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CycleAT transmits real-time pressure readings from bike tires

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July 24, 2014

CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles

CycleAT is designed for use on both motorcycles and bicycles

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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, whe...

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

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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7 Comments

That would be sweet with a nice logging function.

Would be an excellent tool for the track across different temperatures.

Craig Jennings
24th July, 2014 @ 05:52 pm PDT

@ 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
24th July, 2014 @ 09:39 pm PDT

Just updated the map it feature menu screen shot in the campaign page, check it out at this link: http://bit.ly/backCycleAT

David Kalinowski
24th July, 2014 @ 09:44 pm PDT

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.

Purple-Stater
25th July, 2014 @ 02:53 am PDT

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).

BigGoofyGuy
25th July, 2014 @ 06:45 am PDT

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.

Vf6cruiser
25th July, 2014 @ 08:39 am PDT

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.

Ken King
27th July, 2014 @ 03:42 pm PDT
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