A CO2 cartridge is a rapid way to inflate your road bike tyres.
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You can spend ages pumping your tyres up, especially if you’re using a mini pump and you’ve flatted mid-ride. CO2 cartridges and inflators are a great solution to this problem; you’ll inflate your tyres in seconds, and be back on your way in just minutes.

This video has our tips for using an inflator.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share this video!

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Most CO2 inflators allow you to screw in the cartridge first.  The gas is released by a lever/push mechanism when pressed on the valve.  Use gloves on the btl as well – very painful when your skin freezes to the metal !!!!

  2. I wonder why we use CO2 in that case and not compressed nitrogen? Oxygen free nitrogen is inert, cheap and won't explode much like CO2 but less likely to leak out the rubber…

  3. Be careful.  You can't use CO2 to inflate latex tubes because the cold air makes the latex very brittle and will very soon burst.  Easy solution it to make sure your spare is always butyl.

  4. Alternate tip: Forget to unscrew the valve, and blow off the head of the inflator trying to use it. That was a fun day

  5. Protip: If fixing a puncture on a hot summer day, take the frozen cartridge, put it in a spare sock, stuck it in the back of jersey, voila

  6. I read an article concerning CO2 and car tires. Apparently some people advocate CO2 over regular air for improved performance. Is there any similar debate in cycling? If so where do you stand?

  7. Couldn't you use N02 cartridges to fill the tyres too? My EV uses nitrogen filled tyres for better rolling resistance. Just wondering?

  8. Thanks for that last bit of science. I wish I knew this before seeing my flat tyre the next morning, thinking I had to pull it out and look for more punctures!

  9. it could be a good idea to practice co2 inflation once before committing to saddle bag. My first experience did not go well, thankfully I had standard pump to bail me out.

  10. Thanks for the tip on manually inflating the inner tube (by blowing it up) as I only had a CO2 kit with me and otherwise would have struggled with getting the tube in.

  11. Thanks for these maintenance videos. I know som comments make out we all should know these things but us that are new to biking certainly do not . So please continue a lot of us find the videos priceless . Many thanks

  12. Several years ago I decided to ditch my mini pump and start carrying around one of the CO2 inflaters. Then I got a flat. Threw in a new tube, stuck the inflator on and let loose the air… Blew the tube. I tried again with a second tube and inflator cartridge. Blew that one as well. The air seems to go into the tube too fast and things go bad. I'm back to my Lezyne pump.

  13. This was excellent. The only thing I didn't do, but it did very briefly cross my mind to wonder if it would work – my first time ever using co2 last evening on the road – was mouth-inflating. Instead, I was as careful as I could be tucking the new tube up in the tire area as I was levering on the tire's bead. It did get me a few miles back to the truck, but I'll deflate it and double-check it all over later today.

  14. so why waste money on co2 just for a few mins faster than a pump. which can be reused unlike a co2 cartridge. don't see the point of using co2 cartridges.

  15. Unless you're in a hurry, a good air pump is all you need. Plus, if something goes wrong with the Co2, you're done, unless you have extra tanks, which would take all the advantage away. Plus, tire will deflate with CO2, plus they cost a few dollars a pop. And yes, As Spaniard said, using your arms with an air pump might be the only time you use your arms as a cyclist… Cheers

  16. Why do we need to excuse for scientific explanation and wrap it in to a special moment? If we want to reach the space this should be normal and obvious to everyone.

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