Advantages Of Co2 Vs Pumps
Unlike most manual pumps that are carried in holders next to your frame, CO2 inflators with the cartridges are so small you can easily carry them in a seat bag, pocket or pack. So theyre ideal if youve got a road bike you cant fit a pump on or dont want to put a pump on for whatever reason.
When you have a good CO2 inflator and know how to use it, you can fix a flat a lot faster than someone with a standard hand pump. So, CO2 is great for events and races where every second counts.
Know The Right Pressure Measurements Required For The Bike
When it comes to how to put air in bike tires without a pump, you must not have jumped into executing the steps without measuring the pressure of the tires before and after they are inflated. Make use of the barometer to measure the pressure inside each tire, and you must be aware of the tire pressure you hope to achieve after this exercise. You can watch the video below to understand how to measure the pressure of bike tires.
Best Co2 Inflators 2022
ByWill Jonespublished 28 June 22
The best CO2 inflators are tiny, but mighty, and capable of re-inflating your tyres in seconds – here are our favourites.
The best CO2 inflators are ultra-portable, lightweight, and easy to use. They comprise an inflator head, which either screws or presses onto your valve and allows some level of modulation of gas flow, and the CO2 cartridge itself, which screws into the head when needed. Some have additional features such as pressure gauges, and many will come with a protective sleeve as, thanks to the Joule-Thomson effect whereby gasses forced through a small aperture will cool, both the head and canister can ice up with extended use.
There are plenty of options out there on the market, and so it can be difficult to know what youâre looking for, particularly if youâve never used one before. Worry not weâve not only tested all the inflators on this list to make sure they work well, can modulate pressure, donât leak, and protect your fingers, weâve also put together a guide at the bottom of the page to help you make an informed decision.
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What To Know Before We Start
Here are a few basic terms that will help you with the process outlined below.
CO2 cartridge: Small metal container of compressed CO2.
CO2 inflator: Tool that accepts the CO2 cartridge, attaches to the tube valve and inflates the tyre. CO2 cartridges will either screw into the CO2 inflator or press into them to release CO2.
Threaded or non-threaded: As the name suggests CO2 cartridges are either threaded or non-threaded. Threaded cartridges screw into the inflator head whereas the non-threaded CO2 cartridges simply push in. Non-threaded cartridges are not as reliable as threaded ones and less common, but whichever option you decide on, make sure the CO2 cartridges match the inflator.
Flow control: Some CO2 inflators and pumps have a ‘flow control’, which, moderates the amount of CO2 released into the tyre. For units without flow control, it’s all or nothing.
PSI: Unit of measurement for pressure. Measured in ‘Pounds per Square Inch’.
Co2 Inflator Vs Mini Bike Pump
You might ask, why use a CO2 canister and inflator if the same result can be achieved with a mini pump?Well, there are advantages and disadvantages to both that Ill be happy to discuss in the following section.Advantages of CO2 Canisters and Inflators:
- Light-weight and easy to carry on your bike.
- It can inflate up to 120 psi in seconds.
Disadvantages of CO2 Canisters and Inflators:
- You only get one use per canister. If you get two flats and only have one canister you might be making a call for home.
- The inflator releases the air quickly, which can make it difficult to acquire the right psi and to add a little air before fitting the tire.
- Not environmentally friendly.
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Zefal Fez Control Co2 Bike Pump
The Zefal Fez Control CO2 inflator attempts to combine the advantages of both an inflator and a mini hand pump whenever you get flat tires.If you run out of cartridges on the road, this inflator can be used as a mini pump, which is high-quality. But, as with other hand pumps, it takes a long time just to pump up to 80 psi. This can be inconvenient if youre commuting to work or in the middle of a race.The pump part of this inflator does have a good grip, which makes it easier to get it to inflate your tires smoothly.If you want to use the inflator with a cartridge, thats easy. The hoses barrel is compatible with either Schrader or Presta. Just twist off the barrel and turn it the other way if you need to switch between the two.On the other end of the pump, is where you can put the CO2 cartridges. Its easy to use. Just screw in the cartridge, attach the valves, and then wait for the tire to inflate. Its quick and you wont have any leaks because its all done through the hose.The only drawback is that once the cartridge becomes cold, it is hard to unscrew it from the inflator, but it is manageable if you have a pair of gloves handy.Cyclists who have bought the inflator like it because it is reliable and durable. The hose from the pump allows them flexibility and makes it easier to change and inflate a duded tire. And, most cyclists dont need to put any pressure on the valve to ensure no leaks.
What Are Co2 Inflators
CO2 inflators are used to add carbon dioxide gas into your bike through the tire valve system. They come with different designs such as the twist to inflate, push to inflate and the trigger controlled inflators. You can use them to inflate flat tires or when filling up new tubes.
Here are some benefits:
Time-saving: As compared to air pumps, these fill up the tires faster. They can inflate your tires within seconds so you can get back riding within a blink of an eye. For regular bike pumps, you may be standing there for around 10 minutes tirelessly trying to pump up your tire.
Portable: That being said, CO2 inflators are super portable, especially in comparison to regular bike pumps. Regular bike pumps are massive, and theyre heavy too, whereas CO2 inflators are often pocket-sized so that you can carry them in your saddlebag, backpack, or even your jacket!
They are usually super lightweight, too they wont take up too much space youll forget its there! When I switched to CO2 bike pumps, I never forget my inflator again I never had to worry about flats as I was covered.
Easy to use: Another benefit is that they hold gas at very high pressure, making them easy and effortless to use. You only need to place the head onto the valve stem them press/twist.
Some can even inflate tires as big as fat bike tires within seconds, you heard me, within seconds!
Some CO2 pumps will fit any tire, too: road, mountain, and fat bike tires.
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What Are Co2 Cartridges
Basically, CO2 cartridges are little cans filled with pressurized carbon dioxide gas. Most are pretty small in size , making them incredibly easy to store and stash away so you always have a few cartridges handy. Though theyre small, cartridges contain CO2 gas at pressure, so that when theyre attached to the valve of your tire, they fill the tire with gas very quickly saving you the time and physical effort associated with a manual pump.
How To Use A Co2 Cartridge
Changing a flat tyre out on the road can be a pain in the neck but it’s likely something that every rider will have to do at some stage. While it’s advisable to carry a hand pump with you in case of a flat, for many riders the size and awkward shape is prohibitive, leading many to opt for a CO2 cartridge and inflator instead.
CO2 cartridges are much smaller and lighter than a hand pump, easily fitting into a saddle bag or jersey pocket. The cartridges are full of compressed air and can inflate a flat tyre in a matter of seconds with little effort. The drawback to using cartridges instead of a hand pump is if you get it wrong, there’s no going back – once the air has been released from the cartridge, it’s done. As a result, if you use CO2 cartridges or are thinking of making the switch, it’s imperative you know how to use them correctly otherwise, that flat tyre could turn into a cab ride home, a phone call to your significant other for a lift or worse, a long walk in your cycle shoes.
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Best Co2 Inflators Buyers Guide
Lets begin and explain what a CO2 inflator is.Inflators are only useful if they are accompanied by a CO2 canister, which is filled with compressed gas. The inflator attaches to the CO2 canister and then releases the gas into the flat tire. It can inflate up to 120 psi depending on the brand you have.
Airace Co2 And Tire Lever Set
The Airace is a CO2 pump and tire lever integrated into one tool that is meant for convenience and simplification in your tool kit.The product has a shiny aluminum body and an economic design to save you space. Its compact and designed so that you wont need to carry two tools.The inflator has a tire lever end that has a rim protector to make it last longer.To inflate your tire, all you need to do is twist the CO2 cartridge once the inflator is securely covering the valve.The inflator is Presta and Schrader compatible so you wont need to buy new ones if you already have those brands. And, you also have the option to buy an insulated cartridge sleeve to protect your fingers from freezing.Cyclists like it because the levers are firm in their hands and made it easier to remove and install tires. And, the inflator is simple to use even though there isnt a way to control how fast and how much CO2 is released.
Id recommend this tool if you need a basic inflator and are more concerned about saving space on your bike.
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How Many Co2 Cartridges To Fill A Mountain Bike Tire
How many co2 cartridges you will need to fill a mountain bike tire will depend on the mountain bike tire size and width. An adult mountain bike is available in 3 sizes, 26 inches, 27.5 inches, and 29 inches, with different psi. A 26inch mountain bike needs a minimum of 30 psi, a 27.5inch mtb bike needs 25 psi, and 29-inch mtb tires need 31 psi for a single tire.
You will need two 16 gram co2 cartridges to fill a mountain bike tire because a 16 gram cartridge can fill 15 psi to a flat tire, while the average psi of an mtb bike is 22 psi to 40 psi.
But if its a large 20-gram or 25-gram co2 inflator, one co2 cartridge inflator is enough to fill a mountain bike tire.
How Much Co2 Does Your Bicycle Tire Need
Whether topping off a bicycle tire or filling to full after a flat tire repair, no cyclist wants to be short CO2 when out on the trail. As the leader in bicycle CO2 tire inflation technology, we often get asked by bike shops and consumers, “How much CO2 do I need?” The answer differs depending on the size of your bicycle tires, so we put together a handy bicycle tire CO2 inflation chart to help. Check it out:
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How Many Cartridges Does It Take To Fill Up A Tyre
For road tyres a single 16g cartridge is sufficient for reinflation, and will get it up to and over your desired pressure with ease. You may end up over inflating and having to back off.
For larger volume tyres, weâre talking gravel bikes here, weâd go for a larger 25g cartridge. While you may have the volume within a 16g for reinflation, you may not be able to reach sufficient pressure to reseat your tubeless tyres, which would leave you in a pickle.
Portland Design Works Co2 Inflator
The Portland Design Works CO2 Inflator is made from alloy, which makes it nearly indestructible and ever-lasting.Its compatible with any threaded cartridges or Presta and Schrader valves.While other inflators also have some type of mechanism to control how much CO2 is released, this one is different. The inflator has an oversized control knob to make it easy to control the CO2 pressure and air flow.If youre conscious about what type of products you buy, pay attention to this detail. The sleeve to protect your hand and fingers is made from leather. And, the leather is vegetable tanned and stained with natural oils and waxes.The sleeve is only included if you buy a 16-gram CO2 cartridge with the inflator, otherwise, youll need to seek another way of getting it.Cyclists who have bought the inflator like it because the valve is very easy to use and control the airflow. Once the cartridge is secured into the inflator, all cyclists need to do is cautiously turn the control knob to open. And, if any leaks are heard, its easy to just close the knob. This only occurs if the inflator isnt fitted into the valve properly. Once the tire is filled, all the cyclist does is turn the knob off and take the inflator off the valve. Additionally, the inflator is very light weight and tiny and can fit anywhere cyclists need to put it.
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Can You Control The Flow Of The Gas
That depends on the kind of inflator head you have. Some units dispense air the second the CO2 canister is pierced often resulting in lost air and frustrated riders who wasted their one shot to get it done . More advanced CO2 inflator heads are equipped with flow control that allows you to start and stop the flow of CO2. With a better inflator head, cyclists can choose the flow technology they prefer, including twist-to-inflate, push-to-inflate or trigger controlled.
How Many Co2 Cartridges To Fill A Road Bike Tire
A road bike tire doesnt go flat as often as an mtb bike or fat tire bike, but it sometimes goes flat and needs to be inflated. You can inflate road tires with a hand pump or mini pump or use co2 cartridges. CO2 is a smart mini inflator filled with pressurized carbon dioxide. It will save up your time and fill your tire in a second. How many co2 cartridges to fill a road bike tire?
One 16-gram co2 cartridge is enough to fill a road bike tire. A standard road bike needs to be inflated between 90 to 120 psi, while a 16gram co2 cartridge can provide up to 130 psi to a road bike.
But what if both the tires need to be filed? What will you do then? You will need up to 120 psi to fill each tire, and in total, 340psi that a single 16-gram cartridge cant provide. So you will need two 16-gram cartridges or one large 20-gram cartridge.
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Inflation Chart For Different Tire Sizes And Co2 Sizes
- 18 gram threaded cartridges available as a 3-pack
- 25 gram threaded cartriges available as a 2-pack
- 38 gram threaded cartridges are sold individually
- Simple operation: twist on and off to control air flow
- One side threaded for cartridge storage
- Rubber plug prevents grit and grime from contaminating the system
How To Use A Co2 Inflator Get A Tyre Inflated In 8 Easy Steps
First Published Nov 21, 2015
CO2 inflators are an extremely convenient way to inflate tyres, if speed of operation is the most important factor. A small metal canister contains compressed carbon dioxide gas that expands to fill your tyre when the top is punctured. It’s a quick way to get back on the road, but if you’re not careful it’s easy to jet all the CO2 into the atmosphere and not the tyre.
Our guide below shows you what we believe is the best method to fit and use a CO2 inflator. If there are other methods that you prefer then feel free to let everybody know in the comments.
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What I Look For In The Best Co2 Inflators
The inflators we looked at today had to offer a lot, and they really redefined what a CO2 inflator can do in terms of reducing hassle while inflating.
All inflators were compatible with Presta and Schrader valves, the most common valves on bike tires. Some offered sleeves to insulate the canister while pumping to avoid cold hands, while others provided a textured finish to avoid cold cans.
Some had the flexibility to attach to multiple different capacity options for cartridges, while others only came with the inflator head and no cartridge.
All in all, the price was kept in mind, and there were a lot of appealing options in the CO2 inflators we looked at today.
How Do You Know What Size Cartridge To Get
CO2 cartridges come in various sizes there are 16 gram and 20 gram units, among others. Typically, smaller units are ideal for filling road tires and standard bike tires, while larger ones are often used on larger volume 29ers, mountain and fat bike tires. The best way to understand if a cartridge will work for your bikes tires is to know the correct working pressure for your tires and then reference this handy bicycle tire CO2 inflation chart.
CO2 inflators are hugely convenient, and these are just a few of the essentials you need to cover before you start using them. Give them a try, and enjoy better, faster rides without worry!
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