Just In – Airshot Tubeless Tire Inflator System

by Brian Mullin on November 23, 2015

The Airshot is a well made, light, portable and highly functional air canister that allows you to install a tubeless tire by offering a fast high volume shot of air to mount the tire instantly onto the rims bead.

Running mountain bike tires in a tubeless manner has many benefits, including no pinch flats, improved impact absorption and feel, reduced rotational weight (no tubes) and the ability to run lower pressures. However, setting up a tubeless system can be a finicky endeavor and usually requires a compressor or the use of CO2 cartridges to get the tire to pop up onto the rims bead for a secure seal. It can be done with a floor pump, but lot’s of practice and some dark arts magic is needed to get most tires to seat. Even with those proper tools, you can still curse, sweat and wrench your hands getting everything set up properly. Small compressors are a useful expenditure for a home shop, but they aren’t cheap and are extremely noisy and not functional to take to remote sites.

The Airshot tubeless tire system remedies this situation by giving you the ability to inflate a tubeless tire using a pressurized canister at home, the trailhead, on road trips and during race situations. The Airshot system ($100) consists of a small 1.14-liter air canister with a screw on cap, and the unit can be pumped up to 160 psi.

The top cap is where all the business takes place, and has an integrated Presta input valve to pump up the canister and a high-pressure hose with an adjustable petcock lever at the cap end and a screw-on head at the other that attaches to the tires Presta valve.


Impressions and Usage

All that is required to get the Airshot system set up and running is a normal floor pump. After prepping your tubeless tire in the normal manner, such as applying tape to the rim, installing a tubeless specific valve, seating the tire and adding some sealant, you can set up the Airshot to inflate the tire. Just attach the floor pumps head to the Airshot’s Presta valve, pump the canister up to around 150 psi, attach the high-pressure hose’s screw-on head to the tires Presta valve and turn the blue inflation lever 90 degrees and the tire will pop up into place.

The blue fill lever can be turned open just a bit to fill a tire slowly, but it seems easier to blast it open for a fast high volume shot of air to mount the tire instantly onto the bead. When you’re pumping the canister full of air the higher pressures over 130 psi take a bit more force to be exerted by the floor pump during filling, but after a few good grunts of effort the canister is at the optimal level. For difficult and peskier installations, you can remove the valve core from the tubeless Presta valve and utilize their optional screw-in valve core head. This allows an unrestricted flow of air into the tire.

I have tried this with several fat 27.5″ tires, including a Plus sized 3.5″ on a 45mm rim and a 2.4″ on a 40mm rim. The 2.4″ worked about perfect and settled in at 30 psi, while the monster 3.5″ likely needed a couple extra psi to work properly. I did the 3.5″ tire late a night in my basement shop, and it was handy since it wasn’t possible to use the noisy compressor with the family sleeping.

There are some comparable systems on the market including the Bontrager Flash Charger ($120) and Topeak Joe Blow Booster, which are floor pump based systems that have an integrated chamber within the pump. Although they do the same sort of thing, the Airshot is an extremely portable and handy small canister that useful to pull out anywhere and instantly inflate a tire. It would be highly functional for race situations and just to have in your vehicle for quick tire changes. You can also buy an optional $14 neoprene sleeve to help protect the canister.

Conclusion

The Airshot is a well made, light, portable and highly functional air canister that allows you to install a tubeless tire by offering a fast high volume shot of air to mount the tire instantly onto the rims bead. It can be used immediately or stored for later use. Although it’s pricey at $100, it usability for filling tubeless tires at home or remotely is worth the price of admission.

For further information refer to www.airshotbike.com/

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