Approximately 70% of all manufacturing facilities use a compressed air system, but these days, compressed air is being used for so much more. Thanks to France’s Production Functional Factory, cyclists can now use a small, hand-held compressed air system to reinflate their bikes’ tires.
Many cyclists currently use a compact hand pump or CO2 cartridges to keep their high-pressure tires inflated on long trips. However, hand pumps take a lot of time and effort, and CO2 cartridges are expensive and not reusable. France’s Bimp Air is a refillable device that is charged by the spinning of the bike’s wheel as the cyclist rides.
The Bimp Air system is made up of three components: a generator that attaches to the bike’s front hub, a miniature compressor that is powered by the generator, and a canister that links to the compressor by a hose.
The company claims that just six minutes of pedaling at a speed of nine miles per hour works up the generator enough to fill the canister with 11 liters of compressed air. That means that when it’s time to repair a flat tire, all a cyclist needs to do is disconnect the canister and hook it up to the tire’s valve stem. Within 10 seconds, the system can fully inflate a road, hybrid, or mountain bike tire.
Once the tire is inflated, the system can be hooked up again to be refilled as the cyclist continues to ride.
The whole compressed air system is small enough to mount on the bike without disrupting the rider’s cycling. However, not everyone will want to ride with the mechanism attached at all times. For those cyclists, the company provides an alternative method for regenerating compressed air. A non-bike-mounted electric pump can also be used to fill the canister before or after a bike ride.
Bimp Air is available in France for about $336 USD; however, the manufacturers are continuing to look for a North American distributor to introduce the product to the U.S. and Canada.