Tubolito has made a name for itself by developing TPU inner tubes that are lighter and more puncture-resistant than traditional rubber tubes. The tradeoff for these strong and light tubes is a hefty price tag. The company's road and mountain tubes retail for $34.90 for the standard tubes and $37.90 for the ultralight S-Tubo versions. Now, Tubolito is launching the world's first "smart" tube that uses a chip embedded in the casing to let riders to measure their tire pressure via smartphone.

Related: The Best Tubeless Tire Sealant for Your Mountain Bike

How Tubolito P-SENS Works
Tubolito's new Tubo-MTB-P-SENS inner tube is equipped with an NFC chip (Near Field Communication) that measures air pressure within the inner tube. NFC chips are not equipped with a battery and rely on proximity to NFC-enabled smart devices.
Chances are you already have experience with an NFC chip embedded in your credit or debit card, or use a contactless payment system through your smartphone or smartwatch. NFC communication is limited to a few inches, which is why you have to hold your smartphone right next to contactless readers when using Apple Pay.
Tubolito's pressure sensor, named P-SENS, uses the NFC reader in your phone to measure tire pressure through Tubolito's app. (Available for Andriod and iOS.) According to Tubolito, users must place their smartphone within 3cm top of the tire above the valve to get a pressure reading.
The MTB-P-SENS is available in 29 and 27.5” versions with a 42cm Presta valve. It uses the same TPU construction and thickness as the Tubo-MTB. MTB-P-SENS retails for $49.90. The claimed weight for the 29-inch version is 93g. Visit Tubolito – Beyond the norm to learn more.

Who needs a smart tube?
This is a novel technology, but it's worth asking: "Who is the customer for this product?" Riders concerned with gram counting and puncture protection are likely to ditch tubes for tubeless systems.

As a backup system, Tubolito's tubes are light and incredibly compact, which has made them a favorite with racers and bikepackers, but does the ability to measure air pressure warrant the price increase over Tubolito's standard tubes? Very few mini-pumps have pressure gauges, so that's one mark in favor of the P-SENS system. For some riders, it might be more useful to have NFC chips embedded directly into tubeless tires, or better yet, into the tubeless valve. In any case, it's likely we'll see new uses for NFC chips in the coming years.

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