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Cartridge and CO2 Bike Pumps – Speedy Assistance for Problems En Route

We’ve all been there, with a flat tire at the side of the road, trying our best to pump up the new tube with numb fingers for what feels like forever. At least with a cartridge pump you can significantly cut down the time it takes to get air into your tire or tube. Read on to find out more about CO2 bicycle pumps, what they actually are, how they work and the best way to use them. We also have a large selection of different cartridge pumps as well as the accessories to go with them. Read more

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What Are CO2 Inflators Anyway?

Pop a cartridge in, open the valve and just like that, your tire is inflated. Cartridge pumps are real miracle workers when you get a flat tire. It all comes down to the simple way these CO2 pumps for bikes work: rather than air, it’s CO2 that comes out of the cartridge and gets pumped into the tire. At lighting speed, high pressure and with no effort, meaning that CO2 pumps are particularly ideal for sports-minded cyclists who ride mountain, gravel, road or triathlon bikes. The pumps can even be used with tubeless tires. And it’s not just the fact they’re easy and quick to use that makes them impressive pieces of kit, they’re small in size and lightweight to boot.

The Pros of CO2 Bike Inflators: An Overview

  • A CO2 tire inflator makes quick work of pumping up your tires or tubes.
  • They’re super small and ultra-lightweight, meaning that there’s less weight to carry round with you than if you were to use a mini pump.
  • Their tiny size also means that you can easily fit one into the pocket of your jersey or into your saddle bag.
  • A cartridge pump can even be used with tubeless tires.
  • As such, CO2 pumps are the perfect choice on race day, no matter whether you’re on a mountain, gravel, race or triathlon bike.

CO2 Pumps for Bikes – How Do They Work?

Mini CO2 pumps are usually made up of a small pump body and a gas cartridge. In most cases, cartridges are filled with 16 grams of CO2, but there are other versions available in different sizes. They’re incredibly simple to use: you first put the gas cartridge into the pump, then attach the pump to the tire’s valve. The next thing you do is open the control valve on the pump body. This activates the CO2 cartridge and allows gas to flow into the tire. When the pressure you need has been reached, you close the control valve and remove the pump from the valve. And that’s that!

CO2 Pumps – What Types Are Available?

There are different types of cartridge pumps. Very small versions simply have a pump body as well as an anti-freeze jacket to put over the CO2 inflators, as it can get cold very quickly due to the rapid release of energy during inflation. These mini versions are predominantly used by road cyclists as they’re super lightweight. More luxurious versions can also have covers and some even feature a manometer.

There are also what are known as combi pumps. Just like with hybrid cars, they combine the best of both worlds, being a standard mini pump and CO2 bike tire inflators in one. When you’re out on a ride, you can first use these pumps with a cartridge and then, when you’re out of cartridges, as your run-of-the-mill bicycle pump. Combi pumps are usually larger than out-and-out CO2 pumps.

Buying a CO2 Bike Pump – What to Look Out For

If you’re interested in buying a CO2 pump, there are a few important details to note:

  • One thing you should think about when deciding what CO2 pump to buy is the type of tires on your bike. Smaller pump bodies are usually sought after by road and triathlon cyclists as they’re more lightweight and compact, whilst mountain and gravel bikers may opt for larger versions as they’ll need more CO2 to pump up their tires.
  • Another thing to note is whether the pump is compatible with your valve. Most pumps are designed for use with Presta and Schrader valves, but there are some models that are made specially for tubeless tires.
  • You should also be aware that CO2 cartridges do not automatically come with the pump in most cases, so you should make sure that you buy enough cartridges too. At BIKE24, we also have sets so you can get your cartridges and pump together.
  • Last but not least, you should make sure that your CO2 cartridge bike pump is high in quality and does not have any defects, so look for top-quality materials and a first-class finish when making your purchase.