All the big brands are now catching on that the tubeless trend is here to stay and are jumping on the tubeless tyre inflator bandwagon. We’ve been impressed with the Airshot and disappointed with the Bontrager Flash Charger. Now it’s the turn of Specialized and the Air Tool Blast Tubeless Tyre Seater.
Like the Airshot, the Blast is not a pump but a pressurised air canister. You pump up the canister to around 140psi with a regular track pump, attach the 80cm hose to your tyre valve and then twist the large plastic dial a quarter turn to dump all the air into your tyre with a satisfying pssssht – pop!
The unit works brilliantly, delivering a rapid blast of air that snaps the bead into place without any manipulation. Only once, with a large volume MTB tyre that was a baggy fit on the rim, did I have to massage the tyre into place and then use a second blast of air – Pumping up the canister once again to do so.
It’s a heavy, bulky item, the Air Tool Blast. Not as compact as the Airshot, more similar in size to an average track pump. The feel is one of reassuring quality and robustness. The snap-on, dual head chuck is compatible with both Shrader and Presta valves, and loses precious little air when you remove it, while the large base is very stable in use.
Whereas the Airshot can quite easily be stashed in backpack, the Blast will probably never leave your shed. Portability aside, it is not only significantly cheaper than it’s competitors, it’s also less fiddly to operate and just as effective at seating tubeless tyres without fuss.
Backed up with the reputation and warranty of ‘The Big S’ and the Air Tool Blast gets a big thumbs up from us.
Last modified: 24th January 2018