Bicycling is fast becoming the new normal. New York City's Citi Bike ride share program has already clocked more than 93,000 rides and more than 10 million miles since taking to the streets earlier this year. Chicago's Divvy Bikes program is boasting similar success, and the recently unveiled Bay Area Bike Share is already suffering from a shortage of bikes due to excess demand. Yes, the tide is turning for cyclists, and with more demand comes new innovation. Case in point: self-inflating bicycle tires.
Self-Inflating Bicycle Tires
Benjamin Krempel, a San Francisco resident, has reportedly developed an innovative tire design that will spare riders the frustration of battling with bike pumps. The PumpTire, as it's known, is designed with a self-inflating mechanism that automatically pulls in air and fills your tire as you ride along the pavement.
The system reportedly consists of three parts: a tire, a small tube, and an air valve. The valve captures air and filters it through the tube, harnessing the continuous rolling pressure of the spinning in order to push the collected air into the tire. Obviously, this sort of technology raises concerns, like the potential for over-inflation, but the design also monitors tire pressure and has the capability to block air from entering when the optimal pressure is achieved.
The future of bicycle tires?
With the recent increase in nationwide cycling activity, cyclists could use some new innovations to make their daily commute easier. Fortunately, many start-up companies and forward thinkers seem to be stepping up to the task. From pontoons that ride on the water to GPS security devices, we're seeing ingenious new developments every day. The PumpTire is just the latest, and it certainly won't be the last.
Unfortunately, you probably won't see this innovation in stores any time soon. Kempel is trying to raise at least $250,000 to bring the prototype to market and he still has a long way to go. Still, there seems to be great potential here and if Kempel does manage to procure the necessary funds, we may soon find ourselves riding without fear of deflation.
While our wheelsets may not be self-inflating, they do come in bold colors and with a flip-flop hub so you can ride exactly how you want to.