If you’re driving a modern car, every once in a while a little light may pop up on your dashboard that reads TPMS. That’s your Tire Pressure Monitoring System and it usually means your tires are in need of air – either just because they’re low, or you’ve gotten a flat (or you’ve installed your winter wheels and tires without TPMS valves. Guilty). The idea is a simple way to make sure you’re driving around on properly inflated tires, and it looks like the idea is about to come to mountain biking.
Unveiled at the Hutchinson booth, the rim inserts on display on the stand were still just 3D printed blanks. However, the tire mounted next to the display had a working prototype to prove the concept actually works. Hutchinson claims that when the inserts are completed, they will add just 12g to the weight of the wheels, and are liquid resistant to work with tire sealant, and will work with any valve – tubeless or tubed. Designed to nestle inside of the rim with the valve mounted through the gauge, it will supposedly fit all rims and will offer pressure readings that are +/- 1 psi.
Meant to pair with the companion app for Android or iOS, the sensor is both Bluetooth or ANT+ compatible and wakes up once the wheel starts spinning. From there, the app will have separate readouts for the front and rear tire, and based on the tire you’re running, will give you optimal pressure settings for your weight. Hutchinson says that obviously the system is designed to work best with their tires, but it will work with any tire you wish to run.
Benefits include alarms if you develop a slow leak or puncture, plus the ability to see the pressure in real time if you’re pumping up the tire trail side with a hand pump or co2. Hutchinson says to expect a production version by Spring or Summer of next year.
Hutchinson also had a new prototype XC race tire that is being developed in conjunction with their Racing Lab tire program. Simply called the XC prototype, the tire has already found its way to the podium multiple times in the French MTB XCO Championships and has been raced by the Belgian Elite Champion. Weighing in at 540g for a 29 x 2.15″ tire, it’s super light with a 127 tpi casing and their Race Ripost XC triple compound. Expect to see it next year in both 27.5 and 29″ sizes.