fbpx

|

25th March 2021 / Comments (7)

Schwalbe Tire Booster tubeless set up review

Schwalbe Tire Booster

I’ve been putting the Schwalbe Tire Booster tubeless set up canister – an alternative to a tubeless track pump – to the test over the last six months or so to see if home tubeless set up really can be as easy as it should be.

Tubeless tyres have revolutionised off-road cycling in the last decade or so, but set up issues can be one of the biggest barriers to riders opting for tubeless. With so many elements to think about, including the correctly installed rim tape, suitable tubeless valves and the crucial tyre to rim compatibility, getting to grips with tubeless installation at home is often a steep learning curve.

One thing that you’re less likely to have to hand at home though, is a compressor, where many bike shops can offer a high pressure blast of air to help pop the bead of the tyre onto the rim to seat. So you don’t need a bulky, noisy and often pricey compressor in your home workshop, brands have developed new track pumps with pressurised chambers that deliver higher pressure air rapidly for tubeless set up, such as the Topeak Joe Blow Booster (£146.99) or Lezyne Pressure Overdrive (£120).

But what if you’ve already got a track pump? If you don’t want to banish your existing pump to the dusty depths of the garage corner, then there’s alternative solution: enter stage left the Schwalbe Tire Booster. For a nifty £58 – about half the price of most tubeless track pumps – you can use this canister to deliver a shot of high pressure air for tubeless set up in conjunction with your current track pump. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Schwalbe Tire Booster

The Tire Booster is supplied in a neat little box which can be handy for storage

Schwalbe Tire Booster on test

As a cycling journalist and product tester, there’s a lot of behind the scenes faff changing bike set ups all the time, and tyres are no exception. As I test predominantly gravel and mountain bikes, tubeless set ups are imperative.

I won’t lie, the first half a dozen times I tried tubeless set ups at home I learnt nearly every lesson the hard way, from inadequate rim tape to not-quite-the-right-shape-for-my-rim-bed tubeless valves, which incurred many trips to local friendly bike shops. Once you’ve had some practice and get used to the little tips and tricks that help you set up tubeless at home, it becomes a much smoother process*, which is a relief.

The one thing that I was missing at home was high pressure air delivery, so I had the option of a compressor or a tubeless track pump. When I tried a canister like the Schwalbe Tire Booster on a WTB photoshoot, I was really impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of it, and wanted to see if I could get the same results at home.

Maybe half a year and many seated tubeless tyres later – both gravel and MTB for me and my partner John – and I’m ready to cast my verdict on the Schwalbe Tire Booster.

*most of the time.

How to use the Schwalbe Tire Booster

First up, how does it work?

It’s all quite simple really. To pressurise the container, use your standard track pump to attach to the top presta valve and screw on, making sure the valve is set to the off position. This is at 90 degrees to the direction of the tube, so easy to remember. You can pump the pressure up in the canister to a maximum of 160PSI (11 Bar).

Schwalbe Tire Booster

On the top of the canister, you can attach your standard pump to the presta valve

Before deploying the high pressure air shot, you’ll need to make sure you’ve already fitted the rim tape, tubeless valve and tyre, with or without sealant. I usually seat the beads on either side of the tyre first without sealant, then pop one side off to add it in after and reseat to avoid too much mess with tricky tyre/rim combos!

Once you’re ready for the air, attach the hose from the Schwalbe Tire Booster to the tubeless valve, with the core removed, and then simply twist the valve on the Tire Booster to the on position (in line with the hose) to inflate.

Schwalbe Tire Booster

The valve in the open position, in line with the hose for air delivery to the tyre

All being well, you should now find your tyre seated all the way round, though if it needs a bit more air you can use the track pump – still connected to to the canister to deliver some extra pressure. Remove the Tire Booster hose and replace the valve core carefully before topping up to your desired pressure.

Schwalbe Tire Booster

The hose end from the canister screws onto the tubeless valve, and works best with the valve core removed

To make the set up a bit tidier, you can attach the Tire Booster canister to your track pump using the wide velcro strap supplied.

Schwalbe Tire Booster

The velcro and rubber strap means you can secure the canister to your track pump

For the full Schwalbe instructions, click here.

The Schwalbe Tire Booster verdict

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well it really is, and that’s the beauty of it. I much prefer the idea of using this add-on to an existing pump rather than buying a second, and it works just as well as a pressurised track pump too at a fraction of the price. With a quick online search, you can find these at a shade under £50, which should pay for itself over time if it means avoiding trips to your local bike shop or mechanic to use a compressor.

I won’t promise that the Tire Booster will solve all your problems though. You still need to make sure all the other elements of the tubeless puzzle are set up right: tape, tyres, valves etc. Just because you’ve now got a burst of high pressure air doesn’t mean that you can scrimp on the quality of any of these!

Schwalbe Tire Booster

In action, the Booster is simple and easy to use

It’s hard to fault the Schwalbe Tire Booster, but the one thing I’d like to see improved would be a second strap for attachment to the track pump. With just one strap it is pretty unstable, so I used a spare bikepacking strap to secure it at the top to the pump.

If you’re looking to master home tubeless set up and already have a standard track pump, I don’t think there’s any other option to rival the Schwalbe Tire Booster for the price.

 

Schwalbe Tire Booster

£58 $74 €59.90
9.5

A brilliant addition to track pumps to make home tubeless set up one step easier

9.5/10

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced
  • Can be used with existing track pump

Cons

  • Could use a second strap for stability

Last modified: 25th March 2021

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gdd
Gdd
21 days ago

I bought one a few months ago. I’m pretty disappointed as it just won’t thread to DT Swiss valves (nor BBB)… It worked with Fulcrum ones, though. It’s pretty easy to use, but if it doesn’t work the first time (argh, Panaracer Gravelking !), you need pretty strong biceps to refill 😀

Gdd
Gdd
16 days ago

Well, to be fair and more precise : it won’t properly screw on the valve once the head of the valve is removed (to push a maximum of air in a minimum of time when reaching for the initial bedding in of the tyre). It’s allright with the valve completely set up. I’m not the only one who encountered this problem (seen in the comments section on the site I bought it with). I’ve seen DT Swiss released new valves, maybe that problem is now solved ?

Eddddddddddddd
Eddddddddddddd
20 days ago

Good to read the review, thanks! This looks like an Airshot with different branding, in which case I wholeheartedly agree with your thumbs up. I’m a novice with tubeless but each one of the three sets of tyres I’ve set up have needed the blast to seat them the first time. After that with one bead seated a track pump is fine, but I think some form of compressed air to start off with is really helpful, and as you say this is a neat, relatively affordable option.

Paul Rowe-Mayer
Paul Rowe-Mayer
5 hours ago
Reply to  Eddddddddddddd

I thought it looked very much like my airshot too, which has worked brilliantly since I had it. Think I will be stealing the strap idea from Scwalbe!

ElliotG
ElliotG
12 days ago

A great bit of kit, I got mine back in July and its made fitting tubless tyres a load easier best tip ever which were in the instructions and id never considered was to take the valve core out before inflating now that was a game changer :0)

7
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x