Tires. Again. But, this time: materials.
I am happy to see the industry dedicating resources to innovation specifically for bicycle tires. Much of the IP for tires appears to be associated with the trucking industry. However, in US 9,016,341, issued April 28, 2015, Continental has described a tire construction having a higher puncture resistance and a lower weight.
Marketed as the Vectran Breaker, Continental has a protection layer (the yellow layer in image below) disposed under the tread of the tire out of Vectran, a liquid crystal polymer described by Continental as polyester/polyarylate co-polymer.
Vectran forms filaments spun from molten liquid-crystal polymer, and Vectran has the following structure:
Filaments are spun to a diameter of less than 40µm, 30 or more filaments are used to make a thread, and then the threads are arranged parallel to each other to make the fabric Vectran Breaker.
Continental provides test results for comparing a single layer of their Vectran Breaker to a double layer of the conventional nylon fabric. As shown below in Table 1, their Vectran Breaker had higher resistance to perforation, lower weight, and lower rolling resistance.