Bicycles

Spinning bike wheels compress flat-filling air

Spinning bike wheels compress ...
Bimp Air can reportedly fill a bicycle tire in less than 10 seconds
Bimp Air can reportedly fill a bicycle tire in less than 10 seconds
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Bimp Air can reportedly fill a bicycle tire in less than 10 seconds
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Bimp Air can reportedly fill a bicycle tire in less than 10 seconds
The Bimp Air canister, on display at Interbike 2016
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The Bimp Air canister, on display at Interbike 2016
The complete Bimp Air system
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The complete Bimp Air system

Although you certainly can inflate a bike's tires using a compact hand pump, doing so typically involves some time and effort. That's why many cyclists use CO2 cartridges instead – particularly road riders with high-pressure tires, or mountain bikers who may need to reseat tubeless tires. Those cartridges cost a couple of bucks or so each, however, and they're not reusable. France's Production Functional Factory is attempting to address that situation with Bimp Air, a refillable compressed air system that's charged by the spinning of the bike's front wheel.

Bimp Air actually consists of three main components: a generator that's mounted alongside the front hub, a miniature compressor that's attached to (and powered by) that generator, plus a bottle-cage-mounted compressed air canister. The compressor and the canister are linked by a hose.

The complete Bimp Air system
The complete Bimp Air system

According to the company, just six minutes of riding at a speed of 15 km/h (9 mph) spins up the generator enough to fill the 50-bar (725-psi) canister with 11 liters of compressed air.

When it's time to fix a flat, users disconnect the canister, pull it out of the cage, hook it up to the tire's valve stem via a shorter inflation hose, then press its release button. Within less than 10 seconds, it can reportedly fill up a mountain, hybrid or road bike tire. It can also be used to top up mountain bikes' air shocks.

Once the inflation job is complete, everything is hooked back up, and the canister gets refilled as the bike resumes moving.

The Bimp Air canister, on display at Interbike 2016
The Bimp Air canister, on display at Interbike 2016

Of course, not all cyclists are going to be keen on riding around with a generator mounted on their front wheel. With that in mind, the company also offers a non-bike-mounted electric pump that can be used to fill the canister before each ride. Potential buyers who choose to go that route, however, might also want to consider the RideAir or Airshot canisters, both of which can be pre-charged using a floor pump.

Bimp Air is already available in France, priced at €299 (about US$336) for the bike-powered version. Its makers are now looking for a North American distributor.

Source: Bimp Air

14 comments
VincentWolf
They should add this option to electrical hubs that power ebikes.......
xs400
I could use 4 of these for my car - one for each wheel. I've yet to see the self inflating tires promised by Goodyear http://newatlas.com/goodyear-air-maintenance-technology-tires/24229/
Grunchy
$336 for a bike pump ! ! ! This is complicated therefore problematic therefore a burden & a bother if you get stranded because of it. Doubly so, you put this on your fork & hooked up this crazy thing, omg. I have a tiny little shock pump that can pump up over 200 psi and will fill any tire, mind you it takes practically forever to do it, but it's smaller than this. Here's the thing: the compressor does you no good if you don't have the patch nor the tire tools. I put all my gear into my saddle pack and it goes with me everywhere. I dunno, I practically never get a flat, but if I do at least I have the right stuff & it's going to work. I even pack a couple spoke wrenches! Omg this compressor is not a good idea.
Bob Stuart
This might be attractive with a pump mechanically driven from the cranks or front hub. It could also be wheel mounted as needed to finish inflation. One could start riding after spinning the wheel by hand, and get most of the pressure by riding, with no tank at all.
milo
charge pressure while braking,
wle
silly - there are about 15 sources of flats where the air just goes whoosh and no amount of pumping will stay ahead of the leak so lets say you have the spare tube and it;s installed, now what do you do, ride it flat til enough air goes in? flat front tire is dangerous even for 25 feet of riding back flat tire can roll off and get caught in the frame riding flat can easily cut the new tube on the wheel rims between road and rim just - who would buy something like this, except someone who does not ride at all? then they will just be disgusted with how useless it really is.. wle
windykites
When you need to inflate the tyre, could you not disconnect from the pump, and using the same lead, plug into the tyre valve. Why do you need to move the pressure cylinder?
wle
wait, what? it pumps air into a can? nightmare, that has to weigh about 3 lbs, for $336, no way! what do you do if you use all the air, ride around on a flat trying to pump it back in? again, this would only sell to people who do not ride bikes. in the same vein, a generator to recharge the motor batteries... that would sell to the same kind of people... wle
habakak
Yeah, no. Ridiculous. You can buy CO2 cannisters on Amazon for $1 a pop.
jayedwin98020
Let's just do the math. C02 Cartridge: $2.00; "Bimp Air" pump: $336.00. $336.00 divided by: $2.00 = 168, or the number of flat tires you would need to repair before there is any ROI. I'm just guessing, but that seems like one hella lot of flats!