As much as I enjoy the benefits of tubeless tires, I loath the process of setting them up. I’m sure I’m not the first person to fill my workshop with splatters of sealant and a barrage of expletives when a tire failed to cooperate. Those frustrations are further compounded when on the road and out of reach of my compressor, a tool I bought for the express purpose of mounting tubeless tires. Although I have had moderate success with Co2 cartridges, they often lack the volume of air required to seat today’s plus- or fat-size tires, and they’re not cheap. When I stumbled across the Airshot, it piqued my interest enough to buy one and give it a whirl.
The Airshot is a small aluminum rechargeable air tank designed to provide the blast of air required to mount even the most cantankerous tires. Like all great products, the Airshot is elegantly simple. Using a standard floor pump, the tank is charged to 130psi via a presta valve at the top of the bottle. The long hose is then connected to the tire valve with a threaded chuck. The compressed air is then released with a levered valve, which offers superb control of airflow.
There are many variables that conspire to make tubeless setup a colossal pain in the neck, but the Airshot at least solves the problem of inadequate inflation force. After using it the first time to install tires on my fat bike, I felt confident enough to finally replace all of the worn out tires on my other bikes, and the Airshot performed as advertised with each use.
With an MSRP of $100 the price is a bitter pill, but given how well it works coupled with its portability, I’m pleased I made the purchase.