PSIcle's NFC Sensor Threads Into a Presta Valve to Measure Tire Pressure

May 25, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Rover Development, a trio of engineers in Minneapolis, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to release a patent-pending sensor that will allow riders to read tire pressure on their smartphones. The so-called PSIcle sensor is an NFC-based device that integrates with an existing Presta valve for use with tubeless tires or tubes with removable valve cores. The device sits between the valve itself and the valve core, so installation involves removing the valve core, threading the PSIcle into the valve, and threading the valve core into the PSIcle. It has no battery, which means it is lightweight and never has to be charged.

The device integrates into any Presta valve that has a removable core.

When the user's smartphone is held next to the sensor, two things happen: the phone's NFC reader powers and wakes the sensor, and the phone automatically opens the PSIcle app (free for iOS and Android) and gives an instant pressure reading. The reading updates in live time to reflect any tire pressure changes.

The app opens when it detects the sensor nearby and gives real-time pressure readings.

The PSIcle is available in two models for both mountain and road bikes. The mountain bike version reads up to 40 psi and is claimed to be highly accurate to within 0.06 psi, while the high-pressure road bike version reads up to 400 psi and is accurate to 0.7 psi.

The three Rover Development engineers have collectively brought more than a dozen products to production and have more than 60 years of cumulative product development experience.

The Kickstarter campaign offers early pricing of $52 for a pair of sensors delivered in September 2021 and standard pricing of $56 for a pair delivered in November 2021. After the campaign is finished, the PSIcle sensors will be available through Rover Development's website.

The lightweight pair adds less than 10 grams to a bike.



154 Comments

  • 265 3
 $52! That's inflation for ya
  • 82 0
 Way to take the air out of an otherwise exciting product...
  • 49 1
 @VtVolk: Great, now I feel completely deflated
  • 40 0
 Sorry, @sewer-rat. Go for a ride! That always get's me pumped
  • 11 0
 @sewer-rat: you collapsed from not enough pressure?
  • 33 0
 Tire puns never fall flat on this site.
  • 21 2
 i'm getting tyred of these jokes
  • 54 0
 The Pricing made me feel depresta...
  • 13 0
 I was pretty pumped up till I saw the price tag.
  • 11 4
 Idk $26 per tire doesn't seem too bad if they last, a digital tire gauge is $30-50.
  • 19 0
 I suggest you guys air out your grievances somewhere else
  • 8 1
 @zeeker: I would buy it if my bank account wasn't flat
  • 4 1
 The pressure is on for a deflating price for this product! A good analog/digital tire gauge still costs 5x less!
  • 5 0
 This whole thread is full of rim shots. Badum-bum!
  • 92 0
 Be careful.... 40 psi and is claimed to be highly accurate to within 0.06 psi. 0.06psi is one 666th of the total 40psi range! The devil is in the detail.
  • 4 10
flag spudlord (May 25, 2021 at 6:10) (Below Threshold)
 Accurate to 0.06psi yet precision in that video was about 0.5psi. More than precise enough for a tyre mind you but why even show to 0.01psi.
  • 24 1
 @spudlord: Hello! The one in the video is the high pressure sensor, since it's on a road bike tire. The high pressure sensor has a specified +/- 0.7 psi accuracy.
  • 4 0
 @RoverDevelopment: Ahh yeah, my bad!
  • 5 3
 r/theydidthemath
  • 4 0
 Could it be.....SATAN?!
  • 84 1
 This would be way more useful on suspension. Please made that happen.
  • 7 38
flag f00bar (May 25, 2021 at 6:09) (Below Threshold)
 why, do your forks & shocks leak air?
  • 26 0
 ^this

It would be awsome integrated in the fork and shock. A quick check with the phone before the ride instead of checking with the shockpump.
  • 24 0
 @f00bar: Over the course of weeks/months they do. Rubber seals are permeable.

@Linc is on the ball.
  • 17 0
 @f00bar: I think it's more the fact that you can't really tell from the gauge exactly what you put in. Plus you are trusting the gauge of a 10 year old cheap shock pump. Then you use your buddies shock pump and you wonder if their 70 PSI is the same as the 70 PSI on your pump.
  • 6 15
flag f00bar (May 25, 2021 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 @spudlord: well there's a great chance they will leak more after you attach a gadget that keeps the schrader valve open
  • 7 1
 @f00bar: You wouldn't keep the valve open, you would install it between the shock and the valve, the same way as this article does with tyres and the same way the shock wiz does. You wouldn't be fitting and removing it and those seals would be as reliable as any other in an air system.
Still a closed system.
  • 8 3
 @JanB: Yes cause the connecting the shock pump immediately adds volume which throws off your before connection pressure and then bleeds off some of that pressurized air when disconnecting. This makes so much sense for suspension.
  • 25 0
 Maybe someone could integrate the NFC device into the aircap of the fork
  • 4 0
 @f00bar: Pressure changes with temperature. Many people live where temp can change with double didgits between rides.
  • 10 0
 @mtbandy: Yep could just build this to thread onto the volume tokens that every fork uses. It could just be a volume token.
  • 44 1
 It can definitely be done with our tech. We just need a fork company that wants to do it to contact us!
  • 11 0
 @RoverDevelopment: Offer it aftermarket, see the token item above. This would fit in a token sized form at least for the rockshox stuff. Id pick one up. .
  • 3 19
flag taskmgr (May 25, 2021 at 6:39) (Below Threshold)
 @Adamrideshisbike: also when disconnecting the shock pump you lose some psi. Possibly making you worse off then when you started
  • 18 0
 @RoverDevelopment: I would buy a volume token with this built into it Smile
  • 3 0
 The only downside I could think of is the variety of valve dispositions/lack of space. Either you integrate the sensor in a new top cap for the fork or you create a flexible attachment for the shock. I mean, it's surely doable, but with a lot more engineering/development.
  • 28 5
 @cougar797: For the 100th time, no. You can mostly negate the change when connecting by pressurizing the hose to the approximate shock pressure before the valve to the shock is opened.

And unless your pump is FUBARed, you lose zero pressure when disconnecting. I wish people would quit repeating this myth.

@makripper:
  • 7 2
 However downvoted the explanation of how hooking up the shock pump immediately messes up your pressure reading needs to read about Boyels law...
  • 2 0
 @noapathy: If you know the pressure to begin with sure maybe. I’ll have to try that.
  • 2 0
 @cougar797: Bro, that’s like science. We only understand bro science.
  • 6 0
 Eapecially for coils.
  • 1 0
 @JanB: 110% Rube Goldberg machine
  • 2 0
 @cougar797: Was a bit unclear in my post. I don't mesure the pressure with the pump. I connect it and pump or release to my prefered setting.
  • 3 1
 @cougar797: @f00bar @spudlord it is pretty easy to thread the pump on enough to hold pressure, but not enough to open the air valve. You can then pressurize the pump to the last known pressure. At that point the air volume lost when the valve is opened by screwing the pump on the rest of the way is minimal and doesn't affect the reading.
  • 1 0
 I use the good old set and forget rule for my suspensions. Maybe turning a few knobs to adjust it if I ride different terrains, but appart from that... And even if it were noticeably leaking air over time (never had that problem), write the pressure you're at on a piece of paper and reajust it every once and then.

That's another story for the tires imo, riding at low pressure, if not carefully checked often you're exposing yourself to see your tire coming off the rim at the first bad landing (and ending up in next friday fails at the same time).
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: Works great. Salespunk explained it a little better than I did, but it's not complicated. Even if you have several bikes, don't know the starting point, the temps changed drastically, etc. you can at least ballpark the initial pressure and be way better off than not doing it at all.
  • 2 1
 @RoverDevelopment: The tokens are available for cheap in your local LBS, and the dimensions of those are not protected intellectual property. So there's nothing keeping you from developing a small insert containing the pressure sensor/chip assembly, then a plastic shell it slots into that emulates the shape of the token. So you're making one universal value added piece (the sensor/chip insert), and getting a bunch of different cheap plastic pieces molded for you somewhere (the token shells for the different fork models). Extra credit if you can make it work with shock tokens as well using the same insert.
  • 1 0
 @noapathy: Ohh I’m literally trying this over lunch I’m so excited. I’d still use a pressure reading token though too.
  • 7 1
 @g-42: Pressure is normally understood as 'gage pressure', which means you need a pressure relative to something else (normally the atmosphere). When you entirely place the sensor inside of the pressurized volume, you now need to measure absolute pressure, which means you'd need to have another volume of air kept at a known pressure at all times, like a complete vacuum. This gets tricky. Also, NFC wouldn't work very well (or at all) through the metal body of the shock or fork.
  • 1 0
 @microwaveric: Hmm would a strain gauge on a compressible medium (rubber or high density foam) do the trick? Genuine question.
  • 4 0
 @microwaveric: Hello! We use the pressure sensor in the phone as the reference to obtain gauge pressure inside the tire. You could do the same with a shock. The reality is that the pressure anywhere on earth is going to be between 12.6 and 15.6 psi, so you may achieve acceptable accuracy just assuming ambient pressure is 14, depending on your use case.
  • 1 0
 @noapathy: Correct, disconnecting won't lose any pressure, tried and tested with several pumps and using Shockwiz. Of course, connecting can and does lose some pressure. But removing, is fine. But overall, yes, a sensor on the fork/shock would be really useful. I use the Shockwiz often when we're testing, but sometimes we've lost pressure on shocks for no real reason, it's not till you ride and think "whys that feeling rubbish" and then check it that you work out you lost 25% for some reason.
  • 1 0
 Just buy a Shockwiz twin bundle and leave them permanently attached to your fork(s) and shock.
  • 1 0
 @RoverDevelopment: do it yourself and sell aftermarket pressure reading caps/tokens for all of the forks! Then licence the tech to the fork manufacturers when the come knocking on your door.
  • 70 0
 What about security - could hackers steal my air?
  • 3 1
 Maybe not hackers but any yahoo on the street when your bike is on the rack could. And if you didn't bring along the valve cores you removed you are in for a bad day!
  • 5 0
 Wait for the backing campaign for the accessory Faraday cage to protect yourself against hackers!!!
  • 8 0
 You wouldn't download air, would you!?
  • 59 7
 Man, PB commenters are the worst. This is a genuinely useful and relatively low cost product and all people can do is whine and complain about nitpicky things.
  • 5 2
 I agree, it's a product adding value and filling a need which hadn't been spotted so far. But I wouldn't call a $26 valve cap "relatively low cost"... Maybe in time with economics of scale the price will come down to more sensible values.
  • 11 1
 Attaching a pump to each tire to check before a ride takes a minute, maybe 80 seconds at most. And over half the time I need to add a few pumps anyhow. So this would in fact take longer. I mean new tech is cool and all, but I don't see it being much of a benefit for me.
  • 7 1
 I hate to say it but not really. Its not like its displayed on your bar or anything. £25 buys you a Topeak digital gauge that will last at least 5 years. Given you check your tyres every ride (especially tubeless), why not just use a gauge? Cheaper, does not snap off, etc, etc.
  • 11 4
 @goldfly: So, you're literally whining and complaining about PB commenters whining and complaining! Worse than nitpicky if you'd ask me.
  • 4 2
 @kcy4130: I usually blast some air into my tires with a compressor before I leave and then let air out with a gauge at the trail head. This would save me time and the need to bring an extra gauge with me
  • 2 1
 @ilovedust: The Topeak gauge is good but only displays to 1psi. That's pretty vague on sub 20psi pressures, it also inevitably lets a little air out to check, and its a bit bulky to carry around.
With these I will be able to check my tyre pressure without losing any air, I can check them mid-ride (with my phone that I already have with me) to reassure myself that I haven't just punctured or burped without even removing the valve caps.
I'll also be able to check what a CO2 canister is doing (or has done) and then deflate to correct pressure.

Seems like it's worth a punt to me.

Would very much like the same thing for suspension but I'm guessing the NFC aerial needs to be outside the aluminium housing of the fork. A horizontally aligned one that could replace the top-cap would probably work though.
  • 22 1
 Hmmm sealant
  • 69 2
 I doubt it'll work on seals or ants.
  • 2 0
 @bigtim: how so? Do they use a different valve type?
  • 15 0
 Cool product. I like it. Actually don't think the price is outrageous at all.
  • 13 0
 NFC tyre pressure is becoming a PSENS measuring contest
  • 8 0
 I like it. I would much rather see a v2.0 design that replaces the entire valve and comes with different shaped grommets for various inner rim profiles. That way it wouldn't need to stick up like a lollipop.
  • 9 0
 Can I still use my hand? it's calibrated to: that'll do, and I should prob fix that slow flat in a month.
  • 6 0
 I backed it! It's a great idea! I'm always wondering before a ride, "do I have enough air in my tires?" Now I don't have connect the pump to find out (since I don't own a pressure gauge and just use the gauge on my floor pump).
  • 3 4
 And then you will still get to hook up your pump afterwards. This is adding a step, not saving one.
  • 7 0
 Nice, this makes so much more sense than the tubolitos execution of the same
  • 7 3
 Target missed. Instead of calling it the PSIcle (pronounced Sickel) they should have called it the PSIcle (pronounced P-sickel), then had a Queen adaptation running in the background, "I want to ride my P-sickle, the one that's on my bike. I want to ride my P-Sickle. P-Sickle, P-Sickle. . .
  • 4 2
 The only way I'm reading it is Piss-ickle.
  • 9 0
 Legal Weed in Canada is really making interesting results
  • 2 0
 Pee Ess Icicle
  • 1 0
 Maybe it is pronounced P-cycle?
  • 4 0
 Great concept and no battery is brilliant but could they not be a little shorter and less ugly, sold as a neat built in tubeless valve maybe? would probably buy if it was a little neater, long valves sticking out are just the worst.
  • 5 0
 What I am surprised about is how many of you are talking about how pricey it is and completely forgetting that the Quark Tirewiz is literally 4x as much. The fact that this is less than $60 is pretty awesome!
  • 6 0
 I made a psicle once. Coincidentally, I was also in Minneapolis. It was December and we’d been drinking.
  • 8 5
 The fact that we use this inferior and fragile valve, while the alternative is undeniably better in every conceivable way (schrader), is really a perfect example of how dumb our sport is.
(well, that and the fact that we frequently slam into trees/rocks/other riders but keep coming back for more...)
  • 1 2
 The switch back will happen soon, hopefully.
  • 2 1
 This is another one of those things that I was shocked about after 12 years away from mtb. I only ever used presta on wheels that were too deep for schrader tubes. It just didn’t make sense otherwise.
  • 5 2
 @foxinsocks - I agree with you that Presta valves are ridiculously and unnecessarily fragile. The one neat thing about them, though, is that they make mounting tubeless easier and less messy. Put tire on rim, remove valve core, connect compressor to pop bead to its nicely seated position, inject sealant with the syringe plunger thingy, reinstall valve core, connect compressor to pressurize, jiggle and spin to distribute sealant, done. Yep, the traditional way of putting the sealant in through a gap between bead and rim works, but tends to lead to sealant splatters in the next step.

That said - I'd happily work around that if it meant I'd never have to curse at another bent Presta valve core...
  • 9 0
 @g-42: Schrader can do that too, and even better, which is what Mr. Fox is saying. The valve core is also removable, and the larger diameter valve allows for easier flow of both sealant and air.
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: Hey, I just learned something! I'd never known Schrader valve cores were removable. (Then again, I've never had a messed up Schrader valve core I needed to replace.) Thanks!
  • 3 0
 @g-42: yep! Schrader cores are easy to take out. I have the tool already, it is pretty handy to use on the farm. And the reason you haven’t had a messed up core is because they’re an incredibly reliable piece of equipment. We replace them because it costs almost nothing to do when we mount tubeless tyres on vehicles. I was chatting with an aircraft mechanic a few months back when we were riding and someone broke a valve. He said he had never seen one fail in his 30 years of working on light aircraft. I’m sure it does happen given the number of vehicles that use them, but the numbers will be orders of magnitude lower than presta failures.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: Great, then we'll all have to replace all our carbon rims because they can't be drilled out... YEAH...
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: I once worked as a tyre fitter, at a garage, & during my time there, I never once once saw a schrader valve fail. Can confirm they're very robust! But back in Jan, I foolishly went for short ride, without spare tube/pump. Got a flat, used a nearby pump, in a car park, which had a short, stiff hose, snapped my presta valve.. Had to walk miles to get home. In stiff xc shoes... (Yay)
  • 2 0
 @g-42: you can remove the valve core out of schrader valves also. The tool/cap costs a few cents and you can also get it done with a thin screwdriver or Needle nose pliers.
Even better, you dont run the chance of snapping it like you do with presta Smile
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: it boils down to this- an american/german valve used in most demanding industries such as automotive, or a flimsy fragile valve (i wont mention the origin as to not diss any nation) used mostly in skinny road bikes.

What does our industry choose, i wonder... #facepalm
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: if the industry wasn't as obtuse as it is, it would've chosen to build your rims with the proper valve hole to begin with Smile
My point exactly
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: who says carbon can’t be drilled? We do it daily at work. No special tools needed.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: many people i talk to actually think rims snap at the valve hole if drilled... (Aluminium rims too) So i doubt those who own carbon will be more keen on drilling. Need to bust that myth asap. In 20 years of mtb I've never seen a rim fail specifically at the valve hole...
  • 1 0
 @foxinsocks: hahaha yeah I can imagine how the market would feel about being told to drill their rims. It quite literally does nothing to it though the companies will come up with some bs about why you shouldn’t. Smart companies could offer a return to base service. We drill and even mill carbon everyday at work. Drilling is mostly a hands on task (with jigs to ensure alignment of course), sometimes done by the cnc router. Milling takes place on both a five axis and Bridgeport depending if it’s production or prototype. Closed loop structures are not compromised in the slightest by it. Rims are already designed for spoke and valve penetration.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: "designed for penetration"- you've got the marketing slogan down already!
Lets see which company will finally put engineering first and takes this step forward (which is actually backwards, since most mountain bikes 20 years ago were schrader, ironically)
  • 3 0
 This looks great. Could it work with an Apple Watch app in the future too @RoverDevelopment ??

That would be awesome, as I don't like to take my phone on every ride but do always wear my watch (and I'm sure same is true for many others too).
  • 3 1
 Great idea but the packaging needs work... 40mm is too long and having something the size of a cr2032 battery is just bulky and ugly. Figure out a way to scale that into something cylindrical and 25mm or so and I'd buy it for sure.
  • 1 1
 Lol
  • 2 0
 Just come for the comments.

I won't place this cheap cheesy checkers on my +15Kusd ebikes!!!!

Please issue a PROPER ebike Premium Version. Thank you!
And please...please...please, place an optional counter balance!
We all know that kerbs are a PITA without balance wheels!

Thank you Sirs!
  • 5 0
 Like everything else on Kickstarter ... I will believe it when I see it.
  • 1 0
 Have they tested this in sub-zero temperatures? I think the best application would be for fatbikes, where pressure makes the biggest difference.

I do worry about sealant, and durability for mountain biking. I carry the Topeak smart gauge with me on rides, as it weighs next to nothing and is super durable & accurate... and I can lend it to a friend without unscrewing my valve core.
  • 2 0
 They are from Minnesota…
  • 2 0
 This is going to be SUPER useful for those of us who carry pumps on rides and experiment with different pressures in different conditions. Hopefully it can expand to suspension as well!
  • 5 0
 Um , looks like a session?

Do i get a free set?
  • 1 0
 You get an up vote
  • 9 5
 Who is asking for these things?
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy was aking for them
  • 6 1
 @jmtbf: just bought'em
  • 12 0
 fatbikers! (Honestly this would be super useful, as it is quite difficult to get an accurate reading for fatbike tires when 3psi and 5 psi is a massive difference).
  • 8 1
 @bonkmasterflex: i started cheking and calibrating my tire pressure every ride and it improved my riding very well, not coming back to checking with my thumb or checking every 3 or 4 rides.
  • 3 0
 No battery? Super cool. Would be nice for my fatty, I'm constantly adjusting tire pressure for different conditions.
  • 4 0
 But I want a BarCle !
And it looks as long as an icicle Smile
  • 4 1
 Yet another device linked to a mobile phone that no one needs. A pump and digital gauge had served me fine for years.
  • 3 0
 I'd like to formally request the pictures of the tire they validated at 400 psi...on second thought, make that a video.
  • 1 1
 I like it, a lot. This thread is a reminder of the joes out on the trail. Many of us know them, we wait to get around them in some places. Other places we wait for them to clear the section so you can run it at pace. If you're not aware of the psi in the bike, you may be riding a different kind of ride then a lot of us. Not wrong, just different.
  • 2 0
 I don't normally go for gadgets but these are neat. If you don't already have an accurate pressure gauge, why not buy these instead?
  • 3 4
 Probably save myself fiddy freedom bucks and just collect a bunch from the side of the trail, then I’ll add them to the drawer in my desk marked “pointless bicycle themed items”. free pair to anyone who can name the other contents of my drawer. It’s all Bluetooth quick release 26 inch elastomer shit
  • 3 0
 Does it work with tubeless sealant?
  • 2 0
 After hearing about those Tyrewiz(?) sensors, I just knew a product like this was coming!
  • 2 0
 It seams to be one of the fewer items to be delivered THIS year! Amazing. That‘s enough reason to buy it!
  • 2 0
 This makes a lot of sense on a fat bike imo.
  • 2 0
 I got excited until I saw the price...
  • 5 0
 $26 per tire may seem expensive, but it's much less than the $100 Tyrewiz. It's also much less than the $50 Tubolito Psens, and the PSIcle sensor lasts so much longer than a tube. Without abuse, each sensor should last for many years.
  • 4 0
 OMG I would need to pay another $56 for my $5000 bike- outrageous! Honestly- I think its a fair price. My main usage would be to check pressure after I have a puncture that sealed.
  • 2 0
 @chrsei: post-puncture pressure drop? Excellent use!
  • 2 0
 @RoverDevelopment:

Not expensive in my view , a proper gauge cost as much and I think once set up this will be much easier
  • 2 1
 Neat product! I need a version of this for my fork that isn't as bulky and expensive as the shockwiz.
  • 2 0
 As usual, the comments here are absolutely gas
  • 1 0
 I check my tire pressure before every ride so this is just and additional unnecessary step
  • 2 0
 In what way? Instead if using you regular gage you will be using your phone.

Pretty cool I like it
  • 1 0
 * Gauge
  • 2 0
 Well this is checking your tire pressure so it's the exact some thing you are doing but it's faster.
  • 1 0
 I would rather see this integrated into a connection with my bike computer to show in real time.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, that's one of the nice things about Tyrewiz: you can keep an eye on tire pressure during a ride. Sometimes I think I burped some air out or have a slow leak, but I can verify it on a Garmin or Wahoo and not have to stop and check. Also, Tyrewiz has a LED you can check without having to pull out your phone to see if your pressure is still in range.
  • 1 0
 Wait a sec, we're putting air in tires now?! Blasphemy!!!
  • 1 0
 think that rim has seen better days
  • 1 0
 The John Holmes presta valve.
  • 2 0
 What a bunch of hot air.
  • 1 0
 testicles....is what i read
  • 1 0
 Would purchase in a heartbeat if it was for suspension.
  • 2 0
 Quick patent it before specialized sues you
  • 1 0
 Aaaaahhhhhh.....
  • 2 2
 Pssssssst
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