PBT CO2 with Storage LOW RES-3a

Pump or CO2? What’s for you?

PUMP OR CO2? WHAT'S FOR YOU

Here at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ, we’re often asked by customers whether they should buy a CO2 inflator or a bike pump. While either of these tools are going to be great buddies to have in your pocket or backpack on a bike ride, each one has its own benefits.

Here’s our quick guide to which may be best for you:

Speed of inflation

The key focus of a CO2 inflator is that it will have your tyres up to pressure in a matter of seconds; you simply use the regulation lever on our inflator heads to control the airflow, and you can be up to pressure in a matter of seconds.

With a bike pump however, you’re doing the hard work rather than the CO2 from an inflator doing it for you. Although our pumps pack a fair punch in terms of speed of inflation, it’s going to take quite a large number of strokes to reach a riding pressure. That said, using our larger and more powerful Mini Floor Pump (product page) will lessen that time somewhat.

Ease of inflation

Along with being a faster method of inflating an inner tube, a CO2 inflator requires less energy! You’re driving the airflow into the tube with your own effort rather than through the propulsion of compressed gas. While it’s not exactly as onerous as your gnarliest cross fit class or set of bicep curls, it can be a little tiring if you want to save your energies for the pedals.

Size & portability

Both methods of inflation have advantages when it comes to portability. Our Mini Bike Pump and Mini Bike Pump with Gauge are both lightweight and slim enough to easily fit in a jersey pocket, or can be stashed in a backpack and will take up no space. Or, even more conveniently, you can use the bracket supplied with the pump to strap it to your frame, next to a bottle cage. Being a little larger, our Mini Floor Pump is best strapped to the frame or carried in a backpack.

Alternatively, our CO2 inflator heads are tiny little gadgets that can be put in a jersey pocket or saddle bag, and take up no space at all. However, you also need to carry the gas canisters of course! These will also easily fit into a pocket or bag, but you may find them a little cluttering and messy. If you’re the type of rider that likes to keep everything tidy and in one place, our Inflator with Storage Cartridge is the one for you – the gas canister and head can be kept in one place!

Number of uses per ride

One of the key things to consider when you’re deciding between a pump or a CO2 inflator is the number of times you may need to use it per ride. Of course, we hope to not need to use either of them at all, but you never know!

With a CO2 inflator, you’re limited by the number of gas cartridges you can carry – if you’ve only got one cartridge with you but have two punctures, you may be left calling home or for a cab – which isn’t ideal if you’re stuck in the middle of a faraway trail! We recommend you always carry two gas cartridges here at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ.

With a mini pump however, you’re only limited by the number of inner tubes you’re carrying, or the number of times you patch up a punctured tube. As such, for a really long ride, if you’re touring, or if you’re on a more leisurely ride where time is not of paramount importance, a bike pump is possibly a better option.

Lasting inflation or quick fix?

One important thing to remember with a CO2 inflator is that it’s only a get-home remedy for a puncture. As CO2 dissipates through an inner tube over time, you need to re-inflate your tyre with air from a pump when you’re back home – otherwise you’ll find that the next day, your tyres have gone flat as the CO2 has all leaked through your tube! As such, if you’re out touring or bikepacking, a bike pump is the optimal choice, as you can be sure that the tube will stay inflated once you’ve done the pumping. Similarly, if you’re relying on a bike pump for a long-term fix, our Mini Bike Pump with Gauge is ideal as you can achieve your perfect inflation without the guesswork.

So, what’s the answer?

Here’s a suggestion of when either tool is most suitable:

  • CO2 inflator: For a race, group ride, gran fondo, or timed event.
  • Bike pump: For commuting, bikepacking, touring, or leisure riding.

However, for the ultimate solution, how about you do the same as us at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ:  

Always carry a Mini Pump. Use the bracket supplied with the pump and strap it to your frame, under the bottle cage, and forget about it. It’s small and discrete and you’ll not notice it’s there.

Also, keep a CO2 inflator head and one cartridge in your saddle bag, along with your tubes, patches, and tyre levers. Similarly, you can then forget it’s there until the moment comes!

This way, if you puncture and are in a rush, you can grab your CO2 inflator and be back on the road in under five minutes. If you then puncture again and have used your only cartridge, or you have more time, grab your bike pump off your frame, and get pumping!

This is the failsafe solution which will ensure you’re never caught out.

Happy riding!

PRO BIKE TOOL SUGGESTED READING

If you thought "Pump or CO2? What’s for you?" was a Here are some related articles for you.

Like this PRO BIKE TOOL article about Pump or CO2? What’s for you?! Why not Share it with your fellow cyclists!!

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Did you find this helpful? Why not leave a comment about our "Pump or CO2? What’s for you?" article!

C02 INFLATOR 101

Always been wondering what a CO2 inflator is, how it works, and whether it will be appropriate for you and your bike? Let us guide you through this essential cycling gadget!

Read More

Bike Fit: Why it matters

Bike fit is an essential part of your cycling. Having your bicycle correctly set up for you will keep you injury free, comfortable, and make you stronger and faster.

Read More

Why Torque Matters

You’ve probably seen the little numbers on your stem and various other places on your bike where hex bolts are. They usually say something like ‘5 Nm’? If you don’t know what they mean or what their significance is, then you’d better keep reading.

Read More

Winter Cycling 101

Just because it’s winter there’s no need to stop riding. With a few careful choices of kit and understanding what type of riding to do, winter cycling can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Our Winter Cycling 101 is your go-to list for keeping the pedals turning this winter!

Read More

The Key Tools for Bike Maintenance

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are a set of bike tools that all riders need in their bike maintenance tool kit. Essential tools for basic bike repair and maintenance that all riders will need. These will let you carry out all the key fixes and fettles that you’ll need to perform out on the road or at home.

Read More

Why You Should Cycle to Work

If you’re not a regular cyclist, then even the thought of riding your bike to work can seem daunting. However, it’s something that will improve your day – and general life – no end!

Read More

How To Fuel Your Ride

Like lots of things to do with cycling, there have been lots of words written about fuelling for longer rides. It is very easy to get confused about what are the correct carbohydrates and how many should you eat.

Read More

Essential Things to Take on Every Ride

There’s a lot of bike tools and spare parts that you can take on your bike ride. However, you don’t want to take so much that it’s excessive! So, what are the essential items that you should take on every ride that you can actually fit in your pockets or saddle bag?

Read More

Ryan's Hour

On 29th July 2017, Ryan Davies set a new age group world record for the UCI Masters World Hour event. An ordinary guy with a full-time job, riding a second-hand bike frame sourced on Gumtree, Ryan rode 48.234 kilometers (29.971miles) in one hour.

Read More

Basile's Paris to Shanghai

I could spend the rest of my life in a bubble of expectations. Or I can take a leap of faith and discover the unexpected, the disillusioning, the marvellous. – Basile Verhulst

Read More

The PRO BIKE TOOL Ultimate Gift Guide

We know that PRO BIKE TOOL’s range of awesome ride equipment and home workshop gear make the best present anyone could wish for, but we thought we’d put together a list of other options to get that cyclist in your life (or, more likely – get yourself!).

Read More
0
YOUR ITEMS

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

CONTACT ON DARK

WARRANTY CLAIM FORM

WARRANTY CLAIM
0% Complete
1 of 4

WARRANTY REGISTRATION

WARRANTY REGISTRATION
0% Complete
1 of 3

become a pro bike tool vip

VIP

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE NOW

ROAD TO FIRST 100 MILER
By completing this form, you agree to receive marketing and promotional emails from PRO BIKE TOOL. You can change your preferences or unsubscribe anytime.