Review - RideAir Compressed Air Capsule

RideAir Compressed Air Capsule
The RideAir Compressed Air Capsule is designed to be a transportable fast inflation device; suitable for seating tubeless tyres, replacing CO2 cartridges, and facilitating fast inflation in pit-stop race scenarios.

It is an interesting KickStarter concept, and one that I was keen to test out.


Function

The functionality of the capsule is simple: you flip open the rubber lid, and using a floor pump or compressor, pressurise the canister to around 200 PSI (13.5 Bar). You can then safely store the canister until you need it. To inflate a tyre, you screw the hose onto the valve (Presta or Schrader), and press the silver button on the canister to release all or part of the charge.

It is effectively like a rechargeable CO2 canister, except that it uses normal air rather than carbon dioxide.

The capsule is easy to use, and robustly made. Releasing the pressure charge is surprisingly easy to regulate too; although there is an element of guessing your tyre pressure, as the gauge on the canister reflects the remaining canister pressure, not that of the tyre.


Transportability

When the RideAir Capsule arrived for testing, I was initially surprised at the size of it. Considering it is a product that is designed to be transportable, it is clearly a lot larger than a CO2 canister, at around the same size as a 750 ml water bottle.

The caveat to that is that of course a larger cartridge allows greater air volume. A fully pressurised RideAir tank will fill two road tyres easily, and might even stretch to two MTB or hybrid tyres.

The RideAir capsule is still transportable of course, despite its size. It is designed to sit comfortably in a bottle cage holder; and as such it will have particular appeal to commuters and leisure cyclists, who don't typically need to use their second bottle cage.

If you are able to free up your second bottle cage, then this is a great way of avoiding the need to use CO2 canisters for a fast inflation on your commute. It might get you into work on time, even when you have to stop to fix a flat.


Tubeless tyres

The other use of the RideAir Canister is for seating tubeless tyres. A while back I invested in a Lezyne Digital Pressure Overdrive Pump for seating tubeless tyres; it makes a huge difference, and takes out a lot of the hassle often encountered with trying to get tubeless tyres to pop onto the rim.

The RideAir Capsule could be used in a similar way: you charge up the canister, then release all the air into the tubeless tyre, to create a sudden rush of air that would pop the tyre bead into the rim.

The RideAir Capsule works well for this; admittedly the rush of air is not quite as the larger as from the Lezyne pump, but I haven't had any problems using it to get tubeless tyres fitted.

The RideAir certainly has the advantage over CO2 canisters for the purpose of tubeless seating, because CO2 tends to cure Latex sealant very quickly, whereas the RideAir uses natural air, so there are no problems there.


Overall

To sum up, the RideAir Capsule is an innovative, yet simple design. I can see that for commuters, short rides, and at events, it could be a real asset.

The 'RideAir with Lock' version that I tested here also has an integrated cable lock; this could be really useful for securing the canister to the bike, or for securing other items like a helmet.


air capsule for tubeless bicycle tyres
To pressurise the capsule, you fit a track pump to this nozzle


portable compressed air capsule rideair
To release the charge into a tyre or inner tube, you screw the hose onto the valve and press the silver button


cable lock for bicycle compressed air capsule
This 'Ride-Air with Lock' version features a useful lightweight cable lock as well


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