Hands On: Air Support Tools From Bontrager, Super Charge Your Tires

Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 224

If you’re going to ride bicycles, you’re going to need some pumps. Sure, you can get by by going to gas stations, borrowing friends’ or your shop’s tools, but that will get old in a hurry. Fortunately, there are a ton of options out there including the latest crop of shiny air pressure adjusters from Bontrager. Offering pumps for portability or permanently stationed in your garage, the Super Charger floor pump and Air support HP Pro hand pump look good on the outside – so how do they work on the inside?

Cycle through for more details.

Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 230

As Bontrager’s top of the line floor pump, the newest iteration features an aluminum construction with a sturdy trianglular base. The pump has a long stroke, but doesn’t seem to really push air until about halfway through. Because of this, the pump is really more suited to higher pressures as it keeps the amount of force needed to pump past 100 psi down to a minimum. The pump works fine for larger volume mountain bike tires, but there are other pumps that push more air, faster.

bontrager pumps

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At the top of the pump is very large, easily readable 2.5″ gauge with gradients every 5 psi up to the 160 psi max. In addition to being easy to read, the gauge seems fairly durable. This is especially important for pumps with high mounted gauges as the pumps tend to fall directly on the gauge when knocked over.The pump features a large, ergonomic handle with co-molded rubber grips to keep things comfortable, while providing a perch for the pump head when not in use.

Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 228 Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 227

Equipped with an Auto Select head, the pump will fit on presta or schrader valves automatically with the flip of the locking lever. In this case the lever is quite large offering a good amount of leverage – though if you have a tight fit with whatever wheel you’re working with, it may be a little on the big side (kid’s tires or stroller wheels come to mind). The head has a built in pressure relief valve that will allow you to easily take out pressure if you added too much. Attached at the end of a 45″ rubber hose, the Super Charger offers a long reach if the bike is in the stand or on the rack.

Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 225

No matter how good the base is, as mentioned, you’re still going to inadvertently knock over your pump but Bontrager’s base is pretty good. Built with 3 lobes, each with a rubber gripper, the sturdy aluminum base gives plenty of support when getting on it at the handle.

At $109.99 the Super Charger is on the higher end of pump prices, but with rebuildable internals it seems like a solidly built pump that should last. Mountain bikers and fatbikers might want to check out pumps that are higher volume, but if you inflate both road and mountain bikes on a regular basis, the Super Charger has proven to be easy to use, and quite durable.

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At this point it seems like most pump manufacturers have a hand pump design with a flexible hose. That’s for a good reason – they work, and place less stress on the valve reducing the chance of breaking the valve during vigorous inflating. Bontrager’s Air Support HP pro is a high pressure hand pump aimed at the road segment with two sizes, L for frames, and S for jersey pockets.

Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 233 Bontrager Super Charger Air Support Pro Tire Lever 232

The S is pictured here, and houses the hose inside the barrel. When you’re ready to use it, unthread the braided hose from the barrel and extend. The hose is captured in the pump, so there is no need to thread it onto the pump. The chuck is then threaded on the valve (presta only), so you can pump away. The S has a pretty short stroke, but pushes enough air that you won’t be there all day. It’s one of the better working smaller road pumps that I’ve tried, and to this day hasn’t unthreaded the valve core of any tubes or valves. The pump is capable of 120 psi, of which around 100 psi is realistic with moderate effort.

Obviously, anyone looking for presta and schrader abilities should look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a small pump that packs a punch for your jersey pocket, the $44.99 Air Support HP Pro S is one to consider. Each pump also includes a mounting bracket for under your bottle cage if you would rather mount it on the bike instead.

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Finally, if you’re in need of some tire levers, Bontrager’s lever features an angled tip to get under tight beads. The levers snap together for carrying, and have a spoke hook on one end – pretty standard for most tire levers. These aren’t my favorite tire levers to date, but they’re certainly not the worst. One thing is for sure – if you break these, you’re probably doing it wrong. The levers feel very stout, and after changing a number of tight, tubeless tires, look like new. Bontrager levers retail for $3.99 a pair.

Comments

Timothy Burgher - 12/26/13 - 10:38am

I’m a huge fan of the flexi-hose pumps. Such a pain in the ass without one. I’ve broken and have seen friends break many a valve stem without the flexi-hose. I like the design where it’s hidden in the pump too! Good stuff. Perhaps in 10 years when I get around to my next pump purchase I’ll get this one or whatever is next. I’ve had the same 50 bucks specialized floor pump for 10 years now. Great purchase and still works like new.

WV Cycling - 12/26/13 - 11:21am

I must be doing it wrong, because I have broken those levers on a tubeless Bontrager tire. I’m a fan of Pedros ones, but I lose my tire levers so often, I always need a few more.

MikeC - 12/26/13 - 1:38pm

@WV Cycling: Agree, +1 — broken Bontrager levers installing Bontrager tubeless tires on Bontrager rims.

david french - 12/26/13 - 1:45pm

The only tyre levers you won’t break whilst trying to install tubeless tyres on Bontrager rims are the big metal DH levers like Pedro’s or Park make. It’s because the centre of the rim is made to be so shallow because of the plastic insert. But hey, at least there’s no tube to pinch!

turtlehead - 12/26/13 - 1:54pm

Pretty sure if you’re using a tire lever to INSTALL a tire, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Simmons - 12/26/13 - 3:21pm

Yeah tubeless you wrench on with your hands, no lever.

I’ve installed and removed hundreds and lever broke a tire lever. You have to make sure the beads are down in the center channel on the other side of the rim when you work it off with the lever, otherwise it’s too tight.

david french - 12/26/13 - 4:40pm

@turtlehead if you can make a video of yourself installing a Bontrager TLR tyre onto a Bontrager TLR wheel WITH the plastic insert installed… Well drinks are on me at the very least!

david french - 12/26/13 - 4:41pm

ahem…. sans tyre levers I mean to say!

WV Cycling - 12/26/13 - 4:45pm

@david french – I’ll pitch in $10 to that too. That’ll buy a 6pk, no?

shiner - 12/26/13 - 5:02pm

Floor Pump looks like a strong challenger to the Lezyne pumps!
-longer reaching hose in a bike stand
-higher/easier to read gauge
-more stable base

george dk - 12/26/13 - 6:18pm

sold a couple of these pumps. so far, no complaints, quality is fine and the finish too.

A. - 12/26/13 - 6:49pm

More stuff no one asked Trek to make. Can’t wait for every Trek dealer to push this crap on unsuspecting newbies.

X - 12/26/13 - 8:12pm

Yeah, I didn’t want anyone to build a pump or make tyre levers… They update and improve the gear all the time (just like Park/Topeak/all their competitors), sounds like you would be better off giving up cycling, A, because you can’t handle companies doing what they do… try and make money.
If you can, and want to, keep using your great-grandfather’s bikes and parts, then do so. The rest of us don’t have that option.

echotraveler - 12/26/13 - 9:41pm

i love my bontrager levers. have been with me 3 years now, still strong.

Nick - 12/27/13 - 12:20pm

My bontrager tire levers last anywhere from a couple years to 6 mos. Depends on the amount of use in that time, I wish they made a steel core version.

K11 - 12/27/13 - 12:28pm

rarely buy anything on a whim, but did so with these tire levers. (was not sold into them, nor am i a trek fanboy) have not broken one.

all the other different brands of plastic levers i own are down to one or two remaining in the 3 pack set after snapping them. if you don’t want to use metal levers on expensive rims, get these, the rounded edges along with the wider contact point (helps distribute pressure on rim better) and thick construction make these work well and survive when one gets a little aggressive in the heat of the moment. (great to have when helping family or neighbors with wire bead tire issues.)

WV Cycling - 12/29/13 - 4:34pm

@K11
“get these, the rounded edges along with the wider contact point ”

That was one thing I did enjoy about them.

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