August 26, 2011 weblog
Self-inflating bike tires campaign for dollars
(PhysOrg.com) -- Bicycle owners are being offered a no-hassle solution to keeping their bicycle tires sidewalk and road-worthy. The solution is called the PumpTire, billed as the worlds first self-inflating bicycle tire. Thanks simply to the rolling motion of the tire, and inventor ingenuity, it can happen. Right now, its an advanced prototype, not something to yank off any shelf. PumpTire is promoting this off the Kickstarter project site. The PumpTire team hopes that, with enough donations, they can transform their prototype into products for cyclists everywhere.
PumpTire is the company and product name of a set of items that consist of a tire, a tube, and detachable valve. The inner tube clips into the tire to allow the air to pass from the tire to the tube. Once the desired pressure is reached, the pump stops. The valve senses the increase in pressure. and closes the air pathway so that no more air is pumped into the tire.
PumpTire developers have in mind two end products, one for casual cyclists and the other for cyclists who want high performance. For the latter, The City Pro has a max 100 psi, and the City Cruiser is a 26" x 1.5" tire with a maximum 65 psi.
In the video showing how it works, the founder of the project, Benjamin Krempel, hops on his bicycle and takes it for a ride. We see the pressure on the tire rising from 22 to 52 psi in over a mile. As for the higher-performance tire product, the user is allowed to set the pressure from 65 to 95 psi.
True to the Kickstarter project practice, Krempel and team are posting project details on the Kickstarter site, hoping backers will donate toward their goal, which is $250,000. They want to use that money to work with vendors and engineers to put in place the right materials and processes and to get tools and materials for assembly. The project will only be funded if at least $250,000 is pledged by October 5, according to the site. At the time of this writing, they have $3,619 with 43 backers. As offers to those who pledge, they give those who pledge $75 two Cruiser tires, two valves and two tubes at the expected retail value of $129.90. Those who pledge $45 get one Cruiser tire, (you guessed it). one valve and one tube at the expected retail price of $64.95. Pledges of one dollar or more get the team's warm thanks for doing a good deed.
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