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CO2 Inflator instead of a mini bike pump

Hello experts,

Does the CO2 inflator have any downsides vs carrying a traditional mini bike pump ? I am thinking of quickly replacing the inner tube when I have a flat on a long ride, and am wondering if there are any downsides of a CO2 inflator.

Please advise. Thank you for your help.

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3 Replies

I've never used a CO2 one, but I'd think mostly it's just that they're consumable cartridges? Versus a pump just needs your elbow grease.

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TomV is right about the cartridges, but you can't beat them for compact roadside tire inflation. A few decades ago, however, I blew up a tire with a CO2 inflator that had only an ON_OFF trigger. You got the full blast - or nothing. It took a light touch to use safely. Now I have a PDW Shiny Object that works really well. Instead of a trigger, it has a control knob that lets you regulate the flow of CO2. 

I have had two manual inflators, but they take a long, long, long, long time to get a tire up to pressure. But if you are thinking in terms of just being able to get home or to a place with a better pump, they work OK.

My .02

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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Thank you @TomV  and @TomIrvine . I actually ended up ordering a couple of CO2 cartridges and a Bontrager CO2 inflator. I'll give them a shot to see how they work. There is a control knob on the inflator that I hope will help control the airflow. Thank you.