LOS ANGELES—SMART Tire Co. (STC) is accepting pre-orders for its "METL" airless bicycle tires—made from NASA-developed shape memory alloys—and disclosed it's working on a version for electric scooters.
The shape-memory alloy that STC uses in its METL tires is based on the advanced material technology NASA is planning to use for future rover missions.
Los Angeles-based SMART Tire—SMART is an acronym for Smart Memory Alloy Radial Technology—is a licensee of spring tire technology developed by NASA. The tires being offered for sale feature a rubber tread bonded to the "Slinky-like" metal coil that makes up the core of the product.
The company was conceived in 2020 as part of the FedTech NASA Startup Program, a private venture program funded by federal agencies and corporate partners to connect entrepreneurs to technologies developed across federal agencies such as NASA. Among the company's executive team is Earl Cole, winner of the reality show Survivor:Fiji.
Tires are available exclusively to pre-order through Kickstarter in one size, 700x35c, for road/gravel bike sizes, where the company is selling 500 sets of first-edition tires (two tires per set) at $500 a pair. Additional sizes will follow.