Wednesday, December 26

milKing the System

I got a new toy(s) about a week or so before Christmas.

File the milKit Valve System under something I didn't think I'd need (or would work) and the milKit Booster 2.0 under something I thought just can't work.

File me under the idiot who forgot to mention that my NOX rims require longer valve stems than normal, and that means I'm not playing with all my new toys until the longer 55m stems came VIA FedEx on Christmas Eve. 

I did fiddle a bit with the Booster when I first got it... although I didn't quite read the instructions entirely before I just went at it.

I mean, TL;DR, emmaright?

So, I thought the metal bit was some kinda button, and it's totally not. You just press it on and the air comes out. Duh.

Limited play time deflating tires and re-inflating them until the proper valve stems showed up... because I'm not getting latex messy until I have it all in hand.

With the correct valve stem delivered to my house, I went ahead and broke one bead off the rim, inserted the new valve stem, pumped up the Booster, and pressed it on as instructed and with the valve core removed.

Blam.  Tire set right up with the Booster inflated to somewhere north of 145PSI (it can handle 160PSI but my pump can't).

Second valve installation to the rear, I decided to break both beads off the rim to simulate a full-on, remounting of a tire.

I really didn't think this would work. I've tried a couple of the tubeless tank-style pumps in the past and have had limited success. My guess has always been the lack of volume (compared to my compressor tank) being choked down through the hose and then limited flow through the pump head. I'm not a scientist.

Some of you might remember that my last resort method for inflation with my air compressor was to basically disassemble the nozzle head and shove it over the core-less valve stem.

The Booster is basically a giant CO2 cartridge (with more volume but less pressure) that fits on the stem in a very similar docking manner.  It's a simple system for very quickly getting a large amount of air into the tire.

Which if I woulda read the press release in my email, I wouldn't have to be guessing about how it works.

"There are no hoses or additional valves to reduce air flow, making inflating tubeless tires with the milKit Booster more efficient than any other existing solution."

I don't wanna talk about the valves too much right now, as they seem like a product better suited to a long term review.  That said, the heart valve looking rubber bit at the base meant that even though I inflated the tire with the core removed, no air came back out when I pulled the Booster away.

That image shows the rubber bit quite nicely, but being used with the "system" that I'm not ready to write about yet.

So no sticking my finger on the core-less valve and rush-fumbling to get the core back in without losing a massive amount of air.  I honestly left the front wheel on the back porch without the core installed while I was working on the rear wheel.  When I finally got around to bringing it back into the house, it hadn't lost any air... so pretty dope, I guess.

This feature mebbe dumbfounded me a bit:

The Booster 2.0 comes with a water bottle cap... so you could actually use it as a drinking vessel.

This made no sense to me.  That is, at least at first.

Then I considered when the Booster would be super handy... like when traveling to far away places when luggage space is maxed out.  Mebbe like flying to the Breck Epic, where I need to pack efficiently.  So the useful bottle becomes a carry-on item freeing up some space for more tiny hats?  I guess.  Mebbe.

Here's another thing that kinda blew me away... as I'm learning more about the Booster 2.0... because I'm actually reading about it.

There were two size options, and being that I doubted the Booster had enough volume to really do what it was supposed to do, I woulda assumed that I'd want the larger of the two.

Huh.  I got the smaller of the two options, which I... ummm...unhhh...

It worked.  Shit in my hat and call me Susan.

BTW:  Yeth, this is a 2.0 product, which suggests that there was a previous version.  You can't have World War II without World War I, but you don't call it WWI until you got a WWII going on.

Also from the press release:

"Faced with having to repair or replace a small percentage of the original Booster products that were affected by a quality control issue, milKit made the decision to accelerate their development cycle and introduce a more advanced, second-generation design."

In a nutshell, they used stronger, more robust materials, improved the design of the Booster Head, and added an additional steel reinforcing ring at the valve fitting.

One more reveal about the valve stems themselves, because this was the reason I thought I wouldn't wanna use them.

L-R: Valve cap (recycle bin), valve core, valve stem, handy little core removal tool.

I figured that since no air came come out while the valve core was absent, there was no way to bleed out air or use a proper pressure gauge.  Right?


All I can reckon is that the plastic do-dad with the holes in it dangling off the standard looking valve core makes some kinda magic happen. 

If I wasn't able to use a pressure gauge, I wasn't gonna go any further with testing them.  Honestly, I'm dead balls-on accurate with my tire pressures (esp on the rigid behk), so all the other features of the milKit system would be pointless if I couldn't pop a gauge on them before riding and/or making great bike race.

So, I'll keep playing with them and let you know later.

And in the interest of science, when the new Maxxis rubber shows up for the 2019 "season," I won't go the lazy route and use the compressor.  I'll take the time to inflate the Booster, use it, and get back to you on its long term performance on different rim/tire combos.




Rob said...

So a small compressed air tank you fill with floor pump, and use to inflate tires and/or blast tubeless tires back onto the bead, correct?

dicky said...

Yeth, as simple as that. I guess one of the most important aspects truly is the lack of hose and pump head that could slows down air flow.

Tim Garland said...

When you do get the new tire, fill up the bottle with the compressor. Best of both worlds. Or possibly a redundancy that will waste more time but in the name of science and engineering.

dicky said...


I considered that, but it takes surprisingly little effort or time to get the 20oz bottle to 145psi.

edgar said...

can you use the booster with any valve?

dicky said...

Any, as in Schrader or Presta or just any brand Presta?

Hoping you just meant any Presta, because the answer is yes. If you take the valve core out for easier inflation, you just have to be ready to stick it back in when you pull the Booster off... or just lose all that air, I guess. I was playing with standard valve stems while I was waiting for the correct length to show up.

edgar said...

yes presa...i dont belive is schrader...