Having an air compressor in the garage has become a must for working with tubeless bicycle tires. But air compressor lines don't fit bicycle presta or schrader valves out of the box - enter the Prestaflator line from Prestacycle, which adapts your compressor with presta and schrader fittings and a trigger-action valve to work on bicycle tires.
This is the "Professional" version, a shop-grade tool that works equally well for the home mechanic. It's perfect for seating stubborn tubeless tires at setup time, or for handling day-to-day inflation, replacing your floor pump.
Built-in trigger valve so you can use small amounts of air to fine-tune pressure, or "full blast" to use maximum pressure for seating tubeless tires.
Built to last from 60601-T6 aluminum, chrome and stainless steel. Uses an angled push-pull head, the fastest and easiest presta valve connection. Urethane grommet is 5x more durable and provides a better seal. Greatly simplifies setup of tubeless tires - Cyclocross Magazine called it: "your next must-have gadget."
The Prestaflator Professional features a standard 1/4" I/M fitting that plugs into common air compressor lines.
It's now possible to get a full home workshop compressor setup for working on bicycles for about $200, including the Prestaflator, pneumatic lines, and the compressor itself, making it within range of the home mechanic. In addition to their usefulness on tubeless bicycle tires, owning an air compressor has many other household uses, and adding one to your home workshop is more realistic and useful than ever.
Modern bicycles increasingly use tubeless tires. Sometimes, when installing tubeless tires, the beads can be seated using a floor pump. It varies quite a bit based on the tire, rim tape, and rim. More stubborn tires or tricky rims need more consistent, higher-pressure air to seat the beads. Bike shops and pro mechanics use compressors for this purpose, and so should you.
Order the inflator tool from RideCX.com and then hit Lowe's or Home Depot for the air compressor itself. Here's what you're shopping for:
You should wear eye and ear protection before using power tools. With those in place:
Consult the owner's manual for your specific compressor, but generally compressors have some features in common. You'll usually find a regulator to control the PSI output - turn it to an appropriate PSI for bikes - you might start with 40 PSI to begin and go higher if needed later.
Open the presta valve and hit it with the compressor. With a little luck, your tubeless tire beads will jump right into place with a satisfying "pop", but if not, check this article for some additional steps to take.
In addition to seating tubeless tires at installation time, you can of course use a compressor for your daily "top-up" inflation needs. Some of the inflator tools have a built-in pressure gauge you can use. If your inflator doesn't have the gauge, use the regulator on your compressor instead.
Once you've got your compressor setup, you can easily remove the Prestaflator Inflator using the quick-release I/M fitting to install other tools. Compressors have a variety of uses beyond bicycles, including:
Compressors are quite noisy and can bleed air slowly over time, which means the motor will turn on to refill the tank periodically. So you'll want to turn it off when not in use. Be a good neighbor.
My compliments and gratitude to Justin Christopher, who is an asset to the very reputable company, RideCX. Thanks to Justin's diligent oversight, the quality product was delivered in record time. Thank you, Justin!