You're part way through a ride when a small icon begins blinking on your cycling computer. You take a closer look, and realize that the alert is regarding your tire pressure – it's dropped below the minimum acceptable level, allowing you to pull over and take care of the leak before it gets too severe. Not too long ago that would have seemed like a something from a sci-fi movie, but with Quarq's new TyreWiz it's an entirely feasible scenario.
The small device threads into a removable valve core Presta valve, in either a tube or tubeless setup, and then monitors tire pressure every second. That information is sent via Bluetooth or ANT+ to a phone or computer, where riders can see their current tire pressure, and set up alerts if the pressure becomes too high or low (there are also LED lights on the unit that indicate if the pressure is within the specified range). Quarq say the device has a +/-2% level of accuracy, and it will measure tire pressure down to the tenth of a pound.
The waterproof and dustproof unit takes a CR1632 battery that's claimed to provide a 300 hour run time, and weighs a scant 10 grams. The price isn't quite as low as the weight, and at $199 USD for two devices it'll likely be something that only the most dedicated tech geeks will gravitate towards.
It might not be for everyone, but it will be interesting to see exactly where and how the TyreWiz gets used. What if you were able to see a rider's tire pressure in real time as they flew down the rubble-strewn World Cup DH track this weekend in Croatia? Or if you could check the pressures of an entire fleet of rental bikes without even needing to pull out the floor pump? Analog, non-remote gauges aren't going anywhere, but the TyreWiz is likely to start showing up in a variety of places once it becomes available this June.www.quarq.com