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Bontrager Air Support Review

A basic frame pump that will inflate a tire, but not without a lot of work
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Price:  $25 List
Pros:  No changing settings for Presta or Schrader valves
Cons:  Clunky pump action, mediocre pumping performance
Manufacturer:   Trek
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 1, 2019
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 18
  • Pumping Performance - 30% 5
  • Ease of Use - 30% 6
  • Portability - 20% 6
  • Looks and Design - 10% 6
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Bontrager Air Support is a nice looking frame pump that gets the job done. It is affordable, compact, and easy to use. Where it falls short is performance. For nearly half the price you can purchase our Best Buy Award winner the Peakini 2 which is very similar in design but does a better job of inflating tires. If you want a frame pump with a flex fill hose, we suggest spending a few more bucks to purchase our previous Best Buy Award winner the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Hose.


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Star Rating
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Pros No changing settings for Presta or Schrader valvesGreat pumping performance, easy to use, affordableExcellent pumping power, highly portable, digital readoutDurable, user friendly, pumping performanceEasy to use, threadless valve head, retractable hose, doubles as a front shock pump
Cons Clunky pump action, mediocre pumping performanceHeavy, Too big to fit in a jersey or a hip packToo large for a frame mount or to fit in a hip packLack of versatilityHose is short, not as powerful as larger pumps, not for road bikes
Bottom Line A basic frame pump that will inflate a tire, but not without a lot of workA frame pump that performs like a floor pump.If you ride with a hydration pack and want the most pumping power possible, this is the one.Awesome mini pump for high pressure, low volume tires.The ideal pump for a mountain biker looking for a capable, lightweight, low-profile frame, or jersey pocket, pump.
Rating Categories Bontrager Air Support Topeak Road Morph G Micro Floor Digital Drive HVG Lezyne Pressure Drive Birzman Velocity Apogee MTB
Pumping Performance (30%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Portability (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
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5
10
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8
10
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8
Looks And Design (10%)
10
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6
10
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7
10
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8
10
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6
10
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8
Durability (10%)
10
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6
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
Specs Bontrager Air... Topeak Road Morph G Micro Floor... Lezyne Pressure... Birzman Velocity...
Weight 122g 204g 242g 90g 136g
Length 21cm 35cm 30.48cm 19cm 17.78cm
25C Road Tire Pressure following 200 Pumps 50psi 125psi 76 psi at 100 pumps 60psi 44 psi at 100 pumps
Tire Pressure 27.5 x 2.3" Following 300 Pumps 25psi 50psi 40 psi at 200 pumps 17psi 22psi
Ability to reach 90psi in a road tire 25cc No Yes N/A Yes N/A
Pump Head Type Standard Integrated with locking lever Hose with locking lever Threaded hose w/pressure relief valve Hose Thread On Non-thread hose, slip on
Presta Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Schrader Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Frame Mount Bracket Included? No No Yes Yes Yes
Pressure Gauge? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

After going through our rigorous testing procedures, the Bontrager Air Support ended up near the lower end of the list. It does have some great features, but it falls behind when it comes time to get the job done. It did not perform as well as high-pressure specific road bike pumps or as well as high volume specific mountain bike pumps. It also is not the most spectacular when it comes to extra features, innovation, or design.

Performance Comparison




Pumping Performance


Pumping performance is not a strong suit for the Air Support. Right out of the box, there was a clunky feeling in the piston while pumping. During our road tire test, it just stopped increasing psi at around 200 strokes at a maximum of 50 psi. For the 27.5" x 3" mountain bike tire test it took all 300 strokes to get to 25 psi. It will get you enough psi to get off the road or off the trail, but if the goal is to keep riding for the rest of the day, then it would be a good idea to go with a frame pump that will perform better when needed.

One of the best performing mini pumps that we have reviewed is the Topeak Road Morph G which can get a road bike tire up to 125 psi in 200 strokes and can still be mounted to the frame.

Ease of Use


The pump head on the Air Support is a standard locking lever style, but with an integrated valve female that works for both Presta and Schrader valves. This sounds great on paper, but when it came time to test the pump in the field, it fell in the middle of performance between the two valves. For Schrader valves, it was difficult to seal because the female was so small, whereas for Presta valves the head would leak air unless the pump was perfectly perpendicular to the wheel because the female was too big.

For a pump that does not come with a flex hose or a pressure gauge, a better option is our Best Buy Award winner the Topeak Peakini 2 which is more affordable and has a much higher level of performance.

The Air Support has a head that says it works for both Schrader and Presta valves but it doesn't work very well for either.
The Air Support has a head that says it works for both Schrader and Presta valves but it doesn't work very well for either.

Portability


The Air Support is stronger in the portability category. Weighing 122 grams, it is fairly light, and with a length of 21cm, it is one of the more compact pumps in our review. It has a cylinder that is small in diameter and is small enough to fit in a jersey. While mounted on a bike frame it stays out of the way of pedaling and the mount sandwiches between a water bottle cage and the frame, so you don't have to sacrifice any hydration for a frame pump.

In comparison, some pumps are close to the same length that are lighter and that work better for those who are worried about shaving every last gram. The Lezyne Road Drive is 23.5 cm and only weighs 97 grams.

The Air Support is one of the more compact frame pumps in our review.
The Air Support is one of the more compact frame pumps in our review.

Looks and Design


When it comes to looks and design the Air Support is pretty average. It is a nice looking pump and it does have some excellent features. Bontrager thought to add a sliding rubber gasket on the barrel that holds the pump closed when it's in your jersey, on your frame, or in your pack. It's mostly made out of aluminum, which has a nice aesthetic.

Another aluminum body pump that does a much better job of pumping, and comes with a flex hose with an inline gauge is the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge.

This pump has a sliding rubber gasket that keeps the pump closed when not in use.
This pump has a sliding rubber gasket that keeps the pump closed when not in use.

Durability


The Air Support is a strong pump. The aluminum body withstood any dropping, tossing, or shaking around that we threw at it. It also has a strong frame mount that would likely hold onto the pump even in the event that the rubber strap that secures it came undone. One of the Air Support's most durable features is that the locking lever on the head is made out of aluminum as well. Usually, these are made out of plastic.

A weakness in the durability category is that it doesn't have a way of protecting the head. Our Best Buy Winner, the Topeak Peakini 2, has a rubber dust guard to keep the pump head free of debris.

The metal lever on the Air Support head is strong and durable.
The metal lever on the Air Support head is strong and durable.

Best Applications


A great application for the Air Support would be for low volume, low-pressure tire use such as a beach cruiser or a toddler bike. It might also be useful if you want an aluminum pump and you care more about looks than performance.

Value


The Air Support does not offer the most amount of value. Our current Best Buy Award winner the Peakini 2 is cheaper and outperforms it while offering a similar style. If you don't mind spending a few dollars more, our previous Best Buy Award winner the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge offers more durability, a flex hose, and a gauge.

Conclusion


The Bontrager Air Support did not live up to OutdoorGearLab standards. It scored somewhat well in a few categories, but if it doesn't perform its primary job, we cannot recommend it to our readers.


Ross Patton