This is a Handy Thing

I purchased a Bontrager Flash Charger pump about a year ago in hopes that I could handle more tubeless projects at home, without having to drag my stuff to the shop.

It’s a neat concept: the pump has a large internal air chamber that’s filled with high-pressure air (by pumping, believe it or not), which is then released into the tire, typically followed by a pop, bang or boom.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve used it to install tires on my cyclocross and road bikes without issue. This morning, I found a flat front tire on my mountain bike, a notoriously difficult rim/tire combo to seat. I figured, worst case, I’d just haul it down to the shop. Once I slopped some new sealant in the tire, I charged the pump and give it a whirl. Bang! Very nice.

Many are the times at the shop in which we resort to all ilk of tricks to get a difficult system to seat. With that in mind, I’m confident that there are plenty of occasions in which the Flash Charger won’t be enough. That said, I’ve been super pleased with the results I’ve had with this thing.