Tubeless tyres are great, but seating them can be a hassle. Even if you are a mountain biker with prodigious upper body strength and fitness, you will struggle to cycle a standard floor pump intensely enough to inflate and seat a tubeless tyre.
Compressor units are ideal, but they can be rather noisy, with the potential to annoy neighbours, especially if you live in an apartment block. The solution is a high-volume compressor floor pump, like the new Bontrager TLR Flash Charger.
Bontrager was an early adopter of the charger-pump concept, and its latest iteration sees improvements by way of a digital display, and the option to switch between 'charge' and 'inflate', saving the effort of having to pressurise both tyre and chamber when topping up tyre pressures.
It might have the appearance of a conventional high-volume floor pump, but this Bontrager design has dual air chambers. This allows you to fill a discharge chamber, which can then momentarily flood air at large volumes into the tyre casing, seating it on a rim.
A three-position external dial makes it very easy to operate. You can select the TLR Flash Charger to function as a normal floor pump, or engage its charge chamber function, which fills that second chamber for peak volume air rushes, required to seat a tubeless tyre.
The pump’s inflation connector has both Presta and Schrader valve compatibility, and for those extra-curricular inflation needs, Bontrager has also added additional bits for leisure sports items such as footballs and pool toys.
Instead of a conventional analogue gauge, the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger features a digital display, which is calibrated to read a maximum inflation pressure of 160psi. Its readout is also cleverly illuminated, which should reduce annoyance when you are attempting to pump tyres, at dawn, before heading out for that weekend trail ride.