A couple days ago, I received an email about the “worlds first self-inflating bicycle tire.” My initial reaction was, “first…no way,” but technically that might be a true statement (assuming that inventions like this one never actually worked or were produced). Unlike the 2008 PumpHub or the older Nakano Air Hub, the PumpTire has a self-inflation system that is incorporated directly into the tire itself. That means it can be easily installed on standard rims and there is no need for a hose running from the hub to the rim.
The product is currently in the development stage (they are seeking funding on Kickstarter now), but it does look pretty interesting. Be sure to watch the tech video to see how it works. You start riding, and the valve draws air through a Peristaltic pump in the tire. In addition to self inflating, the PumpTire will be adjustable from 65-100 psi.
I don’t know if they will reach the lofty $250K goal that they set on Kickstarter, but the project has been getting quite a bit of attention in the last couple days. Cyclelicious, Bike Hugger, UrbanVelo, Bike Rumor, and Bike Radar are just a few of the bike sites where you can read more about the PumpTire, but the big gadget blogs are the ones who are really spreading it around the web. Also, check out this post in Byron DL’s Google Plus stream, for an interesting discussion with comments like this one from Josh Umami,
“Totally viable, with dubious execution. Interesting, ambitious idea that needs a way better proof of concept to sell the idea. Solves a compelling problem (for a certain target market–probably low-end. Performance riders check tire pressure regularly), but at the expense of a potentially goofy tire and a large, complex valve mechanism. Doubtful that they’ll get their funding, but they might get the attention of someone to buy the idea outright.”
Whether they meet the Kickstarter goal or not, it’s an interesting project. I’ll be watching to see what happens with it in the future.