Exciting product news has been somewhat hard to come by at Eurobike, given many brands have already launched much of their new product in the weeks (and months) prior to the show. French tyre manufacturer Hutchinson delivered the gold today however, with a curious device that is still in prototype form, but may be one of the coolest innovations of the show.
It’s called Conec’tires, and it’s a small digital pressure gauge that mounts inside your rim via the valve stem. It’s designed to be compatible with most tubeless rim and tyre setups, and it uses sensors inside to detect the actual internal tyre pressure. A small ANT+ transmitter pairs up to an app on your phone, giving you real-world data on your tyre pressure – how freaking cool is that!
The idea of providing a live tyre pressure reading offers several benefits. The first is accurate setup of tyre pressures in the first place, helping to ensure you’re getting the most traction out of your tubeless tyre setup. Analogue gauges on most tyre pumps are notoriously inaccurate, often misreading the low operating pressures required for mountain bikes by as much as 5-10psi. Hutchinson claims the Conec’tires will read the internal tyre pressure correctly by +/- 1%, so it should provide a far greater representation of the actual tyre pressure you’re running.
The second idea behind the digital pressure gauge is to provide the rider with live on-trail feedback of what’s going on in the tyres. It’ll detect pressure loss, and it’ll also detect if you’ve got a slow leak – all without having to do the old thumb test. We’re not 100% sure how the mobile phone app works (everyone at the Hutchinson booth was busy when we stopped by), but our guess is that your phone will be able to be configured to deliver an audible warning to let you know if pressure is dropping. The Conec’tires system is also designed to pair with GPS devices too, meaning your Garmin/Lezyne/whatever head unit may be able to deliver that information to you also.
Don’t get too excited, as the Conec’tires system is still under prototype development, but Hutchinson states it’ll be ready for a 2018 release. More as we get it.