SRAM’s data collection division Quarq is back with another tiny bit of electronic technology to improve your ride. Much like their ShockWiz does for suspension, the new TyreWiz provides live tire pressure measurement, aiming to “reduce tire wear, improve compliance, and boost speed”.
Quarq TyreWiz realtime tire pressure monitor
At first glance these little things might seem absurd, but without a doubt optimizing tire pressure is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your bike’s performance – no matter if we’re talking about a road, gravel, cyclocross, or mountain bike. And the vast majority of riders still rely on the imprecision of hard to read gauges on pumps that often show vastly more pressure range than necessary. Quarq mentions a reduction of tire wear, and that and safety are certainly why cars have adopted real-time tire pressure monitoring, but we’re more looking for performance…
A few psi either way can mean the difference in dialing in grip for CX, XC or DH. Five psi too much in gravel tires can mean finishing a long day with a sore back & arms, and the same pressure drop on the road could measurably lower rolling resistance. There’s so much potential to be mined here, once you can accurately (and more importantly consistently) evaluate the best individual tire pressures for YOUR tires and YOUR riding.
So what most interests us (me!) here is measurement precision.
I’ve been excited to see more digital pressure gauge options from companies like Kappius, PrestaCycle, Lezyne and Silca. But all of those are pump side solutions that mean you have to overcome the valve (and either add or release air) to check pressure. The TyreWiz actually fits inline between the tire/tube and the valve, attached to the pressure chamber of the tire. Hutchinson debuted a similar system concept, INSIDE the rim cavity, last fall at Eurobike, but we haven’t heard any more about it since.
The device work by threading directly into the Presta valve stem of any removable core tube or tubeless valve. Quarq says it has been designed specifically to be compatible with tubeless sealant. (We’re curious to see how that works, since we’ve had plenty of tubeless valves themselves that have been clogged overtime by drying sealant.)
TyreWizzes claim +/- 2% accuracy across a wide pressure range suitable for all types of cycling, and report pressure at 0.1psi resolution for consistent data tracking. They are both waterproof (IPX7-rated) & claimed durable, and weigh just 10g per wheel.
Paired with smartphone App & cycling computers
TyreWiz communicates via BLE & ANT+ to display pressure on compatible cycling computers and smartphones. It uses NFC to make pairing fast & virtually automatic with compatible iOS & Android devices.
Once you thread the TyreWizzes into your valves they send tire pressure readings every 1 second to the paired devices. Presumably a simple motion activated switch turns them on, and the standard CR1632 coin cell battery delivers 300 hours of riding life.
Key to this whole setup really benefitting riders is the devices’ smartphone app, which Quarq says will provide both personalized pressure recommendations based on your riding style and collected data, as well as sending low pressure alerts. We’ve seen resistance in the industry (mostly from tire makers) to recommending the lower tire pressures that will actually provide the best comfort & grip conditions, often out of fear of frustrated customers getting flats. But for example, I weigh 80kg/ and every bike I ride from road to enduro ends up running less tire pressure than the recommended range printed on the sidewall.
Pricing & Availability
The TyreWiz will sell in a two sensor pair (of course so you can monitor both wheels) for $200/260€. They are available for pre-order now direct from Quarq, and are slated for June 1, 2018 availability in the US and worldwide by the end of June.
Now we just need to wait and see if Zipp (or maybe Silca?) will develop an aero cowl for it (or even design a wheelset to integrate airflow off the TyreWiz into their aerodynamics.) Because it hurts my brain to see it attached to that Zipp 454 NSW wheel at the top of the page!