Review: MilkIt Booster Tubeless Bottle All But Eliminates the Need for an Air Compressor
I can always get down with anything that makes mounting tubeless tires easier, especially if it saves me from buying a full-on air compressor.
I swapped, removed, and mounted more than my fair share of tires last summer and started sweating every time I had to put a new one on. I’ve successfully mounted and inflated tires with a floor pump before. But as thicker sidewalls have become a bit more commonplace on trail bikes, I’ve had to take my tire and wheel setup to the bike shop mid-way through the process a handful of times, and every time it feels like putting a piece of unstable explosives in my backseat. It’s a balancing act, I always get sealant somewhere I don’t want, and I’m not a happy man when it gets on the fabric of my back seat. If it’s that hard to get the sticky stuff off of my hands, I’m not confident it comes out of cloth any easier.
The MilkIt Booster attempts to de-stress the lives of those who don’t want to invest in a compressor or a pricy tubeless charger floor pump. The canister and nozzle weigh 154g, so the MilkIt is lightweight. It also comes in two sizes (1L and .6L), each about the size of a water bottle. Oh, and it can also be used as a water bottle by adding a cap.
A Presta valve is on top for inflating the booster. The open port on the right mounts to the Presta valve on the bike to inflate the tire. Photo: Matt Miller.
I used the MilkIt Booster for the majority of the summer to mount multiple tubeless tires. There’s a handful of steps to the process. First, open up the Presta valve on the MilkIt Booster head. This booster head was actually recalled over the summer, but MilkIt has revised and shipped the updated product. I usually air up the bottle to between 100 and 120psi, and that generally works. The maximum recommended pressure is 160psi.
After that, close the Presta valve on the booster head, open up the Presta valve on the wheel, press the MilkIt Booster on the receiving valve, and voila. Well, most of the time. The MilkIt Booster didn’t work on every tire for me, especially those with the near-impenetrable, DH-rated sidewalls. I’d try multiple times, charging the bottle at 160psi the final time or two, yet a few, thick sidewalls still wouldn’t budge.
I’d say that the Booster still reduced messy trips to my bike shop for a compressor boost by about 75%. For average, trail-rated tires, without heavy casing, the MilkIt Booster is an easy go-to.
Mountain bikers who live in a small dwelling or don’t want to add equipment to their household like an air compressor will find the MilkIt Booster useful for their daily tire-mounting needs. It may not be the best bet for someone mounting a lot of DH tires, but for most of us, it’ll do the trick.
Thanks to Milkit for providing the Booster for review.