Try our price promise, call 01604 529 208

Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 5:45pm

Sat: 8:30 - 4:00pm

Sun: Closed

Opening Times

Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 5:45pm

Sat: 8:30 - 4:00pm

Sun: Closed

Try our price promise, call 01604 529 208

Airless Tyres: Pros and Cons

A flat tyre is one of the greatest inconveniences a motorist can suffer; in addition to causing lengthy delays or expensive towing costs, severe rupture of a tyre at speed can cause a serious or even fatal accident. Standard tyres cannot be safely driven on when flat; they cause the rim of the wheel to directly contact the ground or the remainder of the tyre with a severe detrimental effect on vehicle control. This means that drivers are often stranded, especially on a motorway hard shoulder or other places of risk.

To alleviate these problems, manufacturers have devised airless tyres, which come in various forms. 

Run-Flat Tyres


The ‘run flat tyre’ has been fitted as standard on several luxury car brands such as the BMW in recent years.

Pros of Run-Flat Tyres

The tyres are self-sealing, with a layer capable of shoring up any puncture that occurs and prevent any significant air loss: this offers immediate benefit in that should the tyre become ruptured it is still safe to drive on for up to 50 miles. This allows the driver to reach a safe stopping point or to locate tyre fitters and have the tyre repaired or replaced. By removing the need to carry a spare tyre and accompanying heavy tools, run-flat tyres can also offer improved fuel economy, which is particularly attractive in times of escalating fuel costs. Indeed, for the fortunate driver who avoids a puncture, costs saved can more than offset the increased tyre price.

Cons of Run-Flat Tyres

However, run flat tyres are not perfect – they can be pricier. For luxury brand car owners in particular, where tyre costs are already at a premium, this can appear to be much more expensive. Ride comfort may also be compromised, due to inflexibility in the tyre wall. This is especially marked at high speed or when performing a sharp turn. However, it is worth noting that all car tyres need to be properly maintained and proper maintenance is essential.

‘Tweel’ Tyres

'tweel' airless tyres

The second form of airless tyres is the ‘Tweel’.

Devised by Michelin in 2005, this is a completely different concept. The outer edge of the tyre is a strong rubber (polyurethane) band, which is stretched around an inner supporting set of polyurethane spokes. The alloy wheel is then fitted centrally within this ring, providing a highly supportive wheel without the need for a conventional tyre.

The Tweel is designed so that the spokes absorb any impacts. By varying the tension of the outer ring and the design of the spokes, it’s straightforward to alter ride handling according to the driver’s requirements. By avoiding use of an inflated tyre, the wheel cannot burst or get a puncture. Whilst this approach may, therefore, seem to remove many of the associated problems of a conventional or run flat tyre, the Tweel has been described as performing quite noisily and suffering from excessive vibration, especially at high speed.

You can read more about Michelin Tweel tyres on their website or watch the Michelin comparison video below.

Airless tyres thus appear to provide many benefits compared with the traditional pneumatic tyre. However steep costs and handling issues remain with both forms devised to date, hence the basic tyre still has plenty of life left in it at present. In the future, it appears certain that this new breed of tyre will ultimately provide a great solution for road users.

Book professional run-flat tyre fitting today using the form below

Enquire Today

About You
Vehicle Details
Tyre Details
More Details


This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience...

More information I understand