Using a hand pump to fix a flat can be cumbersome at best. A couple of CO2 cartridges make quick work of the job but you have to remember to bring them with you in the first place. And if you are traveling with your bike, finding cartridges at your destination isn’t always possible. As an alternative, the Bimp’Air refillable compressed air system stays on your bike and continually tops up as you ride, meaning you always have compressed air on hand to inflate a tube or top up your shocks.
The Bimp’Air system is made up of three parts — a refillable compressed air capsule, a miniature air compressor, and an energy converter. The capsule holds 11 liters of compressed air at a pressure of 50 bar (725 psi) and can be refilled/reused as often as needed. Lightweight and compact, the capsule features a built-in manometer that enables you to view the level of remaining compressed air and offers precision inflation capability. It sits in your bottle cage as it is being re-filled, then both it and the compressor can be removed from your bike if desired.
The miniature air compressor weighs 390 grams and is less bulky than a water bottle. The compressor is attached to your bike via the energy converter that sits on your front fork between the wheel and the quick release — it is compatible with max 36 diameter hubs, 9/10 axle.. The converter harnesses the energy of your moving bike to begin filling the capsule. In the space of 6 minutes, moving at a speed of 9 mph, you will have 11 liters of compressed air at 50 bar and a hassle-free way to inflate your tires, adjust your suspension system, or even install tubeless tires. Don’t worry, there is a safety valve to release any excess pressure buildup.
I could see this as an interesting concept for touring, commuting, or gravel/adventure bikes. Otherwise I have visions of this thing getting broken off almost immediately on a mountain bike and too much of a hinderance/weight penalty on a road bike.
The Bimp’Air system retails for €299 and can be purchased from the company website. That’s worth a lot of CO2 cartridges….