Tweels for unicycles?

Aight, so I was reading about michelin’s new tweel™ Technology and i got to thinking how filthy it would be if you could impliment this technology into a unicyle wheel.

Maybe im talking like a crazy person, but it seems to me like you could just use a similar design as these tweels for a muni or maybe a trials uni.

The advantages that I can see would be:
-less weight
-shock absorbtion
-possibly improved jump height
-added rim strength for drops

check em out:

So is it possible, or am I just overly sleep deprived and on the verge of insanity…?

not gonna say impossible, just unlikely. if they incorporated that design into some of their mtb tires then maybe we could make a 26 inch unicycle with some, but unless you can get some custom made/steal the specs and make them yourself i don’t see it happening. it is neat technology though.

I agree with Mark that it’s very unlikely that we will see this in a MUni anytime in the near future. That is a very interesting concept. I’d like to see it in person.

Not sure about unicycle applications, but I love the general concept! This really stood out for me, “Michelin has also found that it can tune Tweel performances independently of each other, which is a significant change from conventional tires. This means that vertical stiffness (which primarily affects ride comfort) and lateral stiffness (which affects handling and cornering) can both be optimized”.


It would be sweet to do if you could make it soft enough for adding height to your hops, while still stable enough to ride on a hill, or do side hops, without the wheel tacoing under you.

i’m sure its possible, but how much $$$ do you wanna spend. I’ll be the engineers behind that would gladly make you a uni tire that can do all that but you’d have to make it worth their while, so yeah. lots of $$$ for a tire.

Re: Tweels for unicycles?

xtremeskier_ wrote:
> Aight, so I was reading about michelin’s new ‘tweel™ Technology’
> ( and i got to thinking how filthy it would be
> if you could impliment this technology into a unicyle wheel.
> Maybe im talking like a crazy person, but it seems to me like you could
> just use a similar design as these tweels for a muni or maybe a trials
> uni.

That hub looks pretty heavy, probably too heavy for a practical cycle
wheel. I wonder if it would work with a smaller, light hub, or whether
the mechanism inside the hub will just be too difficult to shrink.

Hmmm, OK, they say: “Our concentration is to enter the market with
lower-speed, lower-weight Tweel applications”. So perhaps we’ll see
them first on bikes. A Tweel unicycle would be fantastic publicity for
the device, if somebody fancies suggesting to Michelin that they might
like to make a one.

Obviously for bikes they would have to be used with hub or disk brakes,
but of course most yikes don’t have brakes.

The other (minor) disadvantage I can see is that if you want to change
the profile or tread pattern then you’ll need to replace the rim, not
just the tyre.

I’ll be interested to see how this works out.

Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

What a cool new idea! Following the introduction of any cool new idea, there must be a period in which the cool new idea is put to use to see if it is truly an improvement over what existed before. This will be a matter of cost to make, development and refinement time, and market acceptance.

For us to make use of one, first Michelin (or another company) will have to develop one intended for cycling. Anything made for motorized vehicles will probably be much heavier than we want. The requirements of strength and rigidity vs. weight are pretty high for cycling, so this technology may not fit well here. I think it has great potential for motor vehicles though, with what appears to be lighter weight and obviously eliminates the problems of flat tires.

Blowouts, on the other hand (like if you run over something that tears the tire) could be more catastrophic. If the outer rim came apart, vehicle handling might be totally compromised.

The only problem I could see with the Tweel technology, is that if you were to slide or put sideways pressure on the bottom of the wheel, it seems like it would buckle under, preventing the tweel from being a good thing(or a safe thing) for uni’s. If you did a sidehop, or starded to slide down a hill sideways the tweel might jus buckle and flip you sidewways off the uni.

I could be wrong about this, but it seems like a very possible thing…

That looks pretty cool, but there are a few problems with it (as far as unis go):

a car’s tire is wide. like 9" wide. so i think that lateral rigididy will be a major problem. (unless you want to ride a 9" wide flexible tire - Imagine turning!!)

also the rubber “spokes” can’t be long, so you need a massive hub in order to hold the “spokes” in place = Say goodbye to improved hopping and less weight.

as far as practicality in cars go, would’nt they be like slightly flat tires? And the “spokes” would creat a lot of wind resistance = less overall efficiency.

PS. Love segway’s new what-ever-you-call-it

Instead of a massive hub, you could use a regular hub spoked to a very small rim that the “tire” goes on.

That still means more weight.

also I think the tire/rim/spokes and maybe event part of the hub are all one piece, so it would cost more to replace

Here’s a news article with some more info about the Tweel: Michelin’s Tweel can never go flat. A search on Google News will find more news articles about it.

Here’s a quote from the above article:

I don’t think less bouncy would be a good thing for a muni or trials wheel. But it’s still in development. They may be able to make a more bouncy version for bikes. Cool technology. We’ll have to see what comes of it.

I’m not too sure. For trials, a bouncy tire is definitely more useful. But, perhaps a tire that will absorb bumps rather then bounces off of them might be a good thing. It would mean that hopping would be much more difficult, but it might be easier to traverse bumpy terrain.

That is really awsome, i know i am not adding much but i would think that it would weigh waaaaayy to much to do anything practical… but who knows…


Re: Tweels for unicycles?

On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 14:23:08 -0600, “johnfoss” wrote:

>What a cool new idea!

I’m not sure about the ‘new’ part. I think I saw a similar (but not
VERY similar) type of wheel, quite old already, developed for
aeroplane undercarriages. I even think it was discussed in this group,
maybe a year ago. Anyone remember?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

It’s impossible to get old when you ride a unicycle - John (what’s in a name) Childs

Re: Re: Tweels for unicycles?

Good memory there Klaas. Here’s the thread: Suspension MUni. Go to page two of the thread to see the Ackerman Wheel.

Come to think about it, optimum versions of this technology for road riding would probably be very different from one intended for Trials riding.

The road version could be optimized for light weight, and would not need to be as laterally rigid. But a Trials version would have to be much stronger to resist taco-ing and still allow you to do cool stuff.

So what if you taco it? It just pops back into shape! Plus, if it has limited taco-resistance, riders could probably make some new fun out of a wheel that has “sideways bounce.”