Best bike co2 pump systems according to redditors

We found 99 Reddit comments discussing the best bike co2 pump systems. We ranked the 36 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Bike CO2 Pump Systems:

u/Number1AbeLincolnFan · 26 pointsr/trashyboners

At 51 seconds, you can see a small device in her hand. I am guessing it is a CO2 cartridge regulator with a balloon filling attachment.

Something like this:

Or this:

51s mark:

Kind of a shitty picture; you can see it better in the video for several frames.

u/sustainably_extinct · 23 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is actually VERY simple to prove, ON YOUR OWN, with fairly cheap materials.


  1. Fill one container with CO2. You don't even have to be super careful, since CO2 is heavier than air, just let it "pour" into the container, and close the top after you think it's full.
  2. The other container is filled with regular air.
  3. Set both containers outside in the sun, on a sunny day.
  4. Every 30 seconds, measure both containers with the thermometer, and write down the numbers on a piece of paper.

    Expected Result:
    You will certainly see the CO2 container get warmer much faster.

    Background: Now, take a commercial plane trip, and fly into a large urban center, like Los Angeles. Note that you're flying about 400-600 mph. Look out the window on your approach and observe all the cars stopped on the highway. Each one is continuously spewing out large quantities of CO2. This happens all day long, every single day of the year. Yes, our earth's atmosphere is vast. But you keep pumping this stuff out day after day, and after a few decades, it starts to build up.

    That's global warming, in a nutshell. It is VERY simple to prove it for yourself. There are complex ways in which the earth's climate heats up and cools down, but this is how it works, in a nutshell. More CO2, more heat. The length of the day remains the same, and heat absorption goes up during the day. The length of the night remains the same, but the atmosphere retains more of that heat, so we will continuously build up heat, and get further and further behind, every day, as that heat is trapped and can't radiate away to space. And as the air gets more CO2, the problem gets worse.

    This property (the heat-retention of gasses) has been known about since roughly the late 1850's. What we did not know, was how fast our population would grow, or how much industrial output of CO2 there would be. By the 1950's it was pretty clear what direction we were headed in. By the 1970's, most scientists did agree that this was a problem, and was happening, but they didn't really all agree on what the time-scale would be. Since the mid 1990's when we've invested in observing data more (satellites, weather instruments, computer simulations), we've become more and more certain that this is a real, and immediate problem.
u/TappetNoise · 9 pointsr/MTB

CO2 canisters work pretty well and you can get 30 of them for $35 or so. I got it last year and after installing a couple of sets of tires, still have more than 20 of them. You'll need an inflater as well if he doesn't have one and that's like $10.

u/nexusheli · 6 pointsr/Homebrewing

Just an FYI; the "keg charger" is no different than a CO2 bicycle inflator, and you can have a controllable inflator and a box of a dozen cartridges for about the same price as Monster Brew is charging.

u/chabz5000 · 5 pointsr/bikeboston

if you are going full rain-gear, it would include either making your only bike all-weather compatible (full fenders, etc) with the understanding that it will be clunkier to ride and will deteriorate more quickly (rust, sand, drive train, brakes). if you can swing it, get a beater bike that is specifically set up for rain and keep your nice bike (if your bike is nice) in fair weather condition.


carry a basic toolkit (spanner, hex wrench multi tool, spoke wrench, tire levers) and a spare tube or two. unless you want to carry a small handpump, you could invest in some CO2 cartridges and a small inflator. include some elastics, bungees, and a small roll of rubberized gaffer tape (just tear a strip of a few feet and roll it on itself so you have a little finger of black magic) -- the tape can be used for many things, from lashing something to your frame to layering up and booting a tire puncture. last but not least, buy a box of rubber gloves, and keep a few pairs rolled up in your kit. all of this can fit in a small saddlebag, handlebar bag, or hip pouch.


along with your standard toolkit and flat repair/replacement kit, carry an emergency rain poncho and a pair of rubber boot covers. boot covers are especially nice if you end up getting a pair of shoes that you don't want sprayed with water and sand should you get caught in a downpour or have to ride on sticky/tacky surfaces after a rain.


if there is a chance you are going to be riding at night, get a rear flasher and a good headlight (a powerful LED array with multiple modes & brightnesses). good lights usually have a rechargeable external battery pack -- carry a spare battery pack or at least get a few cheap LED flashers (frog knog or similar) to keep in your toolkit as a backup.


one last thing that i find helpful is keeping a few drawstring backpacks rolled up in my kits, as they can really come in handy if you need to pick up or carry something (or remove some clothing) unexpectedly. when not in use they fold up smaller than a deck of cards. if you have to lock your bike up outside and have a nice saddle, you can tie one of these over it so it's not so obviously nice.


i didn't really answer any if your big questions with specific recommendations, or cover any basic cycling equipment (like riding gloves or bike locks), but these are little tricks or lightbulb discoveries that i've picked up over biking in the city for the past 12 or 13 years. most of the small things are non-essential, but come in very handy and can save a lot of unneeded cleanup and frustration. now i never ride without them.

u/CarbonUnit8472 · 5 pointsr/cycling

I have this one and really like it. It lets me transfer all the goods from one bike to another easily.

What I have in mine:

  • CO2 canisters ex
  • CO2 inflater ex
  • Patch kit ex
  • Tire levers ex
  • Allen key tool ex
  • Tweezers (I use these to get things like thorns out of my tire)
  • Spare chain link ex (just be sure you get the correct one)
u/nDQ9UeOr · 5 pointsr/cycling

I like the Genuine Innovations Ultraflate because it can use unthreaded cartridges. You can even throw a penny in the bottom and it will work with unthreaded 16g cartridges, which are a lot less expensive. But the trade-off is that it's bulky.

u/ModusPwnins · 4 pointsr/bikecommuting

You will need:

  • A cycling multitool - this one is inexpensive and recommended, however it will eventually show surface rust.
  • Patches - almost all glueless patches are good, as long as you don't buy them from Wal-Mart. If you get them there, they will dry out and you'll be stuck with no way to affix your patches.
  • Tire levers - you need to have two levers with you.
  • A means of inflation - either a frame pump or CO2 kit, with the appropriate valve to match your tube. Both the items I linked have the appropriate valves.

    That's most of what you'll need, plus a small bag to carry the tools in. (The frame pump will mount to your frame, often using the mounts for your bottle cage.)

    You may also want to carry a dollar bill in the bag, for use as an emergency "boot".

    Some people, myself included, carry a spare inner tube. Make sure it matches the size of the one you already have.
u/Nerdlinger · 4 pointsr/bikecommuting

Rather than standard tire levers, I prefer to use a speed lever for changing my tubes/tires. Though I think I want to pick up one of their speedier levers, because that knuckle protection looks pretty sweet.

For a pump, I'm a huge fan of the Topeak Road Morph G. Though on one of my bikes I forgo the pump and just ride with CO2 and a chuck since I flat so rarely and it fit is my seat bag (though I still always carry two tubes).

And as others have said I try to never go for a ride without my multi-tool an ID some cash, a bank or credit card, and my phone.

u/aliasesarestupid · 3 pointsr/MTB

Unless that strip has some sort of adhesive preventing it from allowing even the slightest amount of leakage, I'd replace it with a high quality tape like gorilla tape. You should be able to remove it with a razor blade. I wouldn't trust those plastic strips out on a trail, but that's me.

I'm not sure of the kinds of adapters you can get for presta and an air compressor as my rim came pre drilled with schrader holes, and have no experience using one of these, but have heard that it works well and is something you can take with you on the trail in the event you lose a bunch of air pressure from a burp or puncture.

I don't think something like that would work. The point is to hit the stem with a blast of air such that it forces the walls of the tire to seat into the bead as it has nowhere else to go. Whatever you get/use has to be able to attach to the valve stem itself to seat the bead.

u/myneid · 3 pointsr/FixedGearBicycle

most of htem i think are.
this is the one i have, luckily i have not had to use it yet

u/marcusthegladiator · 3 pointsr/bicycling

You should have a seat bag with CO2, a patch kit, and a multi tool.
Never ever leave home without it.
When I go on really long rides, I have a trunk bag with all my tools, tube, and a couple extra spokes. It beats being stuck somewhere.

For a solo multi tool, I have this.

The best CO2 deal you will find is this and this.

And any patch kit will due. But you can try for glueless if you just want to make it to the bike shop for a new tube.

u/wildjokers · 3 pointsr/Whatisthis

Compressed gas in these type of containers can also be used in emergency bicycle tire inflators e.g.

u/bradbull15 · 3 pointsr/FixedGearBicycle

Got a pinch flat today because I was lazy and didn't check the air in my tires before my ride... had to be picked up as I didn't have any of my tools with me. That won't happen again so was looking into a CO2 pump because the hand pump I have is a pain the ass. Anybody have any experience with something like this or something like it? Recommendations appreciated. Thanks!

u/Jehu920 · 3 pointsr/FixedGearBicycle
u/toph_dogg06 · 3 pointsr/bicycling

All you need is a small nozzle like this

I'm assuming your on a road bike in which case you just empty the entire cartridge and it should bring you close to 100psi.

The cold won't affect the pressure during your ride but the CO2 won't last more than a day so be sure to check before your next ride.

u/donkeyrocket · 3 pointsr/bicycling

I don't even know what three of the four wrenches are even for. OP rides a fixie with no brakes. A wrench and two allen keys can loosen/tighten every nut and bolt for roadside maintenance.

CO2 is a must. I use this one. Accidentally blew the gasket out once but overall haven't had an issue at all.

u/fromkentucky · 3 pointsr/ebikes

You'd probably be much better off going Tubeless, keeping some Park Tool Emergency Tire Boots on hand, along with a good CO2 inflator.

The Tubeless Sealant will plug small holes, the Tire Boots will fix sidewall punctures and the CO2 inflator will make quick work of re-inflating. Just get real air in it when you get back home since CO2 permeates rubber faster than air.

And you don't have to remove the wheel.

u/dmkk · 3 pointsr/EDC

I own this one. And while it is a bit pricy, it has a solid feel to it. And adjustable knob to control flow.

u/nivvis · 3 pointsr/bicycling

I'm not sure if you're against CO2, but the PDW Shiny Object is great with 1 or 2 16g CO2 cartidges.

u/newmexicali · 2 pointsr/ElectricScooters

really? I am a emtb rider and I use one of those to adjust my suspension sag, I cant imagine using one of those to pump up a tire, you would be there all day jacking it, that pump is not designed for any volume of air but for small volume at high pressure. Now I have been taking my Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator with slimed tubes, just in case, but I have not had to use it yet. Knock on wood.

u/SmartToaster · 2 pointsr/cycling



Frame pump (or alternatively CO2 inflator)

Patch kit (optional)

Saddle bag

u/drunkymcdrunkenstein · 2 pointsr/cycling

I just started using an under seat bag; here's what's in it:

1 replacement tube.
1 Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator with cartridge.
1 Topeak Alien II Multi Tool

I'm trying to pare down the stuff I carry so I can start doing rides sans backpack (normally I'm a commuter). When I do commute the backpack also contains a mini pump, more tubes (2 each for both of my bikes) and a 15mm wrench for my single speed bike. Also a leatherman and a set of tire levers.

u/SwervingNShit · 2 pointsr/cycling

This Crank Brothers one, also, you can't go wrong with lezyne.

u/Scootsalot · 2 pointsr/bicycling

I have an Innovations Ultraflate Plus. I like it because you can use 12 or 16 gram cartridges and both threaded and non-threaded. Buy the CO2 carts from Walmart or someplace similar where they sell BB guns (much cheaper than a bike shop)

u/HairyAreolae · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

Get the toughest tire pump for your bike that can be used as a weapon. Never tell anyone that you'll use it as a weapon. Just saying you'd use it as a weapon could be illegal. Attach it to the bike where you can grab it and knock some heads. Maybe something like
Klic HP - Gauge

Another option is a sturdy flashlight loaded with D cell batteries. Again, never tell people it's to be used as a weapon.
Here's a smaller flashlight option.
Tactical Pen for Self-Defense + LED Tactical Flashlight, Bottle Opener, Window Breaker | Multi-Tool for Everyday Carry (EDC) Survival Gear | For Military, Police, SWAT | Gift Boxed + Extra Ink

u/1e7643-8rh34 · 2 pointsr/bicycling

I spent $600 on an entry-level road bike and about another $600 on accessories last month. First time biking since I was a kid with a budget MTB. Pretty happy with my current setup outside of my evil saddle.

Here are some accessories I got which I think are potentially missing from your list or are just good fits for what you want (not going to talk about stuff like a saddle bag since the right choice for that differs by person/bike):

  • Cell phone mount if you want to use your phone for whatever reason (music and GPS for me)
  • More comfortable saddle/gel cover (my stock saddle is torture and my gel cover doesn't completely help, will probably buy a better saddle at some point)
  • Cycling socks/cycling shoes/clipless pedals (Not sure what would be stock/default for you. It was my first time using clipless pedals with the purchase last month. I am very comfortable with them now. I recommend swapping to the pedals you want sooner rather than later.)
  • Maybe go with a CO2 inflator and cartridges if you don't want to carry a pump with you
  • Reflective vest if you want to bike at low visibility
  • Helmet mirror if you are the least bit concerned about vehicles
  • Multi-tool like this
  • Get degreaser and lubricant for monthly chain maintenance

    Try to get a bike fit done. Those can be expensive though. The best tip I can share regarding fit from my limited experience is "your saddle is probably too low".
u/commanderchurro · 2 pointsr/bicycling
u/SgtBaxter · 2 pointsr/cycling

CO2 aren't pumps, they're inflators.

This one take non threaded cartridges, which you can buy in bulk a lot cheaper than threaded

I buy bulk cartridges for less than 50 cents each. My bike shop sells them $2 each.

u/Cogged · 2 pointsr/phillycycling

Avoid the plastic heads/housings. I've had those fail under such light usage and swore off them.

Since then my go to has been this Portland Design Works head. It is fantastic and quality.
Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 Inflator

u/Akhalyndra · 2 pointsr/bikewrench

This is what I use but anything similar should do the trick. I also use Crank Bros CO2 cartridges, but again anything similar will work. If you do go the CO2 route: be sure to have a sleeve for the cartridge as those suckers will freeze your fingers off. Works pretty well on 120 PSI road tires

u/LeeeroyDankins · 2 pointsr/MTB
  1. My 24th birthday is tomorrow and I'd love a Bell Super 3R Mips Large in Red/Marsala/Black to match my beloved 2016 Giant Trance 2.

  2. I have the Camelbak MULE, but are the Osprey Raptor packs that much better? I like the compartment configuration of the Osprey as well as the ventilation on the back. You guys like your Ospreys or sware by your Camelbaks?

  3. Yet again, my previous L pair of Fox Dirtpaw gloves were a bit snug and the finger threads stitching was coming undone after a season of riding. I opted for the XL on the newest design, fits my fingers much better, and hugs around my wrist comfortably. IMHO, Fox always under sizes their stuff.

  4. Replaced my plastic co2 inflator for this and I hope I don't have to use it anytime soon, but on my last ride that plastic one was the least user-friendly POS ever. I trust this metal one with actual thread screws to be much more reliable.
u/TheRealOzz · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

you can buy a co2 charger meant for emergency road flats for your bicycle for about 15 bucks, you just need to hack the valve off of an old tube and attach a piece of gas line to it with a hose clamp!

Something like this in your LBS (Local Bike Shop):

u/Ogroat · 2 pointsr/bicycling

I bought this thing after I had a similar experience to you. I've only had to use it a couple times in the year or so since, but it works well.

u/09RaiderSFCRet · 2 pointsr/motorcycles

I bought a C02 powered inflator at a bicycle shop, carry 3 charges and a plug kit. Should work fine, though I only used it once on a bicycle. Here’s an example:

Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator, Quick & Easy, Presta and Schrader Valve Compatible, Bicycle Tire Pump for Road and Mountain Bikes, Insulated Sleeve, No CO2 Cartridges Included

u/BattleHall · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Under $25 bucks: This + this

u/notnicholas · 2 pointsr/CyclingMSP

Good start: After a few versions over the last few years, here's my current "Don't leave home without it" packing list:

  • spare tube in my back pocket (I roll it up nicely and put it in an old cut-off elastic part of a sock)

  • one or two GU gels (tucked into the sock with the tube at all times); more in my other pockets on longer rides...but that's another thread.

    In seat bag:

  • patch kit (I like the thinner Park Tool patches best) with 10 self-adhesive patches and 1 piece of small sandpaper

  • 2 tire levers (again, the blue Park Tool)

  • Multi-tool that has + and - screwdrivers, a couple spoke wrenches, the basic allen wrench sizes, a small knife blade (has come in handy a couple times)

  • a Presta valve adapter in case I need to stop for air at a gas station (I use presta valved tubes)

  • small hand held CO2 airpump

  • 1 or 2 extra CO2 cartridges

  • a very small rag (old t-shirt sleeve) that I use to bundle up the small things and on colder days it can help to squeeze the tire off the rim when changing a flat on the side of the road...and it's just nice to have a small rag to wipe off grease or something after a repair too.

  • Tuck a $20 and two $1 bills (pop machines don't take $20's in a pinch ;-) )

  • a small laminated card with my name, cell and emergency contact info

    All of that fits into THIS seatbag.

    EDIT: bullet formatting and added a couple small things after actually checking my bag because I forgot a few things.
u/cosalich · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Unless you're willing to constantly monitor the tank, I really don't recommend this CO2 setup. You're much better off with a paintball setup like the one Aquatek makes.

If you disregard my warning and do decide to go with the mini, these are the cartridges I use. Each lasts about a week.

u/RuthLessPirate · 2 pointsr/AskEngineers

Would a bike tire inflator work?

Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 Inflator with 16G Cartridge

u/ecksplosion · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I'm new to all this, but I know you can get super tiny CO2 cartridges and regulators for cycling. Since you're not targeting a set pressure and just adding back CO2, this might be a really simple option.

Something like this:

u/awesometographer · 1 pointr/bicycling

I use one of these CO2 pumps - this with 2 cartridges is very small, cheap, and fits in my seat bag. I buy a 6 pack of cartridges for like $12. So $30 initial for 6 fills, and then $2 per refill.

u/Neutral_Meat · 1 pointr/motorcycles

I have

and the suggested CO2 carts. You can get them for a dollar apiece in larger lots. I think just one charger will get a tire from almost flat to useable, but it would take two or three to fill it up all the way.

Another option is

Its a little larger, but it's slightly cheaper and you can fill your tires with whipits in a pinch

u/stro_bot · 1 pointr/motorcycles

these are great for putting some air in a tire on the go.

u/dougorey · 1 pointr/FixedGearBicycle

I picked up an Ultraflate Plus recently from my LBS. It's got a trigger lock, can use threaded and non-threaded CO2 cartridges and fits both Presta and Schrader valves. Haven't had to use it just yet but seems solid.

u/e_2 · 1 pointr/bicycling

Similar setup.. I don't have extra spokes, but I do bring a tube on 40+ mile rides.

Multitool is the Park I-Beam 2

CO2 is the Red Zepplin

Patch is Park Super Patch

Don't forget the Tire Lever (one if you're good, two if you ride stiff Conti's)

All easily fits in a Topeak bag

u/skucera · 1 pointr/secretsanta

Something like this. Include a few replacement cartridges.

It's really quick (compared to a hand pump that you'd carry on a ride), but you have to use a new cartridge for each flat. It's the kind of item most reasonable people won't buy, because you'd just spend the 15 minutes to pump up your tire for free. BUT, if you're riding with a group, this is great so you don't fall really far behind.

u/defacedlawngnome · 1 pointr/bicycling
u/redtollingdog · 1 pointr/MTB

These are popular and work pretty well

u/RealLifeNoRespawn · 1 pointr/funny

> ... just take the gas generator out of your pocket ...

Technically possible.

u/masomenus · 1 pointr/MTB

I buy this one

u/bmwtrekpse · 1 pointr/bicycling

I'm looking at buying this - Crankbros

Any luck with this anyone?

u/gatowman · 1 pointr/klr650

Not to hijack your thread OP, but what would people think of something like this? The whole kit would weigh around the same with 6 cartridges but may be a bit more compact than an electric pump? The downfall I can see is that you can't run it indefinitely like an electric pump so therefore you're very limited on how much you can use.

u/M_Mitchell · 1 pointr/MTB

They are not the same thing and you don't need one until you do.

Here is a kit, I have a Bontrager one but they're pretty much all the same.

They're incredibly small and easy to carry a few cartridges in your pack or something and they're only useful if you get a flat tire and can patch it if you're in the woods. Depending on the psi in your tires, like if you run lower psi, like ~20-25 depending on your weight, you are susceptible to pinch flats since you run tubes. So if you get a pinch flat, where your rims bottom out if you hit a big rock or curb hard, you can change the tube and use a cartridge or two to pump it up. A small hand pump would accomplish the same thing but would be slightly more difficult to tote around and use, however you don't need to buy co2 cartridges. Handpump is probably better tbh because you can use it forever and help anybody on the trail no problem but the co2 is smaller, lighter, and more convenient.

For shoes, Five Tens are widely regarded as the best and I picked up a pair of Free Rider Pros (normally $150) for $90 on Ebay brand new in an outdated color but they're fantastic. The base Free Riders are just as good, just a little less stiffer and I think made of canvas and only retail $100 new.

I'm sure you can't go too wrong if you read the reviews but Five Ten has the patent on their rubber soles which are the best atm I believe, however some people say they're TOO sticky so your miles may vary. They're perfect for me though.

u/justophicles · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Yeah, the only difference is that I used the Fluval diffuser. The glass diffuser is a lot more fragile - I dropped mine and it shattered. The Fluval one is a clunky piece of plastic, but holds up well. I've been re-evaluating my setup and will be replacing my DIY system with something more robust. Before I get into why, let me go share some advice with they DIY system...


First off, I'd also get a check valve. This will prevent siphoned water to back up into your CO2 setup. There are bubble counter/check valve combinations, even a diffuser/counter/check valve combo.

I haven't purchased these, so I can't comment on the quality. I will say - I purchase most if not all my supplies from Amazon with great success. I always buy the least expensive equipment. Most of it I can tell comes from China, but the quality is still pretty good - it gets the job done.


Second, the DIY setup is good, but does not last. The DIY kit you can get on Amazon is awesome - fits right on any standard soda bottle and has a nice needle valve and pressure gauge. My problem is durability, the setup I used to create the tank I have in the picture has recently broken down. The pressure gauge ripped off (because the tubing wore down) and although I tried to reattach and seal it, there was a slow leak that I wasn't willing to try and repatch. This is the second DIY kit I've broken, they both broke at the tubing piece that connects the gauge and the bottle cap. The main reason why it breaks down is because I shake the shit out of those bottles to stir up the Baking Soda and/or Citric Acid. I never really paid attention to the pressure gauge flopping to and fro, but now I realize that after enough "fros", the tubing worn down until it tore off. So if you stick with the DIY setup, try to either not shake it like a polaroid picture - or hold the pressure gauge steady.


The DIY system is cool because it makes you look like Walter White and also provides a "cheap" way of getting CO2 into your tank. All you have to buy after you have your setup is Baking Soda and Citric Acid. Baking Soda, I get at Costco for cheap and is so big it will last forever. Citric Acid - I haven't really looked in depth at purchasing local - but Amazon sells these 5lb bags for $15. I think it's the best deal on Amazon. I've only bought two bags total (I tried it in my 75 gallon tank - STUPIDEST IDEA EVER - but that was when I was really new to the hobby). I'd say for a 5-10 gallon tank, 1 5lb bag of Citric Acid should last you for maybeee a year - depends on your bubbles per second obviously.


One major con I have for the DIY system besides durability is that it's all manual. Sure - you can figure out how to rig up a solenoid of some sort and what not to get it on a timer- but seems like more trouble than it's worth for a DIY system. I let my CO2 run 24/7 which isn't ideal - but as the picture above clearly shows - it works. The other downside of it being manual is that baking soda surprisingly doesn't mix all the way with water. So when you introduce it to the citric acid solution (which mixes well with water) - the entire reaction may not occur until you shake it and baking soda then reaches the citric acid. Having to periodically check my CO2 system isn't terribly difficult, especially if you chose the DIY setup to save money - but sometimes if too much citric acid is transferred into the Baking Soda side - a fuckton of CO2 is created and now either is pumping into my tank or my soda bottles look like they're ready to explode. I will say - this has happened to me very rarely. I've seen my soda bottles build a lot of pressure before - but never bursted. So it's not the end of the world, just an unexpected inconvenience.


The other major con I have is refilling. Sure refilling doesn't take that long, empty the neutral baking soda/citric acid solution and add a the the right amounts of the new solutions in. But after doing it so many times - I'm kinda tired of it. I sometimes have extra soda bottles at the ready with the solutions and unscrew the old ones and pop in the new ones. Good plan, but still takes time and effort.


If you're careful not to shake the tubing of the pressure gauge, content with either having CO2 run 24/7 or manually turn it on and off AND are willing to periodically refill soda bottles, then I'd say give the DIY system a shot.


I chose the DIY setup when I first started the hobby and wasn't sure how dedicated I would be. Also - I didn't have a great paying job that would warrant me paying more for a convenient/foolproof CO2 setup.


Which brings me to what I plan on doing now. Now that I'm more interested in the hobby, I've decided to step my game up. For starters, I have a 75 gallon tank rigged up to a 20 lb CO2 tank that I have to refill every 3-4 months. I live by a small hydroponics shop that refills my CO2 tank for $20. I don't know if $20 is cheap, but the store is close, convenient and gets the job done. I also attached a $40 solenoid to it so I could connect it to a timer. This setup has been AWESOME. Very simple, and 100% reliable. I just take my empty 20 lb tank to the store and get it filled and plug it back into the solenoid.


Because my 20lb CO2 tank setup has been so successful in my 75 gallon, I've decided to do something similar for my 5 gallon. While a 20lb CO2 tank is complete overkill - there are pretty good alternatives out there. I've looked at using the Fluval 20G CO2 kit and using Threaded CO2 Bike Tire Cartridges. The diffuser that comes with the Fluval system is huge and I would never use it. So basically I'm paying $30 for a regulator that can't even easily attach to a solenoid. Also those 16g bike tire cartridges seem small and wasteful. So your costs are $30 for the setup and ~$30 for the CO2 cartridges - which who knows how long those last. The main benefit to this setup is that it's super small. This seems like a good setup for sure and was very close to going for it, but I've decided to go with something else.


I'm buying a 24 oz Paintball CO2 tank ($25) , a CGA 320 Adapter (CGA 320 is the size of the standard CO2 tank threading) ($10), and a regular solenoid ($40). The prices seem reasonable except for that CGA 320 adapter piece. $10 for a piece of metal. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the same piece at Home Depot or Lowe's and I'm also lazy. So I'd rather pay the $10 then figure out how to jerry-rig my own. The adapter allows the threading of a Paintball tank to connect with the threading of a standard CO2 solenoid. Considering the Fluval setup is $60, I'd say this $75 paintball setup is worth it - especially since it now has a solenoid! The main difference is CO2 refill. Dick's Sporting Goods (also local for me) refills 24oz paintball CO2 tanks for $5 and every 5th fill is free. I think 24 oz will last me a long time anyway. In any case - I think the main obstacle whether it is using a 20lb CO2 tank or using a 24oz Paintball tank is where you're going to get that CO2 filled. You can search for a local Airgas or like a place that sells/refills Fire Extinguishers. Bars use CO2 as well for beer - but you don't need food grade CO2, that's just overpaying.


I know I went a little overboard, but this is all information that I've recently researched and figured I'd share it. I can't comment on the performance on the paintball tank setup just yet, but I assume it will work fine.


TL;DR DIY systems are cheap and good, but not 100% reliable/consistent and must be manually turned on/off/. You may or may not marry a woman named Skyler White during the process. Major costs are $15 for DIY rig, $15 for a 5lb bag of Citric Acid. I'd recommend using a 24oz Paintball CO2 tank because they can attach to a solenoid and are reliable and consistent. Major costs are $25 for a 24oz Paintball Tank, $10 for a CGA 320 Adapter, a $40 solenoid. $5 fill ups at Dick's Sporting Goods.

u/i_ate_your_shorts · 1 pointr/bikecommuting

Depending on the area around your commute, a flat tire repair wallet can be really useful:
You might also consider getting a portable pump, or at least buying an extra canister of the compressed air to test out on your own time. The first time I used my wallet, I got everything set, put on the patch, then realized I had no clue how to use the CO2 and it was all for nothing.

u/DonOblivious · 1 pointr/bicycling

Bulk threaded 16g cans cost the same per gram as those bulk unthreaded 12g cans you linked. It's not necessarily a savings.. One $1 16g canister will get me up to riding pressure but I'd need to use two $0.65 12g canisters.

u/marcoaml78 · 1 pointr/MTB

if you're going to spend that much, get a tire booster like schwalbe's:

u/kameto · 1 pointr/bicycling

Not a pump, but this has saved me and quite a few stranded cyclists out. Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 Inflator

u/blankblank · 1 pointr/bicycling

I have a question: how do you store your CO2 inflator. I just bought my first one (this one).

I see that you can put the cartridge in backwards and the head will poke out a little hole in the bottom, but I worry that it still seems very exposed and might get punctured while jostling around in my saddle bag.

u/shifther · 1 pointr/bicycling

If you want a hand pump, I really like this Crank Brothers pump I got recently (about $30) It has an integrated gauge and both valve types. Also comes with a mount for the bike if you want to mount it.

u/iamamountaingoat · 1 pointr/bicycling

I've used this saddle bag for 6 years now. It fits a spare tube, CO2 canister and pump, patch kit, levers, and multitool--that stays on my bike at all times--and can fit my phone, ID, and keys on long rides. I have no complaints about it at all. If you're set on carrying two tubes though, it might be a little small (though I think a single spare plus a patch kit does the job just fine).

This is the CO2 pump I've used for a little over a year now (I used a hand pump before that). It works great. As far as bulk CO2 canisters, I wouldn't really worry about it. They're like $2 or $3 from any bike shop or REI, and how often do you really get a flat? You'll probably only use one, maybe two, in a year.

u/[deleted] · 0 pointsr/bicycling

>I hate CO2. Carry a pump. In fact, buy this pump:

I actually owned that pump. It broke within the first week of me owning it. If I ever actually had to use it on the road, I would have been screwed. The flip flop valve design doesnt work well at all and it has a hard time holding / getting to the 120 psi road bike tires need. It would regularly get over 80PSI and blow out an O ring in the pump letting all the air back out. I would lube, re-seat the o-ring and repeat the process until the O ring stretched and failed from the pressure. The fold out handle and foot rest are way more frustrating than they should be and just poorly designed for real world use. If you have to pump up a tire a dozen times a year, this will do fine but I wouldnt rely on it.

CO2 is easy to use, store, and works 100% of the time. Get some threaded cartridges and this little guy and worry no more about getting home after a flat.

u/crimson_blindfold · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I use one of these when I'm ambulatory. It doesn't hold much, but it gets the job done if I can't reach the spot with our compressor.

Otherwise, it might save you some money to get a HPA tank, regulator and air nozzle.