The self inflating bicycle tire: PumpTire
We’ve seen technology where, if you happen to get a flat tire, the tire is able to temporarily patch itself long enough to get to a tire shop. The PumpTire is quite different, addressing a very common concern with all cyclists: the slow leak of air pressure. To fix this, the PumpTire effectively pumps itself.
Your bicycle tires naturally lose a little bit of a pressure all the time, because the air molecules slowly diffuse through the rubber sidewalls. This is why you need to re-inflate your tires every once in a while. The City Cruiser and City Pro bicycle tires use PumpTire technology. There’s a tire, a detachable valve, and an inner tube. Air can then pass from the tire to the tube and, when the pump is working, air moves in from the atmosphere and through the valve, automatically shutting off when the desired pressure is met.
The City Cruiser is meant for casual riders up to 65psi, while the City Pro is a high performance tire for up to 100psi. This is just a KickStarter project and the PumpTire team is looking to raise $250,000 in a little over a month.
In related news, I read in 24 Hours newspaper that Goodyear is working on Air Maintenance Technology for its tires. This would have a built-in miniature air pump that mains the optimal pressure at all times. That’s for cars, though, which would be quite different than the bike-centric PumpTire.