Although the newest trend on Mountain Bikes are tubeless tires, the standard remains wheels with innertubes. At first bicycles came with solid rubber or wooden tires, later on John Boyd Dunlop developed the pneumatic tire and its valve, also named after him: the Dunlopvalve. Until the late ’80’s it was the standard valve used in bicycles in the Netherlands. For that reason we called them Dutch valves. The other ones were called French or Belgium valves.

Dunlop Valve

Dutch Valve

Presta Valve

French Valve

Dunlop invented the airtube because his son got headaches riding his bicycles on the bumpy roads of Scotland.

Couple years later Édouard Michelin invented the detachable tire. It was held on the rim with clamps, instead of glue, and could be removed to replace or patch the separate inner tube.

In the entire history of tires, these were big inventions. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1839.

Until today, these are big names in Tire Industry.

To me Vredestein Tires are my favourite.

Vredestein took over Hevea, its biggest concurent inside the Netherlands.

Hevea means ‘rubber’, before Goodyears invention it was the only thing one could do with the natural material; to rub pencil lines away.

In 1915 Hevea started his company and builded a complete village named after the fabric. And so Heveatown was born. The blocks were named after Islands of Indonesia: SumatraJava and Borneo. That’s were we had our plantations. The houses were build in English landscape style with thatched roofs.



Airphoto Heveadorp 1925

Airphoto Heveadorp

The Fabric was build on a hill, which was not very practical. The first thing Vredestein did was move the factory towards Renkum’s industrial area.

The same area which recently was transformed back to nature.

Bicycle tires are now manufactered in the far East. Giving ‘Indian Rubber’ a complete different new meaning, the other name for Ficus Elastica.

Somewhere in the eighties all houses were renovated, since they did not belong to the factory anymore, no one felt responsible. Builded together with 199 new houses this project was done.

Rubber Tree

Rubber Tree – Living Bridge


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