In this section I will talk you through how to set up and use your Airzound. It is very simply to use the AirZound and it does come with some easy to follow instructions.
Attaching an Airzound to your bike
Fitting an AirZound is pretty simple and you get instructions in the box on how to do it. The AirZound comes with a handlebar clip. The handlebar clip will only work on thinner handlebars and does work reasonably well. The handlebar clip allows for the AirZound to be taken off easily and quickly. As you can see from the picture on the right, the handlebar clip attached onto your handlebar then it is securely screwed on.
You may now be wondering, how can I fix an AirZound to my bike if I have thicker handlebars? My main bike is a road bike, with thicker handlebars and I decided to attach it to the drop on the left side. I find that it is in quite a natural place for one of my fingers to be able to easily get at it, or cover it.
The supplied handlebar mount does not work in this position, but the airzound does fit snuggly onto the drop. I have secured mine with 2 cable ties. As you can see from the picture on the right, it is easy to get at when cycling around. It is not uncomfortable to keep a finger over it, just encase. I would more commonly not have my finger on top of it unless I was going through very busy traffic or expecting something to happen. The main disadvantage of attaching it to the drop is that I cannot use the drop bar and cover the brake at the same time when the AirZound is attached. For my main commute I do not need to use the drops, but if I was doing a hilly weekend ride it is easy to remove the cable ties and attach it back after. This is only a problem if you want to go really fast downhill. If you did, you could attach the AirZound elsewhere on your handle bars but it may not be as easy to reach.
The next step is to decide what you want to do with the compressed air bottle. This is what powers the AirZound. The AirZound kit comes with a velcro strap and cable ties which can be attached to your bike. The bottle comes with a fabric ‘bag’ which attaches very securely to the velcro. The velcro works best on bikes where the rear brake and gear cables go on top of the cross bar. If they go underneath it, like on my bike, you can attach the bottle above but I find that it does slip and need readjusting every so often. In either position you shouldn’t find that you hit it with your legs as you pedal.
The other method is to put it in one of your drinks bottle cages. I prefer the method using the velcro as it means you can still easily remove it, but you do not have to sacrifice a second bottle of water (a must on very hot days) or your only water bottle holder. If you have an extra water bottle cage this can be a good method. If you are going to be using the AirZound on more than one bike it can be a good idea to attach the velcro to your main bike, but then put the AirZound in the water bottle cage on the other bike. If you do like the Velcro attachment you could buy some more from a DIY shop.
Once you’ve attached your AirZound to your bike you will want to make sure it is pumped up fully. You will need a bike pump that has a Schrader valve (the big one). A track pump is best, but you will be able to get it pumped up, with some effort, by using a hand pump. The AirZound should be pumped up between 80-100psi for best performance. From fully pumped up you should get yourself quite a few good blasts. The manufacturer claim around 40 blasts, but it depends how vigorously and for how long you need to use it for each time.
If you find the AirZound to be too loud or you want to lower the volume you can use the volume control valve. I’m not sure why you’d want to make it quieter, but if you do want to or if you want to turn the AirZound off you can use this little dial. It is pretty simple to use, one side is open fully, then turn it the other way to suppress it, to close it completely.
I haven’t tried this myself, but I have heard that you can modify your AirZound so that it uses a 2 litre fizzy drinks bottle, rather than the smaller bottle it comes with. This method might be more suitable if you have a bike which could hold a larger bottle and you plan on using it a lot. For day to day riding you shouldn’t need to do this, but if you attend any cycle demonstrations or cycle rides like Critical Mass it may be worth a try.
Again, I’ve never done this, so don’t blame me if you damage your AirZound! 🙂