This Bontrager TLR Flash Can review will cover how it works, tips and tricks to get stubborn tires to set, and whether or not the flash can is worth the $70 price tag. TLR stands for TubeLess Ready. The flash can is a rechargeable tire inflator offering a quick shot of air to make setup of tubeless ready wheels and tires a lot easier. A task that can be trickier than it sounds.
Bontrager was purchased by Trek in 1995. All of their bike accessories are backed by an unconditional 30 day guarantee. Meaning, if you aren’t satisfied for any reason return the item to the store you purchased it for a full refund. Trek purchased Bontrager in 1995 and they have been making bike accessories with a focus on both quality and safety ever since.
The way the Bontrager TLR Flash Can works is simple. There is a Schrader valve on top that you hook your floor pump, hand pump or air compressor to. The Flash Can holds a maximum of 160 PSI. Don’t fill to 160 PSI unless you You toggle the Flash Can’s red lever to ‘open’ and the air inside the can then rapidly moves into your tire, ideally getting the bead to set on your rim.
Do Flash Can Bike Tire Pumps Work?
The Bontrager TLR Flash Can works great at inflating tubeless tires, and its awesome at inflating tubed tires too. There are a few steps you can take to ensure the process runs smoothly. First, get some soapy water and run it around the bead of the tire. It helps the tire to slide on the rim, pushing out into the lip of the rim to seat correctly.
If soapy water is not enough to get your tire bead to set on the lip of the rim you will need more air pressure inside the tire. For extremely stubborn wheels and tires you will need to inflate the flash can as full as possible. Full air pressure inside the flash can forces the air out faster, and the faster the air moves inside the tire the easier it will be for it to set on the rim. Also, read Common Mechanical Problems When Cycling to find out which tools to take on every ride.
In general, flash cans are more compact than an air compressor, they are much lighter, and there is no maintenance or lubrication required for flash cans to work. They don’t have the power output compressors do, but it is the next best thing.
Is the Bontrager Flash Can Worth It?
The price tag is too high at $70 for the Bontrager Flash Can. You can buy a small air compressor for $50 and still have $20 left for your compressor’s accessories. Using an air compressor at the trail head is not always a realistic, so the flash can definitely serves a purpose. However, when I am on the trails I take tubes and CO2 rather than a big bulky canister of air.
Another reason I wouldn’t buy the flash can again, aside from price, is because the output of air isn’t strong enough. It will get the tire to set most of the time, but an air compressor gets it done every time. There are only two places where I need to pump up tires and tubes; on the trail and in my garage. Both of them offer better tire inflation options via an air compressor and CO2, respectively.
Finally, I am not a fan of inflating tires without a PSI gauge. The Flash Can doesn’t have any way to let you know how much air you’ve put in the tire. Every floor and hand pump I own have a PSI gauge except the flash can.
If you enjoyed this Bontrager TLR Flash Can review please let me know by leaving a comment down below. Also, let me know if there are other tire pumps worth reviewing. Also, be sure to read this guide to the best bike tire pump.