The pressure is right thanks to the Michelin Bib Gonfleur tire inflator!
While the “inflator” might seem like a simple derivative product today, Michelin orginally developed it as a service to drivers and mechanics. Here’s a peek into the history of the "Bib gonfleur".
Performance plus practicality
A tire's performance depends on both technical factors and the appropriate tire pressure. In the beginning of the 20th century, garages rarely had the necessary equipment to check tire pressure. As early as 1906, Michelin came out with its first tire inflator: a small device that was light and easy to use. Drivers just connected two copper tubes to the car engine, enabling them to check their tire pressure themselves. In parallel, the company also offered a tire pressure gauge. Several years later, Michelin designed an electric inflator: this practical and functional device became a veritable promotional item.
A symbol of Michelin's commitment to safety
With the advent of highways, Michelin continued to innovate by launching self-service tire inflation stations, some of which were shaped like the Michelin Man. In the early 2000s, a new generation of "Bib Gonfleur" inflators was designed to allow all road users to easily check their tire pressure.