Tyremen.co.uk has launched a new space saver wheel and tyre kit called KOM, which is short for Keep On Moving. According to the company, the wheel has been sourced from “a premium aluminium wheel manufacturer” in Italy, which has given the firm “sole UK selling rights to this aluminium space saver wheel”.
Arlanxeo, a global manufacturer of synthetic elastomers, has developed a rubber compound that can be used in the future to seal tyres. This solution for so-called self-sealing tyres replaces the spare wheel and also presents an alternative to a repair kit or run-flat tyre. An appropriate rubber compound from Arlanxeo, which is applied on the interior of the vehicle tyre, enables holes occurring in the tyre to be automatically sealed, so the driver can continue driving.
Wheel distributor Wheelwright, whose alloy wheel portfolio includes UK brands Calibre & DRC, alongside German owned AEZ, Dotz & Dezent and Italian designs from Mak, have continued to develop their extensive product portfolio with the addition of the RoadHero space saver wheel & tyre kit for a wide range of vehicles.
Pneus Service, exclusive distributor of the MAK alloy wheel brand in some regions of Italy, is exhibiting at Reifen for the first time this year and will display its own wheel brand, PS. The Chinese-made PS range of steel wheels is certified according to ECE 124 and was first launched in Italy in 2013.
An article in the Daily Mail on 29 October was entitled ‘Is this the end of the road for spare tyres?’ and focused on new research which revealed that the lack of spare tyres in new cars has led to a ‘huge rise’ in call-outs for breakdown services to deal with punctures in just four years.
The RAC has opted to roll out a universal spare wheel designed to speed up the fix time and minimise inconvenience for members who experience a puncture without having a spare, following a successful trial of the product which began last Autumn. By early February all RAC patrols across the UK will be equipped with the Dynomec-produced wheel, which provides a solution to the increasingly common problem brought about by manufacturers not including a spare wheel in their cars as standard.
Drivers Lobby Group the Alliance of British Drivers have expressed concern that losing the hard shoulder on the proposed M1 Managed Motorway scheme could jeopardise motorists safety.
The group are concerned that the modern trend for car manufacturers to substitute a can of foam for a proper full size spare wheel will put lives at risk where there is no longer a motorway hard shoulder.
The AA reports that it is the latest motoring organisation to be trialling the use of a 'universal spare wheel'. At the same time the company revealed data relating to spare tyre usage. A survey of 22,827 AA members revealed that close to a fifth (17 per cent) of members do not have a spare wheel in their car. The innovative wheel fits the majority of modern cars with a five-stud wheel. The 17” alloy uses a system of special adaptors of ten different sizes to find the best fit.
Following a rise in the number of manufacturers that fit emergency tyre inflation kits instead of spare wheels, the RAC has introduced a ‘universal’ spare wheel to handle call outs for unfixable punctures.
Pensioners are more likely to be able to change a flat tyre than spritely 18 – 24 year olds, according to a survey published today by price comparison site gocompare.com. 48 per cent of those surveyed, which equates to over 13.5 million UK motorists, would not be able to change a flat tyre without help, and that figure includes three quarters (75 per cent) of women drivers.
We trust the police to keep us safe and hardly raise an eyebrow when they put their lives on the line, but when a flat tyre threatens it seems the long arm of the law must remain at arm’s length. After finding the left side front tyre flaccid while parked on a stretch of double yellow line road in Surbiton, two police officers were obliged to ignore the weighty metal jack and firm spare wheel lying a tantalising few feet away in the patrol vehicle’s boot and instead wait two hours until a breakdown van arrived.
As Kwik-Fit points out, it’s not just bald tyres that cause danger – old ones are also problematic. New research commissioned by the company found that as many as 16.7 million motorists’ tyres could be suffering from premature ageing, a condition that tends to affect tyres more than five years old.
While tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals to slow down the rate of ageing, factors such as infrequent use and poor storage can accelerate the ageing process and render them unroadworthy. This is why tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres over five years of age should be visually inspected for signs of premature ageing. To help identify their age all tyres display a coded date of manufacture, something that – no surprises here – three-quarters of British motorists are unaware of. But even so, Kwik-Fit notes that the average punter is unlikely to be able to translate the ‘tyroglyphics’ that appear on the side of the tyre.
When Ford’s all-new Mondeo finds its way into new car dealerships in late June, chances are it will be sporting a smart set of Continental tyres as OE. In late May the German tyremaker revealed that a total of eight sizes have been approved by Ford, including one model featuring SSR runflat technology. Continental’s emergency spare wheel will also be available on some models.
Ford has given the go-ahead for five 16-inch tyres in the ContiPremiumContact range to be made available for the Mondeo as well as two tyres suitable for 17″ and 18″ rims from the ContiSportContact family of products. And the selection of the Conti SSR runflat (in size 235/45 R 17 97 W XL) as the eight tyre option for the Mondeo is significant, as it marks the first time this technology has been employed on a Ford Europe product.
Continental is equipping the Fiat Bravo with 15 to 18-inch tyres from the ContiSportContact 3, ContiPremiumContact 2 and ContiEcoContact 3 ranges and is also providing the emergency spare wheel. These tyres from Continental are approved for speeds of 210 to 270 km/h (131 – 168 mph).
One success worthy of special mention is the ContiEcoContact 3 as a 195/65 R 15 H tyre. Continental, claiming to be the European market leader in terms of Original Equipment for car tyres, is the only supplier of this tyre size, which is also vital for the replacement market. In the 16-inch sizes, Continental’s ContiPremiumContact 2 (with H and V speed ratings) is well-represented. In the 17″ and 18″ sizes, Continental features the ContiSportContact 3 in its portfolio.
It is not known whether the first individual to contemplate the design of a wheel had vehicles or potter’s throwing tables in mind, but archaeologists have established that the first wooden wheel was created, for whatever purpose, more than 5,000 years ago. However it was some time afterwards that a stroke of genius led to the replacement of the solid disk wheel by one featuring spokes. This particular development made the transport of goods over longer distances possible for the first time. Therefore, if the invention of the wheel was man’s first revolution, then the development of the wheel with spokes could be seen as the second. And as a result mobility became possible, although still as a privilege for the wealthy.