Urban Velo

Nakano Air Hub

The Nakano Air Hub has been around for some time, but until earlier this week I’d never seen this Japanese-made contraption. As the hub spins, it inflates your tire to a predertermined pressure with models available with either 45, 75 or 95 psi regulators on them. It represents the ultimate in worry free commuting, as your bike will always have the correct air pressue (assuming you use the correct hub) and you’ll only have a slow leak when you stop rolling, as the hub with otherwise keep a tube with a small puncture inflated. These are definitely utilitarian hubs, sporting a steel hubshell and available with rear freewheel threading only, but they aren’t necessarily something you’d want on a performance bike anyway given the extra weight of the inflation mechanism hidden inside and the performance needs of a particular pressure. For everyday, in town use however these could all but kill the fear of a flat tire stopping your commute or pizza run in its tracks. Since the inflation hose spins within the wheel it obviously doens’t get tangled in use, but it at the same time precludes you from using the hub to pump up any tire but the one mounted on your rim so don’t get any ideas about using just one or helping a fellow rider. Available for roughly $80 each from any bike shop with a Merry Sales distribution account.


  1. erokNovember 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    any word on what resistance the hub causes?

  2. bradNovember 2, 2012 at 6:27 pmAuthor

    No. But my completely unscientific test of spinning the axle in my hand with my thumb over the inflation hole made it seem like less than most of the dynamo hubs I’ve done the same with. An observation that more or less means nothing, but I didn’t have any efficiency numbers to reference.

  3. TerryNovember 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Man, that really blows!

    WooHoo! Ha! Whoop! Whoop! “Really blows”..get it?

    Oh man, sometimes I kill me…

  4. PhillipNovember 21, 2017 at 11:01 am

    hello, I see this is an older article, but I’m just finding out about this hub. I’m wondering if there is a disc brake version of the rear hub, or at least a flip flop like version where I could spin on a disc brake adapter. thanks.

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