If you commute by bike, or just use your bicycle to rip around the city and run errands, you’ve likely been there: You’re ready for a ride, possibly running late, and your tires are a bit too squishy. Or your kids run their tires too low because, well, because they’re kids, and they pinch flat or bang up their rims. All problems easily solved by pumping up your tires routinely, but also now solved with you (or your kids) having to lift a finger.
The AirWinder pumps up your tire for you simply by riding it. It works by integrating a Peristaltic Pump into the outer layer of the tire, effectively a small air chamber atop the main air chamber. As it rolls over the intake section, it effectively closes off the opening and squeezes the air inside that chamber into the inner tube. Every rotation allows new air to be pulled in and pumped into the tire.
To prevent overinflation, the main air valve has an adjustment dial where you can set your desired pressure. Once the tire is inflated to that target pressure, it seals off and won’t pull anymore air in. The result is that your tire maintains the desired pressure constantly. And in the event you don’t ride for a month or more and the tire is a little low, the AirWinder system can add up to 15psi in just over half a mile (about 1km) of riding. It can pump up to 72psi (5.0 bar), making it well suited for any type of city bike.
These pressure gauges are for display only, the rendering shows what the final product will look like. The dial above shows how much pressure built up inside the pump chamber with just two revolutions…
…and this one was in place to show the tire pressure.
OK, but what about punctures? Well, the AirWinder won’t magically fix those, but it does have a 5mm thicker tread section than typical commuter tires. So, it will take a bit more to actually puncture it and cause a flat.
The AirWinder tire is available in 26″ and 700c, will last for about 1,000km, and fits any standard rim with an inside width of 28-45mm. They’re not providing a claimed weight yet, but say it doesn’t add any weight over similar standard tube and tire combos. Retail should be about $100, look for a Kickstarter campaign to bring it to market this fall.