I love tubeless, but getting a tubeless tyre to inflate and stay seated on a tubeless compatible rim can be tricky. Often this is simply because you can't get air into the tyre quickly enough. The Airshot makes inflating even the most stubborn tubeless tyre a painless exercise, with a sudden and rapid flow of air that seats a tyre first time every time. It is a little expensive for a product that ultimately you might not use a lot, though.
The Airshot is basically just a metal canister with a hose on the top that you attach a track pump to and another hose that you attach to the valve on the wheel. Use the track pump to fill the canister with 100-120psi of air, flick the lever, and hey presto, watch as the air rushes into the tyre and inflates it in an instant.
Sometimes a tubeless tyre will inflate on the rim first time, using a track pump. Other times, no amount of frantic pumping or swearing will do it. There are a few tricks that can help when the tyre won't inflate: using an inner tube to get one tyre bead seated, adding a layer of Gorilla tape to take up any slack in the tyre, or using a compressor. Few people have a compressor to hand, though.
In the instances when the tyre is being stubborn, the Airshot worked a treat. I tried it on a fat Schwalbe mountain bike tyre that was refusing to inflate with a track pump, and it went straight up first time. The Specialized tubeless cyclo-cross tyres a bike I tested recently required a bit of jiggery-pokery with a track pump, but the Airshot did the trick first time too.
The Airshot is compatible with Presta valves. Sometimes one trick to seating a tubeless tyre is to remove the tubeless valve inner core. Airshot handily provides a valve accessory that screws into the vacated space inside the valve, and simply allows a quicker flow of air into the tyre.
So, the Airshot does exactly what it sets out to do. It's a product that might not get a lot of use, but when you do come to use it you'll probably be thankful you bought it. You still need a track pump, though. For another £50, you could invest in the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger track pump, which at least gives you a regular track pump the rest of the time. But having to pay £100 just to inflate a tubeless tyre does seem rather ridiculous. Back to sweaty angry pumping then...
If you've got a fleet of bikes (lucky you) with tubeless tyres on the majority of them, the Airshot is an extremely useful product to have in your home workshop. I don't always need anything other than a track pump to seat a tubeless tyre, though, and I've learned a few tricks over the years.
Alternatively, and to head off any comments, you could make your own, Blue Peter-style, from an old cola bottle, but I wouldn't really recommend it. I used a friend's homemade tubeless inflator once and it nearly took my head off.
The Airshot has come down in price recently to £49.99, no doubt this is in conjunction with the fact that the company have teamed up with a tyre manufacturing giant, to offer the Schwabe Tyre Booster which is priced at, yes you guessed it: £49.99.
Buy at www.airshotltd.com