SE have developed a new generation of bicycle tubes which they claim offers a “whole new level of puncture safety” to users.
Launched into the market 8 Oct, Aerothan bicycle tube is based entirely on BASF’s Elastollan-branded TPUs and is 100% recyclable, BASF said in a statement 9 Oct.
Billed as a high-end alternative to conventional bicycle tubes, the product also offers features such as light weight, high handling performance and ease of assembly.
Combining BASF’s materials expertise and Schwalbe’s processing technologies, BASF said, the tubes are roughly 40% lighter than the established alternatives on the market.
To achieve this, all parts of the new tube, including the valve stem, are made entirely of TPUs.
The tubes, BASF said, are designed around a “specially developed material combination” based on the company’s Elastollan range.
According to BASF, the product offers a high level of puncture safety, preventing any sudden loss of air and ensuring stable handling even at low tire pressure.
Approved for all rim brakes, the tubes are suited for racing bikes, mountain bikes or all-round cycling environments.
BASF attributed the performance and durability features of the tube to the characteristics of TPUs, which are highly resistant to abrasion and wear while being light, flexible, elastic and heat resistant.
“Elastollan allows the use of thin walls, in order to reduce weight and at the same time produce a bicycle tube that offers significant advantages over butyl- or [other] rubber-based bicycle tubes both in terms of puncture resistance and handling and on the manufacturing side,” explained Mark Ottens, segment manager extrusion TPU at BASF.
At the end of a tire’s life, the Aerothan tubes can be returned to Schwalbe via its tube recycling programme.
The recycled products are then processed and reused as sealing or insulating material.