Pumptire self inflating bicycle inner tube tire bike
Photo from Pumptire Facebook

Considering how useful it would be, we have to assume that a self-inflating inner tube is not the easiest thing to create. Perhaps that is why after an aborted attempt to fund the project in 2011, Pumptire has reorganized with a working prototype and a new valve design.

On the initial release, Pumptire’s valves used a preset pressure setting. Likely one of the reasons the design went back to the drawing board, now Pumptire is promoting an adjustable valve. The photo above was posted on the company’s facebook page, which appears to show the prototype though to our eyes the valve itself looks to be a computer generated image. This would be in line with the fact that Pumptire states the adjustable valve has been designed and patented, but hasn’t yet made it to production. As you can imagine, the adjustable valve would be an important feature so that riders aren’t forced into a certain pressure.

There is no word as to expected pricing, but if it falls in line with their previous pricing, you can expect a single tube to run as much as many tires. However, if it has the potential to all but eliminate flats it may have some real potential. According to Pumptire, once the finished design is complete we can expect a new Kickstarter launch in 2016.

pumptire.com

16 COMMENTS

  1. The pump hub that was featured last year is probably more useful. Maybe useful to commuters and trekkers, if it ever gets made.

  2. I’d have to see this working in real life. I don’t see how this could work at all as tires are small and pressures needed would be too high.

  3. depending on how quick this works I can see a bluetooth valve adjustment being added whereby you can adjust the pressure remotely. That way on an mtb you could constantly adjust the pressure for the terrain you’re on.
    High pressure for any road sections, lower for dirt, and lower still for sand, then back up as you move again to firmer surfaces.
    It only takes a second to adjust a seat height, but we’ve seen how quick dropper posts have taken off, if it works this will be the same.
    Would be a boon for fat bikes.

  4. This is a solution looking for a problem. Like most cycling engineering students, seems like someone is just trying to re-invent the wheel.

    I would put this “technology” right there with other super-useful, market demanded cycling “innovations” such as hydraulic shifting, ABS systems, hydraulic rim brakes, turn signals, mismatched wheel sizes, suspension stems, soft ride bikes, roll up fenders, foldable/inflateable helmets, etc.

    Also, this technology is like century old. The US Department of Energy has given Goodyear 1.5M to develop this technology for car tires. Millions of dollars, a century, and the powers of scale haven’t brought a product to market for cars, let alone bikes…

  5. I can see an application where a seperate tube is used as a ‘rim tape” in a tubeless mtb setup. This seperate tube and valve is only used when you have a big sidewall cut and would usually have to put in a tube to get home. simply inflate the seperate ‘rimliner’ tube.
    Only disadvantage is the rotating weight of the tube added to the wheel in normal riding.
    So, like a Pro core, without inflating the tube till you really need it.
    Ok, mm so maybe just use a pro core setup?

  6. They need to just sell the valve adapted to tubeless rims. I’d like to not have to check tire pressure before every ride. Good idea! Just that I don’t want to go back to tubes….

  7. As easy as it is to be skeptical and hate this, Doug B is right:

    IF it worked flawlessly, imagine how rad it would be to adjust pressure on the fly and match your desired ride qualities with the trail surface. Would be insane-cool.

  8. I’m not sure I’d ever use this on a road or mountain bike but I’d certainly use it on the wheel I keep my training tire on (for my stationary trainer).

  9. This would be neat for a bike where performance wasn’t an issue but convenience was valued–like a commuter with fat tires and low pressures–but I’m pretty skeptical that these aren’t highly inefficient.

  10. Keeping the tire at the right pressure is fine, but how does this handle flats? As a commuter, I fix a lot of flats, even with heavy duty urban tires. Plus there are all sorts of interesting MTB hazards including goat head thorns.

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