The world of firsts is a dangerous one. Muddy, convoluted waters for sure. People get their feelings hurt; everybody wants to be first—first on the podium, first in line, first-class and certainly first to production. Sadly, we don't have a "Guinness Referential Book of Firsts" to quickly flip to deskside here and, aha, know at a moment's notice who was first.
But in this case, we're pretty certain Bontrager was first here. We think so anyway. And yep, we're talking about the tubeless pump game where things go pop under human power and tires ping on rims in a tubeless fashion. Quite a specific game.
With first comes good and with first comes bad. First and foremost, the Flash TLR excels at what it set out to do, snap otherwise begrudgingly un-tubeless tires onto awaiting rims in a performance of tubeless wonderment. Like magic, they pop on there and if you're going on a riding/car camping trip, you needn't burden yourself with a compressor. So it does job number one—tubelessness, exceptionally well. Pump up the chamber 'til you think it will burst, within the red zone so it certainly will burst, attach the head to the unsuspecting valve, flip the switch and—poof! Tubelessness achieved.
Where the Flash TLR does not succeed is in acting like a normal pump. Care to top off your tires? Do so with any other pump. This one will hiss at you and you'll wonder if your lovely tubelessness was all for naught. Want to read the gauge to see how you're looking? Again look elsewhere. Yes, you can read it, no, it's not necessarily going to be accurate. This is not to say you can't top off your tires or use it like a normal pump—you can, it does that, just don't hold it to the same standard as other pumps when doing normal pump functions. This pump is splendid at tubeless magic, and that's what it should be used for—taking on road trips, or perhaps performing silent, stealthy (but equally messy, mind you) tubeless actions within your apartment as your spouse totally disapproves. Here's to firsts.
MSRP: $120 Bontrager.com