Self-Inflating Commuter Tire

You’re a bike commuter. You’re in good shape. Your risk of coronary artery disease is pretty low, so you’re not likely to be needing a peristaltic pump–one of those pumps in an open-heart bypass machine.

Peristaltic pump
Peristaltic pump | Image: Wikipedia

But would you be interested in a peristaltic pump if it was at the heart of a self-inflating commuter tire?

Will Powers and Benjamin Krempel are a couple of bike commuters who have invented a bike tire that self-inflates to the desired pressure, and keeps the tire at that pressure. As long as you don’t get a flat, you’ll be properly pumped.

The tire draws air from the environment, and a “lumen” tube on the rolling edge of the tire pushes the air into the tube.

When I saw the diagram, the first thing I thought of was a urethra. I thought I’d share that.

The system is called PumpTire, and it’s actually a system involving an integrated tire, tube, and valve. They work together, so you won’t be able to use this system with your favorite tire. PumpTire will have to be your favorite tire. The fact that Will and Ben are cyclists gives me hope that the tires will be the kind that real cyclists would want.

PumpTire Diagram
ScreenShot: PumpTire Video

Will told me that they had not given much thought to licensing this technology to other tire makers — so you could have a self-inflating version of your favorite tire. But if the product is successful, I think that’s probably inevitable.

PumpTire is a KickStarter project, looking for backing. If you want to be the first people to try this tire, you’ll need to pledge to the project. But if you do, you’ll get insider pricing when the tires are produced.


They aim to produce two models:

City Cruiser for Casual Riders

The City Cruiser is designed for the casual, urban cyclist. Its a 26 x 1.5 tire with a set pressure valve. The pumping mechanism will pump from a flat up to 65psi. It has a moderate tread design and is intended mostly for pavement.

The City Cruiser will retail for $65, but backers of the project can pre-order them for $45 or $75 for a pair.

City Pro High Performance Tire

The City Pro is a high performance tire with a 100 psi maximum pressure. Its a 700c x 28mm tire. The tire works in conjunction with a high performance user-adjustable valve which allows the user to set the pressure from 65-95psi. This tire is designed for the avid cyclist who is constantly seeking better performance from themselves and their equipment.

The City Pro will retail for $149.90 for a pair. Backers can pre-order a pair for $100.

If you are interested in backing the project, go to the PumpTire page on Kickstarter.

If you want to wait and see, you can follow the project on Facebook.

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