It’s now been almost 8 months since our product launch at Sea Otter 2012. That was both an exhausting but exhilarating event. The interest in our product was unprecedented. We had 40,000 hits to our website within the first 48 hours of our first press release. There has been interest in our technology from almost every continent and I have been responding (or attempting to respond) to emails in at least 5 languages. Our product is now being used in the development center of a major mountain bike tire manufacturer in Europe and we are about to offer our products through Amazon.com. On the home front, our test rider Eric Opperman has been busy testing and abusing our test bikes throughout the west coast. His crusade, to display the effectiveness and robustness of our Adaptrac system, has taken him to many of the west’s best trails. Videos of the trip will be posted on our site Adaptrac.com soon for all to see. Our brethren from the north, the snow bike crowd, have been particularly excited about what the system can do for them. Regularly riding at tire pressures as low as 4psi, they see the real potential our system can bring to the fat bike contingent. We are continuing to innovate new products. We are working on a 170mm hub for symmetrical fat bikes. And because so many riders with bikes with standard 10mm dropouts want our system, we are developing a new rear axle that will allow the system to be installed on almost any mountain bike, old or new.
For those who are not familiar with our system, Adaptrac is a system of parts consisting of hubs, control valve, gauges, a regulator and CO2 tank that empowers the rider to adjust his tire pressure on the fly. Why would a rider want to do this? Lowering tire pressure before a descent is the most effective method to enhance traction and grip. The lower pressures required during a descent are too low for the rest of your ride. With Adaptrac, a flick of your thumb gets you back up to your normal tire pressure until the next descent. Additionally, you can adjust your pressure up beyond the normal range for that ride back home on the road. Who wants to road ride at 35psi? Pump it up to 50-60psi! Why not? With Adaptrac, you can optimize your tire pressure to the conditions you are experiencing on the trail, not that theoretical compromise of one set pressure.
We look forward to showing everyone our system and demonstrate its features at Sea otter 2013. We will also have a big surprise for the fat bike people out there as well.
Please join our daily developments and share anecdotes of your own.
Follow us on twitter: @adaptrac and here on our Facebook page
A heartfelt “thank you” to all media and riders who stopped by our booth last weekend at the Sea Otter Classic. As innovator of the revolutionary ADAPTRAC system it was gratifying to witness the overwhelmingly positive response. As evidenced by the “viral” spreading of our story on the internet we know that we have created a product that will forever change the nature of the mountain biking experience. Now, the ability to control tire pressure on the fly – to adapt instantaneously to changing terrain is, as many expressed “a dream come true”.
The Sea Otter venue gave us great feedback and opportunities for education as attendees were able to touch, feel and “play” with the system on our demo bikes. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual rider we are proud to have created a new technology for mountain bikes that will greatly improve the quality of your ride. We invite your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warm regards and a trail nod,
- Deflate tire pressure for maximum traction on descents
- Inflate tire pressure to reduce rolling resistance while climbing
- Tune tire pressure to existing trail conditions (rocky vs. smooth)
- Deflate rear tire only for steep climbing in loose conditions
- Street ride to and from the trailhead at maximum pressure
- Rapid inflation of repaired tire after a puncture (no pumping)
WHAT IS ADAPTRAC?
ADAPTRAC is a multi-component system composed of wheels with special patent pending hubs, a dual control valve and a C02 power pack/regulator. Tire pressure can be raised or lowered while riding with a quick press of the finger on the handlebar control toggles. Actual tire pressure is displayed on analog gauges mounted on the handlebars. The system accepts 12x142mm rear and 15mm front axle standards, and wheels can be removed as you would normally. ADAPTRAC uses readily available, rechargeable C02 tanks ranging from 4 to 20 ounces so you can carry only what you need. You can now tune your tire pressure to the trail – in seconds!
WILL ADAPTRAC WORK ON MY BIKE?
The ADAPTRAC system is compatible with bike frames using the newer 12x142mm axle (rear wheel) and 15mm axle (front wheel). Included in the system are replacement axles specific to your bike brand and model. All components can be installed by anyone reasonably handy with simple tools in less than half an hour. Alternatively, any bike shop can easily handle the install.
WE REQUEST YOUR FEEDBACK!
Please note that this product is still in the late developmental stage with improvements still to be made on several technical aspects. Your input is greatly appreciated and will assist us to this end. Please read the overview and in particular the Cautions to learn how the system operates and the cautions you must take in its use.
The Adaptrac system consists of three groups of components:
Front and rear hubs: The heart of the Adaptrac system. These special hubs contain two types of seals; static o-rings which seal around the 15mm and 12mm axles themselves and the dynamic seals that rotate around an inner mandrel with an extremely low co-efficient of friction. These inner seals allow the transfer of CO2 to and from the rotating tire. Installation and removal of the wheel is accomplished as you would normally. Simply close the valve stem valve before removing the wheel and tire pressure is maintained.
Handlebar control: This is the integrated dual-toggle control valve that controls the inflation and deflation of the front and rear tires independently. The fill/purge valve directs compressed CO2 into and out of the tires and also allows the rider to monitor in real time, the inflation pressure via the stem mounted gauges.
Powerpack: This consists of the paintball style CO2 tank itself (2.5,3,4,5,7,9,12,&20oz capacities), a pressure regulator that regulates the inner tank pressure of approximately 900psi down to a manageable 150psi (approx), and a frame mounted bracket that mounts the power pack to the bicycle frame using the existing water bottle mounts and a stretch Velcro strap.
Performance: One should expect 10 complete cycles from 20 to 50psi with both tires (26” x 2.35”w) from one 12oz tank.
A simple projection: expect one complete cycle (20-50psi) with both tires per ounce of CO2. Only carry what you expect to use.
Inflation time: (20-50) psi approx 7 seconds.
Deflation time: (50-20) psi approx 20 seconds.
System weight: Adds about 690g (1.5lbs) to your bike weight, with an empty 9oz CO2 tank.
One can adjust the tire pressure desired in increments as little as 1 psi – up or down. This is a more realistic scenario, as conditions change on the trail.
1) Shut off the CO2 valve attached to the regulator when not in use.
2) Do not allow the temperature of the CO2 tank to exceed 130 degrees F. Do not store in a hot car. These are the same tanks used in paintball gaming and although they have proven to be safe in extreme environments, there are cautions that must be observed -especially by those not accustomed to their use. Most paintball gamers use small drink coolers to store their CO2 tanks in hot conditions. Light colored thermal jackets around the tank are also used to mitigate temperature issues.
3) Do not deflate your tires below a safe pressure. Damage to the rim, tire or both may occur. Do not exceed the tire manufacturer’s maximum inflation pressure as well.
4) If you intend to store your bike for more than a few days, evacuate your tires of CO2 and inflate them with air as you would normally. CO2 has a unique habit of escaping through the tire walls in a couple of days.
5) As a result of CO2 reactions with sealants, the system is not yet tubeless ready, but chemists are working on this and a solution is within reach.
Brandt Weibezahn has always had great interest in all things mechanical, but especially in cycling mechanics and technology. Growing up in California in the 70’s, he spent after-school time building bikes, go-karts and later, complete cars. During his college years, Brandt worked in industrial pneumatic assembly and sales. This early exposure to gas control systems may have been what sparked the idea of actively adjusting tire pressure while riding. After graduating from college Brandt had the opportunity to transition from sales to his true passion – designing and machining mechanical components. During the past three decades Brandt has co-founded three successful start-up companies, patented numerous consumer devices and sold the start-ups to larger mid-cap companies. During this time Brandt was involved in all phases of design, manufacturing, marketing and sales, thus honing his tool-making and business skills. While these companies provided commercial success, the products themselves were never ones that fulfilled any personal interests. Now, with more freedom to pursue projects of personal interest, Brandt has applied his considerable experience in product development to devise ways of enhancing cycling technology. His experience in the 80’s in pneumatic control technology has proven useful in the development of the ADAPTRAC system today.
Historically there has not been a way to create an air passage from the static bike frame to the center of the rotating wheel. The 9mm solid skewer shaft prevented this. The advent of the hollow thru axle technology for mountain bikes changed this. There was now a ready-made path and thus the ADAPTRAC idea was born. Execution involved the application of a rotary joint, much like a hose reel uses, to convey air from the reel base to the rotating hose. However, when translating this concept to a rotating bicycle wheel one has also to consider the element of friction as a negative consequence. If any perceptible friction is present the product won’t sell. Two years of R and D was spent on the development of an ultra low friction seal with a very low leakage rate, typically less than 1 psi per hour. The control valve is an ADAPTRAC creation as well. The independent action of this unique, lightweight fill/purge valve gives the rider tire pressure control.
All ADAPTRAC components were modeled in 3D Solidworks software, eliminating many iterations of development. This was also of benefit in the patent application process as concepts were easily and effectively conveyed to the patent council.
All ADAPTRAC components are CNC machined, anodized and laser etched in the USA. The product has undergone extensive testing both in the lab and on the trail.
ADAPTRAC(TM) is a trade mark of Adaptrac Inc.
Come see us at Sea Otter Classic Expo, April 18-22, 2012 Booth #240