During the 1890s many improvements were being made in bicycle design, making bicycles easier to manufacture and use. In 1892 inventor J.F. Palmer of Chicago, Illinois, patented the first self-healing cord tire design. Because the tread of the tire was under compression, punctures would close rather than open. Palmer's tires were more durable, so riders didn't have to replace their tires as often. Engineers have continued to improve tires ever since. Today riders can choose from many types of bicycle tires to meet their needs, whether they are commuting, racing, or mountain biking.