Tubolito has launched a smart mountain bike inner tube, which features an NFC chip and displays tire pressures via a smartphone app.
NFC stands for near-field communication and is the same technology that allows you to scan a key card to open a locked door, for example. To use the tube, riders just have to download the Tubolito app to their phone and place the phone near the chip, which is located at the valve stem. The chip will scan and display the tube's air pressure in both PSI and Bar in the app.
The tube, which is called the Tubo MTB PSENS, is available in both 27.5in and 29in wheel sizes. The tubes weigh about 90g and can be used for tires ranging from 1.8 to 2.5in. Tubolito's inner tubes are not only lighter but are claimed to be two times stronger than your regular inner tube, they also have a significantly smaller pack size as well.
The smart tube retails for about $50, which is a steep price to pay for something that could fall prey to a puncture or pinch flat. Considering the ubiquity and ease of installing tubeless tires, it's hard to gauge how popular a smart inner tube will be however it is a very interesting concept.
As far as we are aware, Tubolito is the first to integrate such a feature into a tube or tire setup and by doing so eliminates the need to carry a pressure gauge with you on the trails for accurate pressure readings.
Tubolito has also launched a lightweight gravel tube called the S-Tubo CX/Gravel All. The tube weighs just 35g, is compatible with both 650b and 700c tires, and folds up incredibly small - ideal for gravel bikepackers looking to carry additional tubes. The S-Tubo CX/Gravel All retails for $38.