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Bontrager TLR Flash Can air canister review

An essential tool to have in your workshop for getting tubeless tyres to seat properly

Bontrager Flash Can charger bike pump
(Image: © Nick Odantzis)

Our Verdict

High-quality, easy to use and effective at seating all kinds of tubeless tyres, and the price is right, too

For

  • Seats most tubeless tyres first time
  • Works with any floor pump
  • Able to continue inflating while the floor pump is connected
  • Relatively compact and lightweight
  • The inflation lever is big and bright
  • Good quality pump head

Against

  • Valve is hard to access
  • Not the most portable

Bontrager’s TLR Flash Can air canister is the ideal companion for your workshop if you need to seat and inflate tubeless tyres quickly and easily. It’s best suited to those who already have a good floor pump that they use regularly. 

If you’re not sure what type of tyre pump you need, see our buyer’s guide to the best bike pumps.

Your choice of floor pump connects to the TLR Flash Can via a Schrader valve nestled inside the top handle. This can be a little tricky to access since the valve is recessed into the handle of the unit, more so if you have bigger fingers.

Bontrager Flash Can charger bike pump

Simply attach your floor pump to the charger using this schrader valve (Image credit: Nick Odantzis)

Once in place, you simply inflate the TLR Flash Can’s chamber — up to the maximum 160psi pressure rating — and then connect its pump head to the tyre valve you’re inflating. 

The head is a dual-type consisting of a Presta/Schrader combination, and is easy to connect — just push it onto the valve and close the lever.  The hose is plenty long enough too, and gives you plenty of room to work with. When not in use, it can be clipped to the air chamber, to keep it neatly tucked away.

Bontrager Flash Can charger bike pump

The dual head means it's compatible with all tyres (Image credit: Nick Odantzis)

Release the pressure by flicking the big red lever on the side of the unit, and a rush of air will quickly inflate the tubeless tyre and, in theory, pop said tyre onto the bead of the rim. 

One of the neat features of the TLR Flash Can is that when you inflate a tyre, if you run out of air stored in the canister’s chamber, you can continue pumping with your floor pump to inflate the tyre to your desired pressure.

The unit itself is very sturdy, with a wide base to keep it firmly in place when inflating tyres. It’s constructed mostly of anodised aluminium, with the top of the unit made of a durable plastic. 

It’s compact and light enough to take with you on a car journey to your destination, but it’s not in the same league as something like the AirShot — this is much easier to throw in a bag and carry.

Bontrager Flash Can charger bike pump

A flick of the switch will release the airflow in one long continuous shot (Image credit: Nick Odantzis)

Performance

We tested the TLR Flash Can with several tyres, with both on and off-road types, and found that two out of four (a 2.4-inch Maxxis Minion DHF 29in 3C MaxxTerra EXO TR and 28mm Continental GP5000 TL) went on first time without any issue, with plenty of air leftover in the canister chamber. 

The other two (a 28mm Vittoria Corsa Control G 2.0 and Mavic Yksion Pro UST) took 2-3 of the full whack of 160psi in the chamber to get them to seat, even though they’d previously been seated. Removing the valve core helped a little in this instance, allowing the air to rush in, unimpeded.

Verdict

Obviously, some tyres are trickier to seat than others, and some seat better on certain kinds of rim. As tyre and rim designs continue to conform to an industry-standard this will continue to improve over time, but overall, we found the TLR Flash Can performed very well, even with particularly stubborn tyres and tyre/rim combinations. 

It’s also easy to use and compact enough to stow away when it’s not in use. The unit feels very durable, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it last a very long time, even if it gets a lot of use.

The £49.99 / $69.99 asking price seems entirely reasonable, though if you don’t already own a good quality floor pump, you may be better off investing in a tubeless-capable floor pump. This means you’ll have one less thing to store in your workshop. 

Tech Specs: Bontrager TLR Flash Can

  • Price: £49.99 / $69.99
  • Pump type: Floor
  • Valve: Presta/Schrader
  • Gauge: None
  • Maximum pressure: 160 psi
  • Frame-mounted: No
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