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Compared to using a small hand pump, CO2 cartridges and an inflator head have become an increasingly popular way to change flat tires on the road or trail. A hand pump takes up a lot of valuable real estate on your bike compared to a CO2 cartridge and they take way longer to inflate a tube/tire. An inflator head and CO2 cartridge can inflate a tube/tire in mere seconds and they are much lighter than a hand pump making them perfect for moments where time is of the essence. Also, once you buy an inflator head, you only need to buy replacement cartridges after that. Here at JensonUSA, we have a wide selection of CO2 inflators and kits that you can use to support all your rides.

CO2 cartridges come in several sizes. Typically, to inflate a road bike tube you will need at least a 16g cartridge while to inflate a mountain bike tire you will need at least a 25-gram cartridge due to mountain bike tires needing a higher volume of air. Also, it’s a good idea to carry more than one cartridge with you on a long ride just in case you accidentally release all the air out of the first cartridge when trying to thread the inflator head on. If you don’t have a backup cartridge and this happens, you are unfortunately out of luck and will be walking home or making the dreaded “call of shame” for someone to come pick you up. Certain inflator heads allow you to control the flow of air traveling through the head. If you are using one of these inflator heads, before you thread the cartridge in, make sure the head is in the closed position because if you don’t do this, you run the risk of ending up stranded on the side of the trail.

CO2 tire inflators typically come with at least one CO2 cartridge while there are kits that come with items such as patch kits and a tire lever. There are some mini pumps that double as a CO2 inflator which can be extremely convenient since you can get the inner tube started with the hand pump and finish it off with the CO2. CO2 cartridges come in either a threaded or non-threaded version with threaded CO2 cartridges being the more commonly used version. There are some CO2 air chucks that work with both threaded and non-threaded cartridges meaning a 16g non-threaded cartridge and threaded cartridge will work the same.

With modern CO2 pumps working with presta and Schrader valves, there’s no reason to not carry one of these simple inflators with you on your ride. Whether you’re trekking the backcountry trails or riding to your local coffee shop, a CO2 inflator works for every type of riding. If you have any questions about bike CO2 inflators and kits, hop on a call or chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors today at 888-880-3811. They are always happy to help you with any questions you may have. Keep Pedaling!