When you get a flat, normally you reach for your pump or co2 inflator. Both are proven methods that will get you out of a bind, but each still has its drawbacks. Pumps are often slow and require a lot of effort, while co2 is limited to the number of cartridges you can carry.
We’ve seen a number of concepts for portable air canisters, but the Bimp Air system is the latest to take it to the next level. In its most basic form it allows you to carry a reusable compressed air canister to inflate one or two tires. Add in the full system though, and you have a portable compressor with a never ending supply of air…
Shown in a functional prototype form with a number of 3D printed parts, Bimp Air has been in development for over 3 years and is scheduled to be in first production later this year. Like so many things, Bimp Air plans on running an Indiegogo campaign for funding to get the first run off the ground.
At the center of the system is the main canister which holds 50 bar of compressed air. Equipped with a gauge and flexible hose for presta or shrader valves, it’s said to hold enough air to fill one mountain bike tire (even seating tubeless) or two road tires. The weight of the canister alone is expected to be around 200-300g. If used alone, the canister is meant to be mounted to your downtube or stashed in a hydration pack for emergency use.
If you want to be prepared for more than one flat, or run bigger tires, the full Bimp Air system adds in a portable compressor for filling on the fly. Mounted to the front hub and leg of the fork, the compressor is filled by the movement of the front wheel with 6 minutes of pedaling supposedly enough to fill the canister. This should theoretically give you a never ending supply of air in the canister – fix your flat, replace the canister, fill, and wait for the next flat. In total the system is said to weigh less than 1kg and can be turned off when not in use so it’s not adding extra drag to the bike.
If you don’t opt for the bike compressor system, there will be an electronic fill station available which can fill the canister before your ride. The biggest hurdle for the fill station was supposedly creating a compressor that would fill the canister off of a 12v outlet from your car that was still portable.
Once the system reaches production, pricing is expected to be somewhere around €299 for the bike system and €399 for the electronic fill station. Check out bimpair.com for more.