We’ve all gone to the garage, given the bicycle tires the thumb squeeze and thought “eh, good enough” and rolled out. Too often, things end up being softer than expected, and we stop mid ride spending five minutes wresting with a hand pump to do what a floor could have (and should have) done in a few seconds.
Inventor Chris, who has a degree in Physics and Materials Science, has created a nifty way to quickly check the real tire pressure without getting your hands dirty. His iBTPS monitors internal tire pressure in real time and transmits the data via Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ to your smartphone, cycling computer or other device. He’s already hacked his Garmin 800 to display the data as part of the normal readout options, and says he’s working with them, VDO and Brighton (and likely others in the future) to build in native compatibility via a software update. No doubt apps could quickly build this into their own feature set, too.
The video above may not be the most exciting thing you’ll watch today, but it shows the tech pretty clearly. This first generation is built with tubeless tires in mind, which makes a lot of sense given their proclivity to leak quicker than tubes. They’ve tested it with all types of sealant. For commuters and such, there are plans for a tube-type sensor, too…
Being able to see actual tire pressure as it’s inflated is pretty cool, but keeping an eye on it during rides lets us really geek out. While some may see this as overkill, it’s a neat way to see how temperature fluctuations actually affect tire pressure during a ride. And, temp swings or not, lets you better correlate ride quality and handling by seeing tire pressure in real time. Stop to let a little burst or two out mid-ride and you can check status and see how that changes the ride.
We think that’s neat, especially since it only adds about 7g to the wheel, which can be placed across from the valve stem as a counter balance.
Software updates can also be added to their app (or others) that hold a database of tires and models to show psi limits and recommendations, too. It’s one of the more ambition amounts we’ve seen in a cycling related Kickstarter campaign. They’re looking to raise $120,000 in funding, and a pledge of $140 gets you a pair of sensors. That includes the battery, which should provide about two years of run time. Campaign details here.
The tube-type prototype includes a cheap sensor on the tube that plugs into the electronics, transmitter and battery. So, all you’re replacing if you flat is the tube.