Motorcycles

CycleAT transmits real-time pressure readings from bike tires

CycleAT transmits real-time pr...
CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles
CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles
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CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles
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CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles
The aluminum/nylon-bodied sensor units weigh about 30 g (1 oz) each, and are made in high- and low-profile configurations
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The aluminum/nylon-bodied sensor units weigh about 30 g (1 oz) each, and are made in high- and low-profile configurations
The sensors measure not only air pressure (up to 200 psi/14 bar) but also temperature, wheel rotation and orientation
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The sensors measure not only air pressure (up to 200 psi/14 bar) but also temperature, wheel rotation and orientation
An "in-line fill" feature allows the sensor units to remain attached while the tires are being topped up, with the pumped-in air passing right through them
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An "in-line fill" feature allows the sensor units to remain attached while the tires are being topped up, with the pumped-in air passing right through them
Using the app, riders can check the pressure and temperature of the air inside their tires, along with their speed and wheel alignment
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Using the app, riders can check the pressure and temperature of the air inside their tires, along with their speed and wheel alignment

Although tire pressure monitoring systems are becoming increasingly common on four-wheeled vehicles, they're still quite the rarity on two-wheelers. RDV Labs, however, wants to change that. The San Francisco-based startup's CycleAT system is designed to continuously monitor the air pressure in motorcycle and bicycle tires, relaying that information to the rider's smartphone in real time.

The hardware end of the system consists of two sensor units, one for each wheel. These attach to the valve stems, and contain sensors that measure not only air pressure (up to 200 psi/14 bar) but also temperature, wheel rotation and orientation. They also each have an integrated lithium-ion battery, that should provide about 100 hours of use per charge.

Sensor data is transmitted via Bluetooth Low Energy to an app on the user's smartphone (iOS or Android), or Pebble smartwatch. Using that app, riders can check the pressure and temperature of the air inside their tires, along with their speed and wheel alignment.

An optional anti-theft kit utilizes a set screw to keep the sensor units from being plucked off by passers-by. Additionally, an "in-line fill" feature allows them to remain attached to the stems while the tires are being topped up, with the pumped-in air passing right through.

The sensors measure not only air pressure (up to 200 psi/14 bar) but also temperature, wheel rotation and orientation
The sensors measure not only air pressure (up to 200 psi/14 bar) but also temperature, wheel rotation and orientation

The aluminum/nylon-bodied sensor units weigh about 30 g (1 oz) each, and are made in high- and low-profile configurations. According to the designers, tests have shown that the devices have a "minimal effect" on the weight balance of motorcycle wheels, while the addition of an opposing 30-gram wheel weight will restore the balance to a lightweight bicycle wheel. That said, some people (particularly cyclists) might simply find the sensors to be a little too... big.

If you're not one of those people, though, you can pre-order a pair by pledging US$139 to RDV's current Kickstarter project. The planned retail price is $199 and shipping is estimated to start next March, assuming they reach production. Hopefully they fare better than the somewhat-similar BTPS Bike Tire Pressure System, which didn't meet its funding goal.

Prospective buyers might also want to check out the more basic P-eye pressure sensing valve cap.

More information on CycleAT is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter

7 comments
Craig Jennings
That would be sweet with a nice logging function. Would be an excellent tool for the track across different temperatures.
David Kalinowski
@ Craig Jennings We are releasing a map-it feature on our iOS and Android app that will let you do just that! Drop us a comment on the kickstarter, while I am updating the sneak preview image of the map-it menu. Cheers, David Head of Design
David Kalinowski
Just updated the map it feature menu screen shot in the campaign page, check it out at this link: http://bit.ly/backCycleAT
Purple-Stater
Seems bonkers that motorcycles don't all have this by now. My 1983 Yamaha 1200 had tire pressure monitoring, plus an integrated air-compressor to automatically adjust the pressure as needed.
BigGoofyGuy
It is a great idea whose time has come. Perhaps one day all two wheel vehicles will have it (even if it is just an option).
Vf6cruiser
Years ago I bought those caps that indicated pressure with red-ylw-grn bands. They lasted one trip to the big box store parking lot. Picked clean by some teenie bopper.
Ken King
How much do this device weigh? (Am guessing more than 50g which is significant) Besides having to add weight on the opposite side of the wheel to balance the pressure sensor it will put a compressive force on the valve stem (proportional to the square rotational speed) which would need to be accounted for.