Behind the Product: Air Pressure Station

ENVE’s mission is to deliver a better ride experience through science and insight. ENVE delivers on this promise by painstakingly prototyping, testing, and refining our products to meet the objectives of their design. After more than a decade of disruptive wheel innovation, one thing hasn’t changed – riding the right tire pressure is critical to efficiency, traction, reliability, and confidence.

With this in mind, we began to investigate every aspect of tire inflation. We considered how cyclists are determining what they believe to be their correct tire pressure, how we inflate tires, and when/where we’re most likely to do it.

As a result of this investigation, ENVE partnered with inflation experts, Haltec, to create the ENVE Air Pressure Station – an automatic inflation unit designed for performance oriented cyclists and professional mechanics that delivers unprecedented accuracy and convenience.

Today, the ENVE Air Pressure Station feels as essential as a floor pump once did, and here’s why:

What’s My Tire Pressure?

Fundamental to progress is change. Over the last decade a lot has changed as it relates to the wheel and tire. Most specifically, rim width, tire volume, tire construction, and with it more user friendly tubeless systems.

However, what has lagged behind these innovations is the average rider’s understanding of how these changes impact the tire pressures they should be running. Riders upgrade their bikes, wheels, tires to the latest and greatest, but fail to adjust and adapt their tire pressures accordingly. The thought process is often, “I’ve been running X pressure for X years, why would I change?” The answer is that as tire/rim volumes increase, your tire pressure should be reduced. Another common pitfall occurs when riders fail to adjust their tire pressure if they switch to a more robust/stiffer tire casing.

All these changes require an adjustment to your tire pressure or the holistic ride experience is compromised.

ENVE has created tire pressure recommendation charts for road, gravel, and mountain riding that take into consideration tire and rim width/volume, surface, and rider’s weight.

The ENVE Air Pressure Station features NFC technology that allows the user to scan their unit with an NFC enabled mobile device for rapid access to ENVE’s Tire Pressure Charts.

What’s Wrong With a Floor Pump?

In short, nothing. Just like there was nothing wrong with landlines and rotary phones. Most of us own a floor pump, and these pumps tend to range in price from $30 to as much as one wants to spend. What all these pumps have in common is that they generally do the job they were designed to perform, some certainly better than others. But, they are far from the ultimate in convenience and precision.

Here’s where floor pumps come up flat:

  • Tire pressure accuracy – It is not uncommon to see a floor pump’s pressure gauge display tire pressures that are +/- 10-20% from the actual tire pressure. We have also taken multiple pumps of the same model and brand, compared tire pressure readings and seen the same levels of discrepancy in tire pressure. These discrepancies exist to some extent, at some point, at all prices and across all brands.
  • Efficiency – When the pump’s pressure gauge fails or reads inaccurately, riders tend to purchase a digital pressure gauge or resort to the “pressure by feel” test. What was once a single step process has now become a two or three step process to establish proper tire pressure. This is not only inefficient, but elevates the potential for running too high or too low tire pressures if you bypass a secondary pressure gauge check.
  • Tubeless – With tubeless as the standard for performance across all disciplines, more people are setting up tubeless tires in their homes, hotel rooms, parking lots, or wherever they are riding their bikes. A good floor pump will work, usually with some furious pumping, but occasionally you find a tire that fits looser than another that requires the special attention of a Co2 cartridge or some form of compressed air.

Is the time-proven trusty floor pump going away, not a chance. Is the floor pump the ultimate inflation experience? No.

What the Air Pressure Station Can Do For You

The ENVE Air Pressure Station was initially conceptualized as a tool to be deployed at ENVE supported gravel events like BWR, Dirty Kanza, and Rebecca’s Private Idaho, to help educate customers on the importance of proper tire pressure. As riders began interfacing with the unit and experienced the convenience, they started asking where they could buy them. Soon, our ENVE Retail Partners and race teams were requesting them for their stores, demo operations, and service courses.

Here are the key features and benefits of the ENVE Air Pressure Station.

Accurate Air Pressure – As tire volume and rim width increase, tire pressure must decrease making it more important to achieve accurate and consistent tire pressures. The Air Pressure Station guarantees accuracy to within .5% of psi/bar. The right pressure means you rider faster and with more confidence.

Safe and Simple Tubeless Setup – The Air Pressure Station features a “flat/new” tire override function for setting up new tubeless tires. Because the unit’s automatic operation depends on back pressure from the tire, new or flat tires require that the override function be used initially. When the override button is pressed, the unit will deploy short high-volume blasts of air to seat the tire, once a seal is established and back pressure is detected, the unit will proceed to inflate your tire to your desired tire pressure. This function also reduces the potential for blowing a tubeless tire off a rim when using an air compressor or charged floor pump canister to seat a tire.

Automatic Inflation – Sure, we’re cyclists and not afraid of a little exercise, but there’s something super sweet about dialing up your perfect pressure, attaching the air chuck and moving on to other tasks while your perfect tire pressure is being delivered.

Air Pressure Presets – If you’re like most of us you own multiple bikes or have multiple riders in your household. The Air Pressure Station features three presets that can be set for specific bikes or riders in the family. Our favorite configuration is to set one preset for mountain, another for gravel, and the last one for road. This prevents toggling between low mountain pressures and higher road pressures. When the unit sits dormant for more than a few minutes, the unit defaults back to 32 psi to prevent accidentally inflating a mountain tire to road pressures.

Tire Pressure Range – Between 3psi (.2bar) and 145psi (10bar), whether you’re riding fat bikes or road bikes, the Air Pressure Station is tuned to meet a cyclists needs. It is also capable of managing inflation for any of your other inflatables that fall within the pressure range of the unit.

Just Add Air and Power – The Air Pressure Station can be utilized anywhere there is access to compressed air and power. We have them in our garages, trailers, vans, workshops, and at events. Units can simply be placed on a countertop or mounted to a wall using the supplied mounting plate.

ENVE Air Chuck – Each unit includes our favorite air chuck. Few things are as annoying as a pump head that leaks. The ENVE Air Chuck allows for single handed operation, just stick it on the valve, close the lever, and let the Air Pressure Unit take care of the rest. If you need more tension to create a better seal, the pump head has an adjustable preload mechanism for fine tuning.

In summary, the ENVE Air Pressure Station is the ultimate inflation experience. No more pumping, confirming tire pressure accuracy with secondary digital gauges, and worrying about whether or not you’re riding the right tire pressure. While we acknowledge that this unit may not be for everyone, we truly believe that anyone who experiences the unit will never look at a floor pump the same way again. Welcome to ENVE worthy inflation.