I’ve trained on nothing but tubeless tires for a few years now, and I’ve grown to appreciate their comfortable ride and resistance to flatting. But the one thing that always irked me about tubeless was the need for a blast of air to seat the tire to the rim (newer Hutchinson tires often seat with a floor pump, but they’re not a sure thing either). Being a home mechanic, that blast has come from a CO2 cartridge instead of an air compressor. I got tired of all the expense and waste so I made myself a mini air compressor tank just to seat tubeless tires.
After a few failed attempts with mason jars and some consultation with Mark Purdy, I dug up a refillable aerosol spray can I bought years ago to use as a dust gun (FYI – it sucked as a dust gun). As luck would have it, the valve head from an Innovations CO2 unit has the same threading as the Schraeder valve on the can. A few parts scavenged from the local hardware store was all I needed to get everything squared away.
Here’s the sad first attempt, where I quickly learned that mason jars don’t hold much more than 5 psi.
Here’s some parts you’ll need. A head from an Innovations CO2 unit, and assorted washers, gaskets, and nuts. My local hardware store only had a T fitting, so we plugged up the third outlet with a nut and a gasket.
The Schraeder valve originally threaded into the side of the can. Since my T joint wouldn’t sit squarely on a washer, the Schraeder valve was moved to the top of the can.
Here’s the Innovations head screwed into the side of the can, and the Schraeder valve at the top, where the aerosol valve used to be.
And here’s the whole thing, all done. The Schraeder adapter from a Silca pump stays attached through the whole process. Pump the tank up to 160+ psi (the can is safe up to 200 psi), and inflate the tire ASAP. The tire will seat with about 30 psi, so you’ll have to follow up with a floor pump and then slosh the sealant around.