CO2 Pumps – Find The One You Need

CO2 Pumps
CO2 Pumps
CO2 Pumps
Selected CO2 Pumps

Getting a flat tire out on the road can not only be frustrating, it can also be time consuming to sort out. Pumping up a tire from flat with a tiny frame pump can take significant amounts of time and effort, but there is an alternative option in the form of CO2 pumps. This type of pump can provide critical time saving tire inflation during races, or when out biking in inclement weather.

While CO2 pumps can provide very fast inflation of tires, you should be aware that you will have to make sure that the cartridge size you use is suitable for your bike and also that the pump will give you the performance and functionality that you need.

Selected Quality CO2 Pumps

Tips for Selecting CO2 Pumps

There are a few questions that will help you to decide whether this type of inflator is right for you:

  • Will you benefit from having a rapid inflation option at the side of the road?
  • Do you need a multiple type valve connector or single type valve connector?
  • Do you have budget limits for your pump?
  • Are there any size restrictions you have?
  • Have you checked out the differences between different cartridge sizes and threaded/unthreaded cartridges?


CO2 pumps are fast and convenient and are particularly good for fast tire fills after getting flats when out on a trail or when in a road race. These benefits also have to be weighed up against the negatives, which include having a limited supply of CO2. Most people will carry 2 cartridges with them, and frame mounts are generally designed to carry the inflator with a cartridge already fitted, and also a spare cartridge. To get optimum performance it is a good idea to test out your pump on a flat tire at home before you try it at the side of a road.

Nozzles and Valves

Many CO2 pumps will have nozzles that can function with both Presta and Schrader valves in a variety of ways. Some will use a universal nozzle, while others will have different attachment options. Depending on your preference, if you have a road bike with Presta valves, you may choose to go for a pump that only works with Presta valves as they are not going to be used with anything else. The other thing you will need to look at are the sizes of cartridge that are used by the pump. There are two things you will need to consider, whether your pump is designed for threaded or non-threaded cartridges, which can have an impact on overall performance, and also whether it uses 12g or 16g cartridges. Most road bikes will need a 16g cartridge in order to get the tire up to a decent pressure, but mountain bikes can easily be filled with either a 12g or 16g partial cartridge.

Size and Mounting

CO2 pumps are designed to be small so that they can either be attached to the frame, tucked in an under-seat bag or tucked in a pack when out on the trail or the road. Different pumps will have different mounting methods depending on where they are intended to be located. The pumps are generally so small that they can be fitted with ease next to water bottle mounts or next to back-up frame pumps. Spare cartridges are usually held in place with Velcro straps, so it is worth checking out the quality of the strap and how securely a cartridge will be held in place.


CO2 pumps are predominantly designed for use as fast inflators after fixing flat tires when out on the trail or the road. If at home or in the workshop then a floor pump will do the job almost as quickly and will not cost anything. The exact range of applications will depend on the system as some are specifically designed for bicycle tires, which often have Presta only connectors on them, but there are some that can also be used for car and motorbike tires.

Ease of Use

Most of these types of pumps are easy to use, but you should take note that even though some state that there is a ’regulator’ these are in reality more like on/off switches. You can control the amount of CO2 going in, but you cannot really adjust the rate. There is an element of research as well. It can be easy to over-inflate a tire, and also burst it, if you use too much gas, so you are likely to have to carry out a few experiments to ascertain the best way of ensuring your tire is filled properly, but not over-filled.

Value for Money

The cost of most CO2 pumps is generally within the $10-$30 bracket. The main cost comes from the cartridges, which will depend on how often you use them. If you are out on the trails every weekend you are likely to get through a few and so having a pump that only takes branded 16g cartridges is not going to be as cost effective as a pump that can take a range of generic cartridges available from your local sports store.

Check out This List of CO2 Pumps

Model Comments
CO2 Pumps
SKS Air Inflator Bicycle Tires A good little CO2 bicycle pump with a simple design. Doesn’t have some of the extra features that other CO2 pumps have.

SKS Germany Airgun CO2 Bike Pump

CO2 Pumps
Topeak CO2 Bra Race Mini Pump A great mini pump that is reliable and easy to use. Has a pressure indicator to show whether a cartridge has been pierced. A great addition to any bike emergency repair kit.

Topeak CO2 Pump Bra Race Pod Mini Pump

CO2 Pumps
Genuine Innovations Ultraflate Plus Inflater Although this pump is quite bulky, it is still a good buy. It is adaptable to a number of applications and it is easy to use.

Genuine Innovations G2628 Ultraflate Plus Tire CO2 Inflator

CO2 Pumps
Planet Bike Zeppelin CO2 Tire Inflator A very simple emergency pump and does not have any complex bit that increase the chances of it failing. For the price it does the job.

Planet Bike Red Zeppelin CO2 Cartridge Pump

CO2 Pumps
Lezyne Alloy Drive CO2 Inflator With its simple design, along with high-quality materials this pump performs very well.

Lezyne Alloy Drive CO2 Pump

CO2 Pumps
Lezyne Trigger Speed CO2 Bicycle Inflator A great easy to use, small and light emergency pump for racing and endurance rides. Just watch your hands when you’re using it as there is no protection around the cartridge.

Lezyne Trigger Speed Drive CO2 Bicycle Pump

CO2 Pumps
CO2 Tire Inflator by Vibrelli With its reasonable price, the Vibrelli’s CO2 Tire Inflator is a great choice to take along on your ride.

Lezyne Trigger Speed Drive CO2 Bicycle Pump

CO2 Pumps
CO2 Tire Pump By Pro Bike Tool With this CO2 tire pump by Pro Bike Tool you can pump your tire back up in a matter of seconds.

Lezyne Trigger Speed Drive CO2 Bicycle Pump


Where To Buy CO2 Pumps?

If you are interested in buying CO2 pumps you are invited to visit these trusted online stores:


39 thoughts on “CO2 Pumps – Find The One You Need

  1. Great article! It was quite helpful. I‘ve heard so much about the CO2 pump but didn’t want to get it just because everyone is going for it. I just needed to learn more about the pump and the advantage it has over the tiny frame pump. Thanks once again!

  2. Please I want to know, does the CO2 pumps work on both bicycles and cars? I was wondering if I can get a CO2 pump that can serve dual purpose.

    • The system of the CO2 pump will determine its exact range of applications. Some of the CO2 inflators are built specifically for bicycle tires; these ones usually come with Presta-only connectors. On the other hand, some CO2 pumps are designed for use on both motorbike and car tires.

  3. I’m glad to know I don’t have to give up my traditional pump when I buy the CO2 pumps. Thanks for that enlightenment from your post. I was thinking my regular floor pump would be of no use any longer when I purchase the CO2 pump…that would have been a waste of funds since the pump is fairly new and working properly. I just learnt I can use the floor pump at home while the CO2 pumps will help do a fast inflation while I’m outside home.

  4. Can I get some recommendation of easy-to-use pump that wouldn’t pose a problem in trying to figure out how to use it in times of emergency? Sorry, I’m really not a patient person…just want to get things done fast.

  5. I was thinking if there is a CO2 Pump that can allow versatile use of nozzles for various functions. I just got the solution to my thought in the paragraph titled “Nozzles and Valves.” Thanks man! That was very proactive of you!

  6. I was really disappointed when I found out I couldn’t adjust the rate of the CO2 pump that I bought recently. So, what’s the work of the regulator that comes with the equipment?

    • Hi Jason
      The regulator that comes with some CO2 pumps virtually serve as the on/off switches. The only aspect you have control over is the amount of CO2 going into the bike and not the rate at which it goes in. You only have to figure out when the tire is fully inflated using your own intuition.
      For this purpose you may use an air pressure gauge.

  7. I’m only concerned about value for money, so I’m happy to learn that the cost of a CO2 pump has more to do with the cartridge than the pump itself. Your post has helped me figure out what I need to maximize cost is the CO2 pump that works with a range of generic cartridges since I’m always out on the trails every weekend. 🙂 thanks!

  8. I plan getting a CO2 pump that would function with both Presta and Schrader valves. One of the bikes in our home has Prestra valve while the second one has a Schrader valve. I just need a pump that would work for both. Please I need your recommendationץ

  9. No doubts, the CO2 pump is a great innovation. However, I will advise anyone to put a hand pump in their tool kit. You may be avoiding heavy tool kit by opting for a flatter pump. I’m an avid rider and had gone on tons of tours. I’m giving this advice based on my experience. A hand pump will help out immensely in certain situations.

  10. I really love the portability feature of the Genuine Innovations Ultra Flat Plus Inflator. It’s so easy to carry about. I don’t like moving with the entire toolkit when I’m going on a short distance leisure ride. I was able to toss this CO2 pump into my Jersey pocket since I’m always having flat tire. It also functioned perfectly each I time I use it to inflate my tire. But hey, bear in mind that this Co2 pump only works with the 16g threaded/non-threaded cartridges or the 12 THREADED.

  11. I’m on tight budget right now and just looking for a simple CO2 pump that would be quite affordable…any suggestion?

  12. Immediately I saw the Genuine Innovations Ultra-flat Plus pump in your list of CO2 pumps, it reminded me of the way I felt when I first handled it. It was so bulky, as though I was lifting a big rock into my toolkit. However, I love the fact that this pump is versatile in its applications, as well as user-friendly.

  13. Your post on CO2 pumps is quite insightful. I had to read in-between-lines to see if I could find a particular piece of information I’m looking for. Well, I didn’t get the information but I’m wondering if you could post a response…I’m looking for a CO2 pump that accepts threaded CO2 cartridges with no exception. ~~~Patrick N

  14. What are your top picks of CO2 pumps? I rely very much on your recommendation since I’ve found your article on CO2 pumps very helpful.

  15. Do you know of any CO2 pump that comes with additional mount for spare Cartridge? I’ve been following up your helpful posts recently, especially because I want to change my current pump. ~~~Laura

  16. The Planet Bike Zeppelin CO2 inflator fits the exact description given – simple and without any form of complexity. I needed a switch from my regular hand-pump and Harry my riding pal recommended this CO2 pump. One of the things I love most is the ease of screwing the pump onto the bike’s valve and I discovered this method helps to drive in enough gas safely into the tube. However, I didn’t like the idea of rolling the dice with my timing, which I have to do each time I use the pump.

  17. Do I still need my traditional pump after purchasing a CO2 pump? If yes, why do I have to buy a CO2 pump…what difference will it make?

    • Hi Sharon
      If you already have a traditional pump, you don’t need to dispose of it when you acquire the CO2 pump. Your hand-held regular pump is still helpful at home or workshop and will also be a good addition to your toolkit when riding outside. The CO2 provides more air faster and better, plus ease of use especially in times of emergency when riding out.

    • Sharon
      This is a great question.
      Both the CO2 pump and a regular pump are designed to pump air into a bicycle tire, but:
      My view is that you should have them both, as they are different. In general, the CO2 pump is designed for cases when you are on the go, and need a quick and easy solution to pump a limited number of tires.
      For complete information about the differences between these two types of bicycle tires you are invited to visit my home page.
      Thank you

  18. I have an observation about the Lezyne Trigger Drive Co2 Inflator. The product is a great buy, no doubts about that. However, there’s always loss of gas each time I try to inflate my tires following the instruction in the manual

  19. I must admit you’ve got insightful articles on CO2 pumps. Well, are all the CO2 pumps easy to use? I need one but want to make sure I can operate anyone I buy with ease – budget is not my concern anyway as long as I don’t need help to operate the pump. ~~~Jessica

    • Hi Jessica
      Most of the CO2 pumps are easy use, particularly the newer versions. Take a look at our recommended list above, anyone will be just fine for your ease-of-use need.

    • Jessica
      Some of these CO2 pumps are more easy to use than the others. For example, take a look at this easy to use CO2 pump. It is a bit bulcky, but still easy to use.
      By the way, they are all not so expensive.

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