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Insert Coin: PumpTire self-inflating bicycle tire

Insert Coin: PumpTire self-inflating bicycle tire
Zach Honig
Zach Honig|August 27, 2011 12:00 PM
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

We love tires -- they provide an infinite boost in life to the ever-so-necessary wheel, soften the blow while driving on dirt roads and over potholes, and, upon retirement, serve as an ideal plaything for our children. But there's still something missing. As much as we try to make it not so, our tires let their air supplies trickle away -- albeit at an ever so sluggish pace -- ultimately causing inconvenience, and often with unfortunate timing. A slightly deflated bicycle tire won't have the same damaging effect as, say, a battered donut that explodes as you roll down the highway, but it can still put a serious damper in your ride. The self-inflating PumpTire sets out to make sure you never have to suffer a flat bike tire again, using a unique detachable valve that senses when a tire needs to be inflated, then pumping air from a thin tube on the outside of the tire into the inner tube.

PumpTire founder Benjamin Krempel is turning to Kickstarter to fund the project, which includes designing, testing, and manufacturing a pair of self-inflating bike tires. A $75 pledge gets you two City Cruiser tires, a $130 retail value, including a pair of 65 psi valves and inner tubes. If you pledge $100, you'll receive a pair of City Pro high-performance 95 psi tires, which are expected to retail for $150. Krempel has set his funding goal at a massively high $250,000 with just over five weeks remaining. A cool quarter-million is quite the lofty sum, but as always, you'll receive a refund if the project doesn't get the fiscal green light. Jump past the break to see it in action, and for an update on our previous Insert Coin project.

Previous project update: The 6dot Braille labeler, our last Insert Coin project, has received about $20,000 in funding -- or 40 percent of its $50,000 goal. There are just 13 days remaining to fund this Braille label printer.