honeycomb technology
honeycomb technology

Are Honeycomb Rims Worth It? 

Honeycomb rims are rims used in vehicle tires that do not require any air to move in an effective manner. Honeycomb wheels are the new-age wheels that are being widely used in SUVs and rough terrain vehicles like the ones used in the military.

What exactly are honeycomb rims?

Honeycomb rims are a copy of the structure and shape of a honeycomb and are made using a remarkable hexagon shape used to distribute the vehicle’s weight.

These airless tires are also called non-pneumatic wheels that are made using hexagonal spokes or honeycomb spokes. These rims replace the continuous sidewalls and pressurized air used in regular pneumatic tires. The rim of these airless tires is made using a tread block and an angular sandwich beam.

The advantages of honeycomb design:

The airless design eliminates the problem of pressure-induced failures, regular maintenance, and the problem of wheel axis stiffness. The rim makes a broad design with extra space. 

Moreover, the honeycomb rim spokes and the sandwich beam are typically made of thermoplastic polyurethane, which results in better quality as compared to pneumatic wheels. These wheels come with improved safety, better resistance, and enhanced performance.

Study about Honeycomb Wheels and Rims:

Studies on honeycomb wheels for daily applications focus on their influence on wheel performance parameters and geometrical parameters that define the performance measures in both rolling and stationary conditions.

the parameters of honeycomb design

The parameters that are studied for this scenario also include multi-axis stiffness, stress on the rim and spoke, wheel deformations, cornering force, and alignment of the wheel while rolling. Detailed studies on these properties show that for a specified load-bearing capacity, the honeycomb spokes exhibit lower mass and lower rolling resistance as compared to other counterparts.

cell angle of the rim

This rim’s cell angle significantly influences the wheel’s axial stiffness. The unloaded wheel made using regular spokes resulted in the lowest natural frequency in the torsion mode. 

highly symmetrical and filigree design of honeycomb design

The era of the lightweight rim is here, and after this innovation, rims are being made in a highly symmetrical and filigree design. The wheel rims have low material usage, allowing high strength as they have a high standard of cross-linking.

The strength comes from integrating this honeycomb structure which was earlier also used for lightweight constructions. The honeycomb structure is optimal for achieving the desired strength and lightness. 

Video Showing the effectiveness of Honeycomb

traditional radial spokes were replaced with hexagonal honeycombs

The traditional radial spokes have been lifted and replaced using a composite structure of hexagonal honeycombs. They prove to be forced applications too. The individual honeycombs used in the wheels are round in shape. They are joined in concentric circles to design a lightweight rim.

The honeycombs used in the adjacent rings are around half of a honeycomb width that is arranged so that the Honeycomb structure appears. The honeycombs are smaller towards the hub to give a highly symmetrical and harmonious impression.

benefits of the honeycomb design

There can be individual honeycombs in the closely knit interior, or there can be rounded honeycomb structures near the rim base or the edge area to achieve better manufacturable results. The contact surfaces also benefit from the typical honeycomb design and the optimal hexagon shape.

Honey comb
Image courtesy dailymail

The honeycomb modification has resulted in a further increase in the wheel’s rim strength and has been time and again proved by numerous load simulation programs. This honeycomb rim structure improves the overall appearance of the wheel and can handle lightweight rim construction in an effective manner. The rounded gaps of the rim resulted in a better clean-up of the wheel.

The filigree honeycomb structure results in a lightweight construction rim with bottomless honeycombs for optimal ventilation of the disc brakes at the back of this lightweight rim. The walls of these honeycomb rims have a more significant aspect ratio of width to depth.

A honeycomb rim shape is narrow yet deep, which results in higher strength. The cross-linked honeycombs result in greater strength and a highly symmetrical design that supports each other to dissipate the applied force.

Advantages of Airless tires with Honeycomb rims:

The main advantage of using airless tires with Honeycomb rims is that they will not go flat. A few other advantages include that these airless tires do not require a replacement quite often and thus save on costs.

Heavy vehicles fitted with airless tires are able to carry more load and engage in tough-terrain or rugged activities. The commonly used airless scooter and bicycle tires are easy to install. You also have honeycomb rim lawn mower tires that are available in numerous varieties.

Disadvantages of Airless tires with Honeycomb rims:

Airless tires with honeycomb rims typically have a higher rolling resistance with a little less suspension as compared to other similar-sized and shaped pneumatic tires. A few other problems in heavy equipment airless tires are that they dissipate the extra heat build-up while driving. They are filled using compressed polymers rather than air.

Final Comparison:

Airless tires with honeycomb rims attract cyclists because bicycle tires are quite vulnerable to air leaks or punctures in comparison to car tires. The disadvantages of these airless tires depend on how much they are used. Heavy vehicle operators using heavy machinery fitted with solid tires usually complain of fatigue, while lawnmowers using airless tires do not find any drawbacks. 

A bicycle rider using airless honeycomb tires may complain that your tire seems to be harder than a normal pneumatic tire. Overusing these airless tires may result in broken spokes of your electric scooter or bicycle wheel. If the airless tire appears heavier than the regular rubber tire, you need to replace the same immediately.

The rubber pneumatic tires may also be heavy. They have different rolling resistance, and a solid or airless insert can marginally enhance this rolling resistance.

Installation of a honeycomb rim airless tire will completely depend on its use. You need special mounting equipment for heavy equipment, but a honeycomb rim bicycle tire can easily be mounted without effort. Airless lawn mower honeycomb rims come pre-installed, which leads to a quicker installation.

An airless honeycomb rim electric scooter tire is not new to the market but is not widely used across the industry yet. The honeycomb tires let you have a tire just like the regular rubber one that will not be punctured.

It also provides you with a cushioning effect at the same time. Honeycomb rim tires are also made using a similar type of rubber to any other solid tire but are built in a manner so that air pockets remain open to make the tires less stiff.

The honeycomb tires are still at an early stage in the industry but will be widely used in the coming years. It needs to build on the suspension effect. Honeycomb tires have recently gained popularity in the bicycle and scooter markets. But military and heavy vehicle companies are now experimenting with honeycomb tires to get a better-designed tire to hit the market in the near future.


As per the latest studies, honeycomb rim tires’ main benefits are that they are puncture-proof, more resilient, and have a cushioning effect. Honeycomb tires are bound to provide the peace of mind that you will never come across a flat tire. At the same time, you can enjoy a smoother ride compared to solid tires and face lower maintenance issues than the pneumatic tire.

The only disadvantages of these honeycomb rim tires include that they come with zero adjustments, increased resistance, and are a little over-priced. They are often heavier than the regular ones and more expensive too. With a honeycomb rim tire, you will not be able to adjust them as you can with a pneumatic tire.