Tubeless inflation technology has developed over the years. Tubeless riders once had to find an air compressor or hope their floor pump could deliver enough force to seat the tire bead. CO2 cartridges are also an option, but they are wasteful and sometimes not agreeable with sealant.
Newer charging pumps with canisters, such as the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless Pump, Topeak JoeBlow Booster and Crankbrothers Klic, are portable systems that take a lot of the mystery out of tubeless tire inflation. After the introduction of the Airshot, Specialized also began offering a similar Air Tool Blast Tubeless Tire Setter.
The Airshot canister, produced by U.K-based Airshot, is a new tubeless inflation method that is similar to the compressed air canisters on charging floor pumps such as those from Blackburn, Topeak and Crank Brothers.
[caption id="attachment_117094" align="aligncenter" width="750"] The Airshot LTD tubeless compressor / canister retails for $59.96 in the US, weighs just 441 grams and can turn any floor pump into a tubeless compressor charging pump. © Cyclocross Magazine[/caption]
The Airshot system is a small canister attached to a short 50cm tube with a Presta-compatible valve that also has an attachment for use with the valve core removed. The tube is much shorter than the four-foot tube on the Blackburn, but remembering back to our fluid dynamics days, shorter is better for quick air delivery.
[caption id="attachment_117097" align="aligncenter" width="750"] The Airshot LTD tubeless compressor / canister comes with an adaptor to attach to Presta valves with their cores removed for a stronger blast. The black hose head threads directly onto a Presta valve with its core in place. We’re worried about losing this little piece, but a Ziploc bag and rubber band will hopefully keep everything together. © Cyclocross Magazine[/caption]
The user charges the Airshot canister with a traditional floor pump via a Presta valve, attaches the hose to the tubeless tire valve and then releases the air to seat the tubeless tire.
[caption id="attachment_117095" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Once you fill the canister and attach the hose to your tire valve, you just flip this blue switch the unleash the blast of air. Airshot LTD tubeless compressor / canister. © Cyclocross Magazine[/caption]
The 1.15L Airshot canister is 14″ tall and 2.8″ in diameter and weighs 441 grams, making it lighter and more portable than a traditional tubeless pump. Airshot claims it has tested the system up to pressures of 160 psi. It comes with a Presta valve attachment on the hose, but a Schraeder adapter is available for a small cost. The company also offers an inexpensive sleeve the help protect it against damage.
[caption id="attachment_117098" align="aligncenter" width="750"] The Airshot LTD tubeless compressor / canister comes with the fine print on the canister, so you won’t forget the dangers and risks of the task ahead. © Cyclocross Magazine[/caption]
The Airshot system is available directly from the company in the U.K. and from Amazon.com in the U.S. MSRP is €49.99 / $59.96 USD.
We have some tricky tubeless conversions in the works, so stay tuned for our impressions of how the Airshot works seating tubeless tires.
Andrew Yee and Zachary Schuster contributed to this report.
Airshot Tubeless Compressor / Canister Specifications
Cost: €49.99 / $59.96 USD
Weight: 441 grams
Max Pressure: 160 psi
Valve Compatibility: Presta; Schroeder adapter available
More info: airshotltd.com
Photo Gallery: Airshot Tubeless Compressor / Canister