Commuting by bicycle is a healthy and eco-friendly option, but if you find yourself with a flat tire halfway to the office, your boss probably won't be happy. And if you're halfway through a day-long pleasure ride through the country with nary an air pump in sight, you'd be in even worse shape. Sure, you could carry a bulky bike pump with you, but that takes up valuable weight and space. To solve this dilemma, San Francisco inventor Benjamin Krempel has come up with an ingenious solution: a tire that keeps itself inflated.
The PumpTire system consists of a tire, an inner tube, and a one-way air valve that pulls air into the tire from the atmosphere as the tire meets the ground while it turns. The valve also senses the air pressure within the tire, and keeps inflating until it reaches a certain level, at which point it stops adding air. If the air pressure within the tire falls below that point, it adds more air to bring it back up again.
Two versions of the PumpTire will be available initially, the City Cruiser designed for casual cyclists, and the City Pro, which has thinner racing tires and the ability to adjust the target air pressure. They'll sell for $129 and $149 per pair, respectively, but pledging $75 or more on the PumpTire Kickstarter reserves you a pair for just over half price.
Post by Katherine Gray
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