Inflate Bicycle Tires With CO2 Cartridges

It’s one of those things you might not be aware of if you don’t frequent bike shops (I didn’t), but obviously these tiny emergency hand pumps aren’t the only way to inflate your bike tires if you get stuck in traffic. road. … Bicycle pumps with CO2 cartridges are a thing and I would say they are hacked.

After all, a CO2 cartridge is just carbon dioxide compressed into a very small space. Your tire doesn’t care what’s inside; ambient air is ok, but CO2 works too. So, all you need is a way to pump compressed CO2 from the cartridge into your tire, and bike companies have created many tiny gadgets for just that.

The minimalist CO2 tire inflator is just a small piece that connects the cartridge to your bike’s air valve. But several functions can help make the device more convenient to use:

  • On / off switch so you can stop CO2 flow when the tire is full.
  • A pressure gauge so you know how much CO2 has gone into the tire.
  • A shroud or sleeve to protect your hand from the cartridge because the cartridge suddenly gets very cold as it pushes its contents.

The devices are around $ 20 and the cartridges are around $ 1 each if you buy them in bulk. While they fill tires quickly and don’t require you to stand and inflate, they do have drawbacks.

First, you throw away the cartridge every time you have a flat tire, so this is not the most environmentally friendly option. You should also make sure you have a supply of cartridges and you must bring enough cartridges with you for the trip. What if you pack two cartridges but have a bad day and receive three cans? So if you go this route make sure you have a lot of merchandise.


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