Review: Airshot Tubeless Tyre Inflator

by 0

Rewind to our Issue #105 Grinder review of this Airshot Tubeless Tyre Inflator

The Airshot is kind of like those things mountain bikers have been hacking together out of fire extinguishers or (wince) pop bottles and gaffer tape for years now: a pressure vessel that goes between pump and wheel. Hook it up, close the lever on the Airshot, pressurise the metal cylinder with a track pump, open the lever and phwoosh! Air rushes in, seating your tubeless tyre with ease. I have nothing contrary to tell you; that’s exactly what the Airshot does, consistently.


To test it, I found rims from three different manufacturers and tyres from four. All were installed with sealant in and, as recommended in the Airshot instructions, soapy water on the outside of the bead. Within ten minutes I had all four tyres sealed, and due to my camera crashing while filming the proof, I did them all twice. Same results each time: four different tyres on various rims, some combinations tighter than others, all went up, seated and sealed with no fuss. Granted, it would take longer if I’d included taping rims and wrestling tyres, but using the Airshot took a load of time off the total, and if you were working with some mates it’d make a very quick job of setting wheels up.

When I charged the Airshot to the maximum stated pressure of 160psi, 2.4 tyres tended to equalise until the whole system was at 30psi. The one 2.2 tyre I tried stabilised at 40, about the nominal, possibly apocryphal, upper pressure limit for tubeless safety that tends to get passed around forums.

Pumping the Airshot up is much easier work than using your pump to seat a tyre, and if you do find a particularly tricky combination, it has an adapter to screw in place of the valve core and allow even faster airflow. I didn’t find a tyre-rim combo that needed it, though Chipps did. Retrying those same tyres and rims a few days later for the sake of the test, it seated both beads first time even with the cores in.

airshotA bit like putting tyres on without levers, seating beads with just a track pump and your own two hands can be a (rather sweaty) point of pride but I don’t really see the point anymore. Unlike the potential for clumsy levering to damage rim tape, there’s just no downside to the Airshot. Even if I had a compressor, I’d probably still pick one of these up because it’s so packable for trips and holidays.

If I really had to pick a flaw, it’d be that it’s so skinny and prone to falling over if you stand it up, but that’s not really an issue at all, and I suppose it’s a consequence of using the kind of standard pressure vessels fire extinguishers are made from. Yes, you could cobble something like an Airshot together yourself using an old extinguisher and some valves, but do you want a project or a product? If the former, good for you. If the latter, the Airshot has some custom manufactured bits, a tested maximum pressure rating, and it performs flawlessly.

Overall: Fuss free, consistent tubeless tyre seating and inflation for a fair price.

Review Info

Brand: Airshot
Product: Tubeless Tyre Inflator
From: Airshot,
Price: £59
Tested: by David Hayward for Two months

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

More posts from David