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High Volume Inflater for Tubeless Bicycle Tires

Last updated on March 28, 2015

 

In order to set up my bicycle tires as tubeless I needed a way to get lots of air into them as quickly as possible to pop them on to the bead. After experimenting with pumps and various blow gun nozzle setups I decided to try and make something more effective. Inspired by a tool that I saw at Rochester Bike Shop I put this together: a modified blow gun fitted with a Schrader valve tire connector that’s had its check valve removed and the gasket replaced with a slightly smaller one.

The result is an inflater which’ll fit snugly enough around the body of a coreless Stan’s NoTubes valve to seat a tire and can also be used with a Presta to Schrader adapter.

The parts used for this were as follows, all purchased from either a local hardware store or at Performance Line Tool Center:

· Milton S 153 Blo-Gun ($9.99)
· Milton S 699 Air Chuck ($1.99)
· 5/16″ Compression to 1/4″ NPT Adapter ($3.49)
· 1/4″ Rubber Washer ($0.59)
· Quick Disconnect for Air Line (Had at home.)

First, the blower tube and rubber head were removed from the handle/valve. The compression to NTP adapter was then fitted into the body, as the compression threaded side of the adapter was the closest reasonable fit that could be found. The air chuck was then fitted to the NPT thread on the other end of the adapter. The compression nut and ring are not needed.

Next the air chuck is opened by unscrewing the brass ring around its opening and the check valve from inside was removed. Removing this allows the assembly to expel air whenever the lever is depressed. The center of a 1/4″ rubber washer is then slightly enlarged using a stepped drill bit so that it fit tightly over the body of a Presta valve. This modified washer is put in the chuck in place of the original, and the chuck is now usable for coreless Presta or Schrader valves.

Finally a quick disconnect that fit my air hose was installed and the tool was ready to use.

With this I had no problems airing up a newer (but still old tread pattern) Schwalbe Racing Ralph and a somewhat used Kenda Small Block Eight on my newish Blunt SL-based wheels. I’m still working on finishing up the tubeless setup, but this tool really helped get it done easily.

Were I to build another one of these valves I’d probably do it with a Milton 151 instead, as it’s a simple lever valve body with 1/4″ NPT fittings on each end. It’d then be easier (and cheaper) to set up the chuck, as a simple 1/4″ NPT to 1/4″ NPT nipple of whatever length desired could be used. This part wasn’t available (or known) to me at the time, so I made do with what I could find. Total cost was less than $20, and it should last for as long as I need it.

3 Comments

  1. Jessie
    Jessie March 10, 2012

    Nice. I used to work at a shop and we had a very similar rig at all the workstands. Mounting a tubeless tire is terrifying. Makes me want to wear ear protection.

  2. Nooge
    Nooge April 19, 2015

    Thanks for the idea. I had trouble finding a 5/16″ to NPT so I used a tool aid turbo blaster blow gun 99220 (also available at performance line) since it has 1/4″ NPT at both ends one you remove the spray nozzle. Also I found I didn’t need to remove the valve core of my Stans valve. Just remove the valve on the inflator head and make sure the pressure regulator is set to a high pressure. Dialing in the max rated tire pressure on the regulator caused the actual pressure under high flow to be significantly restricted.

    Using that setup my little 8 gallon compressor was able to seat my very loose fitting Husker Dus on Rolling Daryl setup. In fact the rear is so loose it won’t stay sealed below 20 psi.

    • Steve Vigneau
      Steve Vigneau April 19, 2015

      Nooge: Nice! That’s great to hear. I think something along the line in my compressor restricts airflow a bit, so pulling the valve core out helps… Also, I remove it anyway for injecting sealant, so it’s already gone.

      I’m not surprised about the loose fitting tire. I moved to some SunRingle MuleFuts on my fatbike before trying tubeless. The bead lock on those is outstanding, and I have no problems with flat tires not rolling off the rim.

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