Ever since we first saw this pump on Bike Rumors Eurobike coverage we have been anticipating its arrival here. Every Spoke Staffer runs their bikes tubeless and the ability to be able to seat tyres while on the road or without an air compressor is a massive bonus. If you've been living under a rock and have no idea what I'm talking about, let me break it down for you. This Bontrager pump is not like a normal floor pump; it has a separate chamber, called "the Accumulator", for storing a whole bunch of extra air. You can get in excess of 160psi of air into the chamber and, with the lift of a lever, the air in the Accumulator rushes out and balances out with the air in your tyre and, fingers crossed, seats your tubeless tyre on your tubeless rim. Boom, done. The Flash Charger is a thing of beauty. Ergonomically it's nicely designed and feels good. It also works as a standard pump if you just want to add some air to a tyre.
But when the lever is in the 'down' position, the larger second Accumulator chamber gets filled. The last few strokes definitely get harder and you can feel the pump's handle bend a little under the pressure. We've already tested it out on a Maxxis Ardent and Easton Haven 27.5 wheel and the results were immediate and perfect, the tyre seating completely on the first try.
As the lever states, "Pull to Release Pressure"; once the Charger Lever is lifted, the 160+psi from the Accumulator rushes into your tyre, seating it on the rim. With our test tyre we were left with 40psi across both the tyre and the pump. You can then fine tune the amount of pressure in the tyre by the use of the release valve, you're then ready to ride! Now some of you are going to baulk at the price of Bontrager's Flash Charger pump but when you hold the pump in your hands and use it, it's clear there is a quite a lot more to this floor pump, so much so that it's going to make a $299 dent in your wallet. Now that's a bit more than a high end pump from another brand, but this is no ordinary floor pump, and given that there's only one other brand making a dedicated tubeless pump (which still involves you pumping real fast) the Flash Charger, as far as we're concerned, is going to be a pretty damn coveted item. The first shipment is here in New Zealand now and there are limited numbers, so if you're after one you'll need to contact your nearest bike shop ASAP.