BONTRAGER TLR Flash Charger Floor Pump
Easily take tubeless tyre setup home and on the road with the Flash Charger TLR, a pump designed for efficient installation of tubeless ready TLR tyres without a compressor.
- Alloy barrel for smooth pump action
- Auto-Select head effortlessly fits Presta or Schrader valves
- Top-mounted 160 psi gauge
- Three-arm base gives excellent stability
- Inflates tubeless-ready tyres without a compressor
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger review, BikeRadar (see here for full review):
"Tubeless and tubeless-compatible rim and tyre systems have advanced by leaps and bounds, yet there are certain rim and tyre combinations that still elicit puddles of sealant and expletive-laced tantrums when attempting to seat with a floor pump.
In those instances, many home mechanics resort to using CO2 canisters or an air compressor to get that reassuring "snap" that indicates the bead is firmly seated. Bontrager's new Flash Charger TLR combines the blow-hard ability of an air compressor with the portability of a floor pump. The Flash Charger TLR is a game changer.
How it works
To pressurize the auxiliary chamber, the user flips the red lever into the down position. It takes approximately 45 pumps to reach the maximum pressure of 160psi. With the pump head firmly seated on the valve, the user pulls up on the lever, releasing the air from the pressurize chamber and seating the tyre.
We experimented with as many tyre and rim combinations as possible, including notoriously stubborn combinations such as non-tubeless compatible tyres on UST rims and new tyres that still had pinched beads from being folded in their packaging. We even successfully used this floor pump to seat fat bike tyres. In all cases the Flash Charger TLR proved up to the challenge.
It's worth noting that with some high-volume tyres (as well as fat bike tyres) we did have to add a few more pumps after we released air from the pressurized chamber to get the bead to snap into place evenly around the entire circumference of the rim - a minor detail, as the pump had already done the hard work for us.
While many companies offer 'mountain bike specific' floor pumps with a high-volume chamber, so the user can inflate meaty mountain bike tyres with fewer pumps, and a detailed, low-pressure gauge to aid in fine tuning tire pressure, the addition of a pressurized chamber to make seating virtually any tubeless tyre and rim combination a breeze is truly a game-changing innovation that resets the playing field.
A home mechanic could purchase an air compressor for the same price as this human-powered pump. However, the Flash Charger TLR is much quieter, takes up less space, and is extremely portable.
In short, all other pump manufacturers have a lot of catching up to do. The Flash Charger TLR is what every MTB-specific floor pump should be. That's not to say this pump is limited to mountain bike usage. Branding the Charger TLR pump as specific to off-road tubeless applications is selling it short - it's also quite effective at seating stubborn tubeless road and cyclocross tyres."
Despite misgivings about its construction, this pump functioned flawlessly through the test period. Bontrager's Flash Charger TLR floor pump is incredibly capable and packs the punch of an air compressor in a lighter, more portable package.
4.5 stars (out of 5)
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger review, Feed the Habit (see here for full review):
"My initial experience with the Flash Charger involved seating a set of Bontrager CX3 cyclocross tires onto a set of Bontrager Affinity Elite TLR wheels. The results were nothing short of amazing. Inflating and locking the bead into the rim happened pretty much immediately. All it took was a release of the magic red lever and voila... a couple of pops later and the tire was locked-and-loaded. Not only did it seat the tire in a jiffy, it has remained seated through hundreds of miles and a sealant re-load.
On the MTB side, I seated a set of Maxxis Ikon 2.2 tires aboard a set of Stan's ZTR Crest rims without even blinking. This pump is magic. I can't believe I lived without this thing.
- Makes tubeless a breeze
- Seats road, CX and MTB tires with ease
- Unleashing the fury is easy
- Valve adjusts to Presta or Schraeder, automatically
- Sturdy base
- Pressure gauge is easily read and very precise
- Topping off tires requires a near-full inflation after the canister draws all the pressure out
- Takes more strokes than standard floor pumps
The Bottom Line:
No question, the TLR Flash Charger should have a home in just about every cyclist's garage. The ability to pressurize the system and unleash the full force of the compressed air is pure genius. Seating tires properly is now possible at home without the use of a compressor - and the crowd goes wild!"
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger review, Pinkbike (see here for full review):
"I know what you're thinking: why not just use a compressor to install your tubeless tires? Or even a CO2 cartridge given that it should only take one to get the job done. I don't know about you, but I don't always have access to a compressor, not to mention that they're loud and require a power source to get the job done. And using a CO2 cartridge every time you want to install a tire seems just a touch wasteful, doesn't it? The TLR Flash Charger pump is easy to throw in the back of your car or truck if you're worried about needing to repair or replace a tire during a multi-day trip, and it's much less of a hassle than using a compressor, even considering that you can find some pretty inexpensive compressors if you look around. If you haven't guessed by now, I found that Bontrager's clever floor pump performs extremely well at installing troublesome and loose fitting tubeless tires. It works like so: push the red lever down in order to isolate the larger, secondary air chamber that you're going to use to seat the tire. It took my 45 pumps to get the pressure up to the maximum of 160 psi, and while the push does get a bit stiff near the end, it's not something that anyone would struggle with. Then, after you've made sure the pump's head is locked onto the valve stem, simply pull up on the red handle to release the stored pressure into the tire. It all happens very quickly, with the air moving fast enough to at least seal up every rim and tire combination that I tried, with none of them giving me any grief. Air will stop moving into the tire once the pressure equalizes at the pump, after which you can either keep pumping or use the bleed button to lower the pressure to where you need it. How effective is it? The Flash Charger even worked on a Crank Brothers' wheel and Schwalbe tire combo that had me throwing tools at the wall until I gave it a go with the new Bontrager pump. That said, the quickly delivered charge of air pressure wasn't enough to seat all of the tires completely straight, with it taking another few minutes of pumping to get the job done. That's the easy part though, as just getting a troublesome tubeless tire to seal up at the bead is usually the real challenge. The gauge is also accurate enough for most riders, especially given that it registers up to 160 psi, with it reading to within 3 - 5 psi of my digital pressure gauge.
...the Flash Charger is one clever piece of kit that makes life much easier for anyone who deals with tubeless tires on even a semi-regular basis."
RCUK 100 2017, The Hottest Road Cycling Products 2017 (see here):
"The strapline for the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger pump says 'Game-changer'. A game-changing floor pump? We're enthused and wary of hyperbole in equal measure here at RCUK, so let's see.
The claim stems from the fact the Flash Charger negates the potential need to use an air compressor when installing a tubeless setup. Instead, you can preload an air chamber in order to instantly inflate tubeless tyres, so they seat more cleanly and efficiently. In practice it's efficient and simple to use - just the ticket.
At the same time, the unit can also function as a normal pump. That means while it's designed for tubeless tyres, there's absolutely no reason why you can't use it for clinchers.
Both the tubeless chamber and the standard alloy barrel are oversized so there's plenty of air capacity to get the pressure as high as you desire with relative ease, and it also includes a high-quality head that can switch between use on Presta and Schraeder valves - perfect for those roadies among us that moonlight on the trails.
Of course, an accurate 160psi pressure gauge is included atop the unit, while pressure settings can be fine-tuned with the bleed valve - ideal if you just can't stand rolling around on 61psi, instead of a round 60.
We're also fans of how stable the three-legged base is, while weight distribution of the two barrels means it stands up on its own with little danger of falling over. Overall, it's a quality unit for tubeless riders, and that makes it perfect for the 2017 edition of the RCUK 100."
As with any product, specification is subject to change without prior notification. You are advised to confirm current specification before buying.