You are on the cycle path and realise that your nightmare has become a reality. One of your tires is flat. What will you do? Let’s add another complication to it. It is getting dark, and you want to be on your way in as little time as possible. The puncture repair kit will patch things up for you. The last thing that you want to slow you down is the tube pumping process afterwards. That is if you have a decent pump with you anyway? How do the professionals do it so swiftly and might I add elegantly? A CO2 inflator fills the inner tube when you have a flat tire in seconds, saving you energy and time. Hence, it gets you back to the race in no time, and you will barely miss a second of your race. Here we have a detailed guide that will help you understand the purpose, advantages and disadvantages of the CO2 inflator on your bike. Pay close attention, and you will buy the correct CO2 inflator for your bike.
Unless you are experienced in this field, you will struggle to know what you are looking for when choosing one. Even some of the most avid cyclists admit that they wouldn’t stand a chance. It gets worse when you have the pressure of a salesperson added to the equation. That is why we have taken the liberty of doing the leg work for you. We have researched the best Co2 Inflators to create the shortlist that you will find below. Each product is accompanied by a detailed review, including what we think could be better about it.
In a hurry?
If you are satisfied that the Co2 inflator will do the job, the only thing to consider would be the economic side of things. Getting value for money is worthwhile. Start by seeing if you can get multipacks. It would require calculating how much each inflator in the pack costs. You can also check how many tires you inflate with each canister.
The top pick on this list must be the Pro Bike Co2 inflator. This option has been chosen as the top pick because it is a professionally made product. They have made this product for on the go cycling, and it is guaranteed that it will not fail you along the way. They have also included an EVA foam handle that will help protect you against the cold of the Co2 as you are using it. The product is one of the lightest but most durable on the list. The product also can accommodate cartridges of any size which I think riders will find more convenient. Lastly, there is a satisfaction guarantee on this product that will allow you to return the product should you find yourself unsatisfied by it. It’s a top product designed for competitive racing because if you fix a tire, you can be up and running in no time.
Best Co2 Inflator For Emergency Refills
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This option from Portland design is a decent Co2 inflator that works powerfully within seconds. The head of the product is made from an indestructible alloy. This means that you can rest assured that the investment you made in the product will not go to waste in the case of a malfunction. Co2 inflators are a product that can explode if not managed well, hence why they have added an indestructible head for your safety and security. The product can inflate your tires within seconds, making it very handy because the cartridge is potent. If you are stuck out in the forest after having a tire puncture, you will be good to go once you fix it. The product fits both Presta and Schrader valves well, meaning you need to double-check which you have before you buy it. The speed of Co2 release is also well regulated, so you don’t have to worry about the intense power of the product popping your tires. It is an excellent and small product just over 1.75 inches big, meaning you can conveniently take it with you wherever you go.
- Made from indestructible alloy
- Inflates tires within seconds
- Light and convenient to carry around
- Plastic bottom that can wear out
This option from Lezyne is not the most durable you can get. However, it works the fastest. It comes with an instant inflation system that is well regulated. This means that within 5 seconds, you will inflate your tire. The regulation works to protect your tires from over inflation that can lead to punctures when cycling in uneven terrain. The product is made from CNC machined aluminium. This means that it is well prepared to inflate tires regardless of the weather. Hence, if it is raining, you do not have to worry that it will not be as effective. The CNC machined aluminium is not as durable as regular aluminium, but it can still hold its own quite well. The product has an oversized control knob that was designed to allow people with more giant hands to manage the device without any constraints. There is a tendency to use small control knobs, which has led to some people struggling to open the device accurately. It is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves.
- Oversized control knows for people with bigger hands
- Instant inflation system that is regulated
- Will work in all weather conditions that it is exposed to
- Not the most durable materials
Pro Bike has made a cool and handy product here in this Co2 Inflator. It is a high-performance tool that professional racers use and is one of the top options on the list. The product has a no-leak design that ensures you do not waste any cartridges which can be time consuming and pricey. The product is designed for any size cartridge you have, making it a much more versatile option than many of the others. It has a rubber foam that is made from EVA. This is a great feature to add because it will protect your hands from the Co2. Co2 can be almost freezing meaning as you fill up your tires your hands can even go numb. The rubber cover will protect you from this. The product is made from CNC machined aluminium that has been worked to perfection, allowing the product to last longer than its competitors. It works well with Presta and Schrader valves; however, you must ensure they are well tightened to avoid any accidents. Pro Bike has worked hard on this product and has confidence in it. It is the only product on the list that offers a full refund if you become unsatisfied with it during its lifespan.
- Rubber handle to protect your hands from cold Co2
- Designed for any size cartridge
- Full refund if you are not satisfied
- Not the most durable material
This is one of the more old-fashioned options that you can get on the list. It may be old fashioned, but it will still get the job done. It is a silver product that works through a hand pump. Meaning that you won’t get the instant inflation that the other products can offer. This is both good and bad. It is good because it will protect you against over inflation which can destroy your tires over time. It is bad because it requires more effort and is, therefore, less convenient. The Co2 adaptor is incorporated into the handle meaning that you have much more control when holding it. You feel more stable and safer. It has a magnetic head with a twisting collar. This feature means that even when not using the product, it will remain closed, keeping out any possible dirt that may accumulate. This will work to improve the lifespan of the product. The hose is hidden and flexible, so you do not have to worry about breaking it, putting the product out of commission. It is a durable product that is well made. The only downfall is that it lacks convenience that modern-day customers enjoy.
- Durable material
- Magnetic head to keep dirt out
- Protected against over inflation
- Hand pump means it will take time to inflate your tires
This is one of the cheaper options on the list that has been made to be lightweight and durable but not very efficient. It is understandable given the price that it may not work as well as its competitors. The design is made from rubber, meaning that it is likely to wear out over time. This also means that there is not much protection against the cold from the Co2 as its passing through. The product fits both Presta and Schrader valve systems. It has a system that works to prevent any leakages, which is a big benefit and will save you costs in the long run. The material is made from a combination of aluminium and alloy steel. This makes it one of the more durable options on the list. It has a straightforward control valve that allows you to add air to your tires precisely. It works in seconds, so you won’t have to worry about delays. Brisk more have included a satisfaction guarantee always to return the product should you not like it.
- Leak prevention system
- Made from aluminium and alloy steel
- Simple control valve
- Less efficient
This option from Pro Bike is slightly more advanced and durable than its counterpart. It comes with a safe cartridge storage port. This is a convenient feature that none of the other products on the list have. This makes using the cartridge much safer. If something happens whilst you are putting pressure in your tires the cartridge won't just explode dangerously. Remember, there is a large amount of tension involved when putting Co2 in, and anything can go wrong. The product is nice and light whilst also being trendy. It comes in a cool silver colour made from high-quality paint, meaning it won't lose value over time. The release of Co2 is well regulated, which will protect your tires, and you should be ready to go in seconds. This is because of the instant inflation system. The only disadvantage is that it does not come with a rubber or foam handle to protect you from the cold of the Co2.
- Instant inflation
- Cartridge storage system for better safety
- Lightweight, compact and trendy design
- No rubber handles
The CO2 Inflator has two crucial parts which are C02 Cartridge and the head. They are made up of a small metal cylinder filled with CO2. The flat tire is filled up with compressed CO2. You are supposed to purchase a valve per 2 cartridges though some come with two cartridges in the package.
They are designed differently as they have the activated, controlled inflators, pushing to expand and twist to inflate. Whenever you buy a CO2 inflator always make sure you have chosen the correct Inflator by making sure you look at the right material, the correct size of the head and quality type of Inflator.
Which CO2 inflator to use
Inflators come in two different materials which include plastic or aluminium. If you are on a strict budget, then opt for plastic inflators, but they are not durable compared to the aluminium inflators. CO2 inflators that are too small might be portable to carry around but will be challenging to use. Therefore, opt for inflators that are usable despite the size as stability in use is essential.
CO2 cartridges have two different types which include the non-threaded and the threaded ones. The threaded cartridges are expensive but easy to use as compared to the non-threaded, which are cheap. The non-threaded are popular but not long-lasting as the threaded cartridges. The cylinder of the non-threaded inflator protects you from the cold temperature during the flat tire's inflation.
Specs of the CO2 inflator
The CO2 inflator weighs about 16g and easy to carry around with you as it can fit in a small bag. It is coated with aluminium and has fibre. The inflator has a stylish look as it comes in various outstanding colours. The inflator's nozzle has many different colours, such as silver, red, black, blue and purple. These colours are eye-catching and of high definition. The inflator head fits all CO2 cartridges of 25g, 20g, 16g and 12g. Mainly the affordable inflator heads can only fit in 12g and 16g. Always make sure to know if your inflator head is compatible with many cylinder tanks. Some tanks are bought separately from the head inflator.
Easy to use
Luckily the inflator is compatible with any valves hence easy to use. The CO2 cartridge has a shielded sleeve which aids in preserving the temperature to keep the CO2 even. The inflator's nozzle contains a one-turn valve system that makes it easy for you to quickly release the CO2 into the flat tire then once full, you quickly close the valve.
The inflator is useful as it fills a flat tire in seconds as compared to the bike pump which takes ages to fill up the tire. Its control lever makes it easy for you to control the pressure of the CO2 into the bike. Always note that the CO2 inflator is an essential element to carry with you at all times as it saves you from being stranded with a flat tire and energy as it is effortless.
The good thing about CO2 inflators is that they need you to inflate compressed pressure into the flat tire whilst a normal pump requires you to pump air into the flat tire. What a fun way to get a job done without an effort. These inflators are durable as they can allow you to use half of a cartridge and use the remaining cartridge next time you face the same problem.
Inflators are a temporary solution to your flat tire as the compressed pressure can allow you to get to the nearest garage without damaging your tire. These Co2 inflators are affordable to invest in as they come with two cartridges and a valve nozzle.
The worst thing that could happen to you is getting stuck with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere without a solution. Manually pumping the tires can be time-consuming. It is not the ideal option for an emergency. Always make it a point to carry your CO2 inflator as it saves you time and instantly inflates your flat tire in seconds. I hope this article has helped you understand the need to have an inflator and use the inflator. Purchasing the correct sized head and cartridge will help you easily use the CO2 inflator with no hustle. Enjoy a smooth ride with no worries about a flat tire as a CO2 inflator gets you covered.