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PumpTire- a self inflating bicycle tire

Commuter, Concept 6 566

PumpTire self-inflating bicycle tireA 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.

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  1. Johann Rissik August 28, 2011 at 5:47 am -  Reply

    OK, so the video’s a bit vague on detail. If I ride my semi-flat tyre on a wet road will it get pumped half full of water? I must admit that I am intrigued to see how the non-return valves on the tread surface will work. Once it get’s to the pre-set pressure, does it blow off every few minutes like a truck with air brakes?
    I personally have no problem pumping my tyres with a handpump or a track pump, it’s the only upper body exercise I get 😉

    • PumpTire September 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

      There is a filter in the pumping mechanism that prevents any moisture from entering the tire.

  2. genewitch August 29, 2011 at 2:25 am -  Reply

    Johann: I bet that’s at least … half … false.

  3. Mike August 29, 2011 at 10:18 am -  Reply

    This may be the most fredtastic thing ever invented.

  4. art August 29, 2011 at 11:57 am -  Reply

    Right now, the sticking point is that they only think they can make the lumen reasonably wear and puncture resistant. I can’t see how this could possibly last more than a hundred miles of urban commuting.

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