© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Teen entrepreneurs invent flatless tyres

Jessica Swan
bike tyre
Flat tyre on a city bicycle  Ivan Radic

Joshua Baker and Zak Shearer have designed a solution for the costly inconvenience of flat tyres.

Flatless Tyre chief executive Joshua Baker, 15, said he was inspired to find an alternative after he continued to get flat tyres on the rougher tracks at Christchurch Adventure Park.

Due to growing frustration and expenses, he approached Shearer, also aged 15, and they began brainstorming a solution as part of the 2020 Young Enterprise Scheme.

The invention is essentially a protective foam layer that acts as a spacer between the tube and tyre to stop punctures and reduce rim strike.

Baker explained rim damage can be very expensive, costing thousands of dollars to replace.

Furthermore, the design replaces the need for using sealant to fix normal bike tyres. By providing an alternative, the tubes and sealant won't be used every time there is a flat. Through this, the young business partners hope their solution will reduce the toxic impact waste has on the environment.

Lockdown delayed the business venture, which has now gained traction.

Mountain biker Lucas Patterson said the flatless tyres had improved his riding experience. "...definitely good to know I won’t wreck my rims the same", he said.

The pair has approached local bike shops Goat Cycle and Canterbury Adventure Park Vibes to distribute their product further. They are looking to develop more options for mini and road bikes also.