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Traction

Imagine if you were trying to pull a heavy sled up an icy hill, while wearing slick-soled boots. Well, that's kind of what it's like for locomotives working on snowy mountain railways. If there's too much ice or snow on the rails, their steel wheels will just spin out when traveling up inclines. Because of this problem, trains going along such routes are generally kept short and light – which isn't cost-effective. Now, however, GE Transportation has developed a supersonic air blower to keep those tracks dry. Read More

Studded tires may make it easier to drive on ice, but those same studs will quickly wear down when used on dry asphalt – plus, they'll create a very rough, noisy ride. The problem is, most winter drivers encounter both types of road conditions, often even on the same trip. That's why Nokian has created a snow tire with retractable studs. Read More

You may think that your 4 x 4 with its lugged tires is pretty good in the snow, but it's never going to match the traction and flotation offered by a tracked vehicle. While systems such as those made by Mattracks allow users to replace their vehicle's wheels with tracks, AD Boivin Inc's Track N Go lets you simply add tracks onto your wheels when needed. Read More
German footwear manufacturer Meindl recently added an innovative solution for winter traction to its line. The metal spikes in the Tecvision Spike System provide traction during the slipperiest winter conditions and quickly retract back into the rubber sole when they're not needed. You can tackle all winter conditions with one pair of boots. Read More
Like a lot of other factors involved in mountain biking, setting the air pressure of the tires is a matter of compromise. Keep them too soft, and you can’t go as fast as you’d like on smooth stretches of the trail – keep them too hard, and they’ll just bounce off of roots and rocks instead of gripping them. As it stands, most bikers go for a “Jack of all trades, master of none” setting, that allows for some traction and some speed. The folks at ADAPTRAC, however, apparently think that such a compromise shouldn’t have to be made. Their new system allows riders to inflate or deflate their tires as conditions dictate, while they’re riding. Read More
Apparently, OluKai Maliko is Hawaiian for funky, hoof-like shoes. The term also carries a hint of innovation. Not only do these shoes split your toes, they give you extra grip. Forget sticky rubber and aggressive traction patterns, the Maliko brings a sole that's lined with suction cups. Read More
Snow, slush, glop, black ice, slick ice, chunder ... no matter how grippy and surefooted your winter boot outsoles are, one of those surfaces is sure to have you grabbing desperately at the air as your backside prepares for a bruising. That’s especially true if the sole doesn’t include any type of metal traction cleats or bars. Korkers attempts to provide the perfect traction in all situations by offering an interchangeable outsole system with its boots. You can adjust your soles for snow, ice and more ice. Read More
If you’re looking to boost the off-road capabilities of the already pretty capable Hummer H2 then look no further than the Hummer H2 Bomber. This customized vehicle from Germany’s Geiger Cars replaces the H2’s regular 8.5” x 20” rims and 305/60 tires with Mattracks 88M1-A1 rubber tracks on each wheel. These massive structures, 40cm wide and 150cm long, guarantee unrivaled traction on virtually any terrain. Read More
The Ducati team set itself a very ambitious goal when it went about re-imagining its least popular model, the Multistrada adventure bike. The aim was to make the 2010 Multistrada a much more flexible bike than anything before it, offering proper sportsbike performance, true long-range touring abilities, easy commuting and a genuine ability to get offroad and play in the dirt. Starting with the monstrous v-twin from the 1198 superbike, the design team has pulled together and integrated a huge range of cutting-edge technologies to get there. In fact, with its traction control, variable engine maps and electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension, there's a good argument to say that it'll be the most technologically advanced motorcycle in production next year. Oh, and it'll be much, much lighter and much, much more powerful than anything else in the adventure bike world. Forget everything you know about Multistradas, this bike is going to be an absolute animal. Read More
It looks like seventies science fiction television is (finally) going to meet reality with NASA planning to set up a real Moonbase Alpha by 2020. In order to meet the heavy load/long range transport requirements of life on the moon, NASA recently teamed up with Goodyear to review and redesign some 40-year-old technology in the shape of the airless tires first seen on the Lunar Rover Vehicles of Apollo missions. Read More
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