If you don’t want to spring for an air compressor or the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger Pump, and are tired of furiously pumping to get tubeless tire beads to seat, there is a DIY air compressor that some bike mechanic hackers have built and used with success.
All it requires, besides a floor pump and some basic tools like a drill and hacksaw, are a 2-liter plastic soda bottle, some plastic tubing (6 x 9 mm) and hose clamps, and two old presta valve tubes (punctured is fine).
The idea is to install two valves into the soda bottle cap. Drill two small holes to install the valves. One valve connects to your tire’s valve via the hose, while the other valve connects to your floor pump. A kink in the hose, or better yet, a solid clamp on the hose (a crescent wrench as seen in the video will do) is what allows the bottle to get pressurized (40-60 psi should do). Remove the kink or clamp and you’ve got your necessary burst of air.
Check out the home video above for a demonstration, and view the notes here for more info. Doing It Yourself typically involves some trials, tribulations and risks, but in the end, you’re also left with some benefits, like a homemade carrot launcher.
(Note that this system is only suitable for low-pressure tubeless setups (cyclocross, mountain) since the soda bottles will explode at road pressures. Of course, as with any DIY project, wear eye protection and be careful, as it’s not something we’re endorsing or even think is safe. But for some, it works as well as a compressor. )