If you suffer a puncture while cycling, you have several options to recover and at least go home; for example, there are CO2 cartridges, which allow us to inflate the affected wheel so that it remains until we can change it. That’s fine if you remember to carry the CO2 cartridge with you, and as it is for single-use, that means an additional cost to take into account. The other option, which requires more manual work, is to inflate it on our own with a hand-held air pump.
But what if the bike itself was able to inflate the wheels? It is not such a crazy idea if the space of the bicycle frame is used, as some French designers have shown with the model they have presented on Kickstarter.
Independent industrial designers from the Pyrenees region of France, Claire and Joel have developed the CHOKA bike, which makes life much easier for its owners. Now they don’t need to waste time and energy to pump a flat tire or use disposable air cartridges. The fact is that the bike frame itself has now turned into a compressed air reservoir.
The frame is hermetically welded (there is an overpressure relief valve next to the carriage), and it is assumed that the owner independently inflates it with a convenient pump or compressor. Before a long trip, the owner of CHOKA simply needs to pump in the required amount of air through a special valve at the bottom of the tank frame using a floor pump, bringing its pressure to 12 bar. If the reservoir is overfilled, the excess will escape through the safety valve.
When cycling or hiking, if the tire needs to be inflated, it is enough to connect the frame-reservoir valve and the tire valve with an air hose. Using a special scale, the cyclist can control the pumping process. According to the developers, there is enough air in the frame to fully inflate 2 to 3 tires, depending on the size and desired pressure. It is, for instance, sufficient to pump three 27.5 x 2.80 tires to 22 PSI (1.5 bar) or two 700 x 45C tires to 60 PSI (4.1 bar).
CHOKA bike can be purchased on Kickstarter. As part of the crowdfunding campaign, the authors presented two frame models (for road and mountain bikes): the AGHATA (AGgressive HArd TAil) all-mountain frame, and the Gravaël Raw gravel frame. It is possible to get both the Graväel and the AGHATA for €990 (approx. $1167) each. Delivery is expected in June 2021. The kit also includes an air system, bottom bracket, and headset.