Ever thought you’d like to adjust your tyre pressure on the go?
Belgian company WhiteCrow did, and it came up with a novel product designed to do exactly that. You may recall Marc’s original story on the WhiteCrow tyre pressure adjusting hubs, and then his follow-up article from Interbike 2016 where the product had shown significant refinement since the original prototypes.
Well, the wait is nearly over, because WhiteCrow has launched it’s innovative product on Indiegogo, and they’ve got a neat video to go along with that you can watch below.
Although WhiteCrow designed its hub primarily for use on fat bikes (where adjustable tyre pressure is most valuable), it will be offering its chunky hub in a variety of options. There’ll be 177mm and 197mm wide versions for fat bikes, as well as Boost 148x12mm options and the choice of a Shimano or SRAM XD freehub body. Disc brake mounting is taken care of by the 6-bolt standard, and the hub flanges are drilled to accommodate 32 J-bend spokes.
The hub body itself is made from 7075-T6 alloy, while the central tube is made from carbon fibre. The hubs are packed with Enduro sealed cartridge bearings, and the freehub mechanism delivers 130 points of engagement for fast pickup at the pedals. WhiteCrow will eventually release a matching front hub in late 2017. We take it that if you want to be able to adjust your rear tyre pressure on the go, you probably want to be able to do the front tyre too.
Marc has already gone into lots of detail how the whole system works, but in essence, the rear hub features an internal 2-way pump. The hub is connected to two different valves – one that goes to the inside of the tyre, and the other that goes to a Schwalbe Procore-style inner tube that sits inside the rim bed. With a remote lever on the handlebar, air pressure can be passed back and fourth between the hub and the tyre/tube. Need more pressure for rocky hardpack? Flick the lever. Need lower pressure for a loamy fall-line? Flick the lever again.
There are two other elements of the system that are required to mount a WhiteCrow hub to your bike. Firstly, you’ll need a rim that you can drill a second valve hole 180-degrees to the primary valve hole. Secondly, you’ll need to fit that high-pressure inner tube inside the rim bed – in the above image, that’s denoted by the blue tube.
When it’s time to let pressure out of your tyres, the concealed air pump inside the hub sucks the air out of the tyre, and compresses it inside the hub shell. Pretty clever stuff!
If you want to know more about how the WhiteCrow Hub works, then check out the video below. Or if you’re keen to get behind the project, then head to the Indiegogo page for all the details.