SKS RideAir Tubeless Inflation Bottle - Review

Nov 10, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Pressurize the RideAir cylinder with any floor pump and it's ready to do battle with your tubeless rims and tires.


SKS is a surprisingly large German manufacturer that makes a wide range of high-quality cycling accessories. Today we take a look at their RideAir compressed air storage bottle, which SKS double bills as a tubeless tire inflation device for cyclists and to automobile owners, as a refillable source of compressed air for roadside emergencies. SKS RideAir bottles weigh 450 grams, fit into most water bottle cages, and sell for around $60 USD. Like most SKS cycling products, RideAir comes with a five-year warranty.
RideAir Details
• Material: Aluminium / plastic
• Color: Alu-black
• Weight: 450 g
• Valve: Schrader or Presta
• Output max: 16 bar / 230 PSI
• Height: 262 mm
• Capacity: 600 ml
• MSRP: $59.95
• Contact: SKS Germany


Construction and Features

RideAir is a 60 ML capacity aluminum storage bottle encased in a plastic shell that can be pressurized with a bicycle floor pump up to 16 bar (230 psi). A rubber cap protects its Schrader inflation valve and stows a Presta valve adapter. A short section of rubber hose, tipped with a screw-on Schrader fitting, tucks neatly into a groove around the top of the bottle when it's not deployed, and a small, flush-mounted gauge eliminates any guessing about if or how much of a charge is available.

When the time comes to inflate a tire, depressing its push-button valve releases a volume of air that should easily mount up a reluctant tubeless tire. RideAir is designed to hold a charge for an indefinite time, so you can keep it handy at the bike park or on race day, should you need to air up a tire quickly.

The plastic shell and its rubber cap should keep the RideAir bottle relatively dent free if you opt to leave it in a tool box, or let it roll around the back of your Sprinter, and the button is recessed to prevent an accidental depressurization.
SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
The canister is sized to slip into a bottle cage, provided that there is enough room for its length.


SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Hose tucked into a groove below the push-button valve.

SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Unfortunately, the Presta adapter requires a valve core.
SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Schrader-valve filler and Presta adapter under the rubber cap.

SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Few own a pump capable of attaining its 230 psi maximum.


RideAir in Action

SKS is known for its quality, which is evident in the construction and execution of the RideAir cylinder. It's tall and slender, so when it is in use, it will be laying on its side, where its plastic housing does a good job of keeping the aluminum bits scratch free. Sixty milliliters is an adequate volume to launch a tubeless, 2.8-inch plus tire onto a rim, but the RideAir cylinder must be pressurized in the neighborhood of 160 psi (11 bar) to ensure that there will be enough air to get the job done. If you own a chubby, high-volume/low-pressure floor pump, it will be a grunt to top 160. A slender, high-pressure road-style floor pump works best, but attaining RideAir's 230 psi maximum with a bicycle floor pump of any kind is going to be a feat.

The upside of the 60 ml cylinder it that it fills quickly, so you are ready for action in no time. A downside to this design is that Ride Air's short filler tube is tipped with a screw-on Schrader fitting. That means I had to first thread the included Presta adapter to the valve stem, then screw on the filler tube before I could push the blast button and inflate my tire to the rim.

When all goes well (and it almost always does), neither action presents an issue and, while it is doubtful that tubeless bicycle wheels will ever need one, it could be argued that the Schrader fitting ads versatility to the system, should you need to top off an automobile tire. When it goes bad, however, threaded fittings play havoc with Presta valves. Unthreading valve cores from stems is a common issue, and screw-on Presta adapters are infamous for closing the valve as they are installed.
SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
The push-button valve releases a copious volume of air with one touch.

To emulate the action of an integrated boost pump, I left my floor pump attached to the RideAir canister so I could top off the tire after the cylinder's contents were spent. All said and done, the system worked fine, and its small size made the bottle handy to store in my car, or near my tool box at home. After using it for a while, however, I wished that the hose was equipped with a conventional pump-head fitting. Some hard-to-mount tubeless combinations require the removal of the valve stem to maximize airflow, but that is not possible using the screw-on Presta adapter. If I continue to use the RideAir bottle, I'll probably replace the screw-on Schrader fitting with a lever-type inflation head.

SKS Rideair Compressed Air Storage Bottle
Keep the floor pump attached and you can top off the tire after it's mounted, or assist a reluctant bead to seal.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSKS's RideAir would be a good fit for those who are interested in a compact, lightweight and portable boost bottle. If you are seeking a more utilitarian tool to mount up tubeless tires, however, the RideAir system would not be my first recommendation. For home use, a one-gallon steel storage cylinder would be a better tool for roughly half the cost. That said, if SKS quipped the RideAir with a lever-type inflation head, this well-constructed boost bottle would easily perform at the level of its $60 MSRP.RC


Must Read This Week

98 Comments

  • + 254
 $60, well that’s the cost of inflation I guess
  • + 75
 In a world of lame pinkbike comment puns, one sewar-rat floated above the rest of the turds.
  • + 2
 Bravo!
  • + 23
 I always feel so pressured to make a good pun
  • + 6
 @bsavery: you sound like you need a Swedish pump
  • + 14
 This comment just raised the "bar"
  • + 1
 Still well below the cost of hyperinflation, Germany strong Wink
  • + 32
 Silliest product I've seen this year. You give up your one precious water bottle cage (that your bike maker probably redesigned your frame to fit), just to cram it full with this bulky heavy tool, instead of carrying a few C02 shots..........This is like buying a pickup truck, then lowering it and covering the bed. Silly.
  • + 4
 I completely agree, but one could argue that the CO2 shots are a less environmentally conscious choice. This is a reusable storage device... but I totally agree with you. I would never consider taking this on a ride of any type.
  • + 4
 CO2 cartridges are nearly impossible to find here in Nepal and absurdely expensive when they are found. I am sure that I am not alone in this sort of predicament. Something like this at least provides an option in place of the cartridges. This seems like an interesting competitor to the Airshot.
  • + 1
 @jpwilbur9:
Riding a carbon fiber bicycle and choosing this thing over [recyclable] aluminum Co2 canisters because its reusability is more environmentally 'conscious', is like ordering a Big Mac combo, then super-sizing it, but getting a diet coke with it because regular coke has too many calories
-OR-
How many recycled Co2 cartridges you think it takes to manufacture ONE aluminum MTB frame?
  • + 1
 Yeah but, Elcamino!!! Have to agree though, while I am sure there are niche applications the idea that this would be carried along for a ride seems absurd to me.
  • + 4
 @YoKev: quite a few as they are made of steel...
  • + 3
 @YoKev: CO2 cannisters are steel, but i get what you are saying.
  • + 25
 Hand grenade between your legs, or am i the only one thinking this????
  • + 80
 None of us are thinking about anything in between your legs.
  • + 2
 @rodeoJ: Some of us may think with something... ah, I'll see myself out.
  • + 1
 @rodeoJ: Win.
  • + 2
 Your air shocks and dropper post are compressed air cylinders as well, why not one more?
  • + 6
 But why do you want to carry that bottle with you? Most of the time when you get a flat with tubeless is because you sliced your tire or it went off the rim.
So if you sliced your tire you won't be able to have it tubeless again on the trail right? I mean you can if you wipe all that tubeless fluid and patch the tire but that would take a lot of time wouldn't it?
Ok,...if the tire went off the rim you may want to go tubeless again on the trail. But that happens 1 out of 500 times you go out and ride.

This just seems a desperate way to get some money out of MTB.
  • + 6
 Buy the right wheels and tires and a regular pump is all you need...My current set up is i9 wheels and Maxxis tires. These set up tubeless with a hand pump easily. Buy something more useful for your kit.
  • + 2
 Stan's rims and Specialized 2-Bliss tires go on pretty much like magic with a hand pump. If they don't, I find there's something wrong with either the rim tape or the sealant.
  • + 1
 @TheR: Same experience. But when you've got a less cooperative combo, one of these babies does the job without causing tricep damage (Spesh Blast in my case). However, it sounds like the SKS has got issues with the valve attachment. I don't trust anything that screws on to the valve, it's a good way of breaking the seal around the valve.
  • + 1
 Same. Never had issues with I9 and Maxxis or e13 TR tires. Carry a couple 16-20g CO2 charges for the ride just in case.
  • + 5
 Any idea how much psi the charge dropped from 230 after reinflating and seating one tire. I ask because multiple uses would sway me away from bring a hand pump on rides. The thought of try to recharge this little guy with a hand pump is daunting.
  • + 3
 You'll never get it up to 230, unless you've got a compressor. The volume is pretty small so one inflation is probably all you'll get. Not tried inflating my booster with a hand pump yet. I can't see it being very rewarding.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: Do you think a shock pump would help to get the pressure up there? It might take a while longer I suppose
  • + 2
 @rmalexan: Probably, let me know how long it takes! You can get it up to maybe 160 with a floor pump without going too crazy and that's easily enough. Can't go higher even using my full weight (which isn't much admittedly). I should point out that I don't have this, but the big ass Specialized Blast, so I could be totally off. But pressure is pressure right?
  • + 1
 one of these would get the job done. I use one to fill my air rifle to 300 psi without much effort:
www.amazon.com/dp/B076C8Y65S/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B076C8Y65S&pd_rd_wg=KKAAo&pd_rd_r=4VW0Y702T0X5TH8P5BDK&pd_rd_w=HQpwm
  • + 1
 @pabiking:
Have you used this to inflate a tire? Does it work for that?
  • + 2
 You're taking an already complicated solution and making it more complicated... For the amount of money and effort it takes you to do this just grab a quality CO2 system.
  • + 3
 I do see presta type valves are more popular here but I don't quite get why. Other activities where I carry the same pump (BMX and unicycling) already work with schraeder valves so I just have schraeder valves on my mountainbikes too. If I ever get one of those combined shock and tire pumps for on the trail, they'll obviously work with schraeder too. I never had issues with schraeder valves (unlike presta where you could accidentally unscrew the valve core when you just mean to take off the dust cap) so I'm curious why people prefer presta.
  • + 8
 Presta has a locking valve so it can be more fail safe and reliable. It does not get clogged with mud or dust either. It is also based on a smaller diameter hole in the rim which keeps the rim stronger.
  • + 0
 I don't think you can get a Schraeder valve for tubeless bicycle tires, can you? (They have them for cars, obviously). Why not for bikes? I don't know.

I used to prefer Schraeder as well, coming from the BMX world -- until I got used to Presta. Everything just seems to go in easier with a Presta.
  • + 6
 Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the original need that presta filled was for road bike rims from decades ago- the larger diameter of a shraeder valve made early aluminum rims (that were very narrow) too weak, so they needed a smaller diameter valve. With modern, wider rims and improved construction techniques the presta valve really is pointless.
  • + 6
 @TheR: Stan's makes schraeder valves for tubeless
  • + 2
 @bikemaster50: I got 7 valves from my local motorcycle repair shop for nothing. He had me a stack of tubes and scissors and said "have at it" put a little gorrilla tape around the base and they've worked perfectly since.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: You are absolutely correct. I read an article somewhere saying the same thing and a guy from a bontrager says there's no performance advantage with presta other than making people like me thinking that's its somehow more secure. Think car and trucks... And we can't get a fill from the guy as station without a presta adapter.
  • + 1
 @bikemaster50: So they do! I had no idea.
  • + 1
 Alright then, seems like I should be good sticking with schraeder Wink . Yeah presta might catch less mud (though I've never had issues with that with schraeder) though then again the tiny exposed needle of a presta valve could bend so that makes about even. I've always just drilled the valve holes (in my aluminium rims) out to accomodate the bigger schraeder valves and have never had any issues.

@TheR: Yeah I think i have some from Superstarcomponents but it seems they don't have these anymore.
  • + 0
 Schrader valves require 35 psi to overcome the spring,presta valve takes only a few psi to overcome the internal spring.This makes a noticeable deference if you are using a frame pump.
  • + 3
 @wickedfatchance: With schraeder, don't you open the spring when you flick the lever? I thought with presta you need to overcome a certain pressure to open the valve. I thought this is the reason we're using schraeder valves for (air) suspension too. Because that allows you to measure the actual pressure inside the air chamber.
  • + 1
 @bikemaster50: This has me thinking about schraeder valves. My biggest gripe about tubeless is sealant gumming up the thread on the presta release mechanism, so that when you add or release a little air in the field, you need to carry pliers to unscrew the tip. Then half the time, the whole core unthreads, and you need a core tool to tighten it again. Not to mention bending the valve in frustration. I really doubt that the slightly larger hole you'd need for schraeder would make any significant strength difference in today's wider rims. And you could refresh sealant or pump a large volume of air to seat a tire by simply taking out the schraeder core.
  • + 1
 @bde1024: the only advantage I see in presta is the slightly lighter weight, and a smaller hope is sometimes easier to seal. Neither is a big deal. I don't struggle with either valve, I'll run whatever is most convenient at the time. If my next rims come with presta I'll run em. If they don't I'll likely drill em cuz I got a bunch of Schrader valves
  • + 2
 I made one for $5 using two schrader valves (from two inner tubes) and a 1.5 L water bottle. One of the schrader valves had the internals removed. Drill two holes in the lid of a 1.5 L water bottle, the thickest you find in the supermarket. Fit the two valves. Add a 5mm in diameter silicone tubing 20cm in length on the valve without internals and fold the tubing and close it with a clip. Then wrap the bottle in duct tape for safety. Fill the lid with some glue or silicone and screw it on. If it is not air tight after pumping, just add some Stan's Tubeless fluid, pump via the schrader valve with internals and shake the bottle. Later when it is air tight, you can fit the silicone tubing to you presta valve.
I use it to fit 2.5x26" Schwalbe Magic Mary on my Flow MKIII rims. A floor pump just doesn't cut it with these big tyres. I only used it once a year ago, because I still use the same tyres, and they never burped, even in downhill bike parks.
  • + 5
 You give a new meaning to ghetto tubeless.
  • + 2
 Same except I used an old 24oz paintball CO2 bottle just to be safe.
  • + 1
 Got a similar setup. Pumping the thick 1.5liter bottle to 6bar was safe, i did not go any higher. Now i use a 2 liter und pump it to 4 to 5bar. Works just fine. As a plus you can use the lid with almost any PET style bottle so you would only have to carry the lid.
  • + 1
 Me too, used mine several times. 2l bottle, a couple of blasts at 60psi /4 bar mounts everything I've tried including 27.5 x 2.8. Use a fizzy drinks bottle, they are the thick ones. I've read elsewhere that these bottles blow around 120psi / 8 bar so 60psi / 4 bar is safe as long as the bottle isn't scratched.
  • + 4
 Just seal my downtube up and give me the port, I'll stash the hose connection in my non drive side stay. Bikes got tools everywhere else these days..
  • + 2
 Am I the only person in the world still running tubes? I have a spare tube and CO2 in my pack or pocket, and if I get a flat I change it. Sorted. I keep wondering if I should swap to tubeless, but it seems problematic for a few minor advantages. Or am I missing something?
  • + 2
 Yes, you are missing out on a world where you never get flats: Tubeless. I used to fell the same way you do,
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Youre missing out on a world where a flat can be easily fixed anywhere with almost any type air pump in about 2 minutes if you have a spare tube or a patch kit. TUBES! Even if you get a big cut in your tire, you can use a dollar bill, part of the old tube, a folded piece of fabric ripped from your shirt, etc. to line the tire at the cut and still temporarily fix it so you can ride out.
  • + 2
 @robw515: I carried a spare tube for 3 years and never needed it. I just don't get flats or tear sidewalls - knock on wood. I only ride DH casings. I'll ride out on the rim or just crack a beer and walk. Most of my rides are no more than 5 miles from civilization. If I was trekking I'd have a different approach.
  • + 1
 I just had my first burp in a year after a day of jumping in the mountains. Looks like you need some serious pressure, like a compressor for car tyres, to inflate these. The only solution that I trust, except a high quality air compressor, the the ghetto fire extinguisher method. I have not tried it but that should be enough. I had serious difficulty today to pump a deflated Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.5x26 on a Notubes Flow MkIII, even with my ghetto 1.5L coke bottle method. I remember a year ago when I tried to fit the tyres for the first tiem. I was borrowing a air compressor at a local bike shop, but the compressors tank was too small so whenever it got full pressure, and I tried to inflate the tyre, it got empty before the tyre set. So I think the size of the tank is important. Not less than a regular sized fire extinguisher in order to be certain that it can pump difficult tyres. FYI, I inflated Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35x26 on Stan's Notubes Arch EX with just a floor pump. The larger the tyre and the wider the rim, the more pressure you need, according to my experience.
  • + 2
 I don't have enough flats on the trail that I fix with CO2. The environmental impact of manufacturing this monster is more than the 1-2 CO2 cartridges a year that I use.
  • + 1
 Still never understand these types of things, if you unfold your brand new tire and let it sit for a couple hours it’s easy to get the bead to set with a regular floor pump.
  • + 3
 Trail side .CO2 and an inner tube, if a tubeless tyre goes down I cannot be bothered with resealing it.
  • + 4
 Can't we have a link to the 1 gallon steel storage cylinder?
  • + 1
 here you go:

bfy.tw/Exsi
  • + 1
 @gtill9000: Thanks for the link, found this, seems a bit more expensive: www.amazon.com/PRESSURE-STORAGE-TANK-1-Gallon/dp/B000FOYEEO
  • + 1
 @gtill9000: Impressive tutorial!
  • + 2
 In the US, this is only $30. Not portable but why would you need to set up tubeless trailside?

www.harborfreight.com/5-gallon-portable-air-tank-65594.html
  • + 1
 There is also a floor pump that combines regular pump with air tank in one from Kellys: www.kellysbike.com/en/pumps-c180/airtank-tubeless-p50754
  • + 1
 quite a few variations. jenson sells a rebranded one that is cheaper than this plastic tank and works really well.
  • + 2
 this seems like a ginormous, expensive, and heavy replacement for a CO2 inflater! what am I missing?
  • + 1
 trailside: just carry a tube and co2 system. seating tires at home: you can make this for like $20 with a PVC pipe nipple, some caps, and some tubing.
  • + 1
 I've made one of these from an empty plastic cider bottle and some valves cut from old inner tubes? Works a treat never fails to inflate even some 2.8 tyres.
  • + 2
 hmm, always use the regular pump to inflate never had an issue with maxxiss tires
  • + 1
 Look like to the Bimp'air System : shop.bimpair.com/en...
Yep less expensive, but BIMP'AIR sell different solutions to refill the caps at high pressure.
  • + 2
 I want to see it pumped up until it goes pop, think this is an important stress test and will make a good video.
  • + 1
 "but attaining RideAir's 230 psi maximum with a bicycle floor pump of any kind is going to be a feat." Hold my beer
  • + 2
 I’ll probably pick one up when it goes on sale for $25
  • + 1
 well you can't fly on a plane with CO2 cartridges but now after I buy this I can have CO2 in the Caribbean. Works for me.
  • + 2
 Sorry, you lost me at "the Presta adapter requires a valve core"
  • + 1
 I bought a small air compressor on sale for not much more than this thing..... just gotta look around.
  • + 2
 A conversation piece for the women or men in your life!
  • + 2
 Boost!
  • + 1
 Do i get bonus points if i connect it to my Accubar?
  • - 1
 Curious invention for sure. Just not sure I'd pay $60 for a limited amount of air in a pump when a normal compact pump is unlimited obviously.
  • + 7
 You clearly don't get it's purpose, do you?
  • + 2
 If you already have a good pump and need something to help getting that tubeless tire on, it can help. Otherwise, I agree with you that a mini pump for side trail help will be better...and lighter.
  • + 4
 I think its more for reseating tubless on the go if you're riding or don't have a compressor
  • + 1
 @Odinson: yessir I do. Just still not sure it's better than a can of high pressure "fix-a-flat" for $5. But spend your money however. All good
  • + 1
 @Odinson: "I don’t think it means what you think it means."
  • + 1
 Back in September i was on holiday in USA , and I got a hole in my Tyre too large to repair, I had spare tyre with me and a track pump but that nights after spending 3 hours of trying to get it to seat on the rim I had to give up , and the next day I lost a chunk of the day looking for somewhere with a compressor to seat my tyre. Back home I had a bontrager tlr flash charger but thats way to heavy to travel with, But on getting home i bought the SKS rideair and while its not as powerful as the tlr charger it does put out enough air (even with core left in) to seat a 27.5" tyre , its not that heavy so i'll take it on any other road trips where i have to fly - i cant carry co2 canister on planes so this it a perfect tool to be prepared for seating tyres on the go
  • + 1
 Long live the Jeffro. Booyaahhh and a blowout!
  • - 2
 I'd rather have this with the button inflation over a hand pump. I have a hand pump on my bike, but this would make life easier on the trail after replacing a tube due to a blowout. Save the energy for the trail.
  • + 4
 C02?
  • + 4
 @dglobulator: This is more eco friendly. Have seen way too many used cartridges out on the trails...
  • + 2
 @raisincrunch: Used cartridges on the trail is some bull. Pick that stuff up! But yeah, I was thinking, maybe someone could find a way to adapt this concept to a more portable, reusable co2-type container. Instead of holding 230 psi, it could hold maybe 60-80 psi and be a third to a quarter of the size?
  • + 2
 @TheR: if it was 1/4 the size AND held 1/4 the pressure there would only be 1/16th the amt of air in there.... probably not enough to get the whole tire pressurized. To make it smaller you'd have to make the pressure higher.

I had a burst inflator made out of a 2L soda bottle, and I would usually need to put 45-60 psi in there to be sure it would seat. This is only 600mL, so ~200 psi is about right.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: Great. All I'm looking for is a reusable CO2-type cartridge. However it works is fine by me. Can it be done? I'll leave it to guys like you to hammer out the details. Get to work!
  • + 2
 @TheR: tbh I think SKS did a pretty good job - this is probably as close as you'll get to a reusable CO2 shot with air. The CO2 cartridges can only be as small as they are because they contain liquid, which means they're holding like >700psi. Pretty much impossible to do this reusably with air, as liquid nitrogen/oxygen pressures are much higher than this.
  • + 1
 Can you get the schwalbe pro core system with one of each valve types?
  • + 0
 This comment just raised the bar Wink

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