If you’re looking for an inflator that will fill your inner bike tube within seconds on the go, then a CO2 inflator is just what you need. Getting one for your bike saves you time and effort, and lets you get back to riding your bike as fast as possible.
CO2 inflators were initially just a favorite among mountain bike owners, particularly those who took part in races, but that has changed and today, these CO2 inflators are common among many who ride their bikes on roads and trails.
These inflators are made up of different parts, including a small metal canister filled with the CO2 gas and which is attached to a nozzle with a quick-release trigger to facilitate faster delivery of the gas at high pressure. The gas then leaves the canister at high speed, allowing your bike tire to get filled up faster.
A CO2 inflator is easy to use and requires little effort since all you need to do is pull the trigger once. Compared to a pump, it weighs less, and unlike the pumps, CO2 inflators don’t require any battery or mechanically operated mechanism to work properly.
They require low initial investment and all you need to do is purchase a valve with two CO2 cartridges. Buying a CO2 inflator is a good idea, but which one should you go for?
Here’s a review of some of the best CO2 bike tire inflators to help you make a decision.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best CO2 Bike Tire Inflators
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the CO2 bike tire inflators that most people buy).
- Lezyne CO2 Inflator Top Pick
- Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator Runner-up
- POWERAXIS CO2 Inflator Runner-up
Top 5 Best CO2 Bike Tire Inflators 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Lezyne CO2 Inflator
The Lezyne CO2 inflator is great because it’s compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. Weighing just 16g, it’s one of the best super lightweight inflators out there.
Presta and Schrader valves are two of the most valve types, so being able to carry this inflator around is ideal. Since it’s quite compact, the Lezyne CO2 inflator will fit with ease in your bike saddle bag without adding too much weight to it.
Its machined aluminum and black fiber give it a great appearance. The inflator’s nozzle is also available in a variety of colors such as black, red, purple, blue, and silver, and has a high-gloss finish you can choose if you’re the stylish type.
It’s fairly priced for a good-looking CO2 inflator.
The Lezyne CO2 inflator also features a control drive that allows you to easily control the gas flow. As such, you’ll be able to easily fill up any Presta or Schrader tube.
All you need to do is push the control drive onto the valve then turn the inflator head to release the air. You’ll have a good grip thanks to the knurled ring and you don’t have to worry too much about which way to turn it since there’s a little graphic found at the end of the head that’ll tell you this.
You could start by opening it slowly to release a bit of gas then switch into fully releasing it. Plus, the inflator’s neoprene sleeve fits well over the CO2 cartridge to ensure your hands remain protected as you use it.
- Weighs 16 grams
- Machined aluminum and black fiber
- Nozzle available in blue, black, red, silver, and purple
- High-gloss finish
- CO2 cartridge
- Inflates easily
- Extremely durable
- Has great structural integrity
- Inflator is compatible with both Presta and Shrader valves
- Lacks good indication on the open and close part
2. Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator
The Pro Bike Tool CO2 inflator is another among the best CO2 bike tire inflators that are compatible with both Schrader valves and Presta valves. For this reason alone, it’s no wonder it sells easily.
Its canister features an insulated sleeve that helps maintain its temperature, thus keeping the CO2 gas inside stable. The inflator nozzle’s one-turn valve system lets it open and close faster when releasing gas, compared to a rotation system which would actually take a lot of time.
The canister and nozzle are available in black, red, silver, and matte black, so depending on your preference, you have options.
The Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator is very lightweight and facilitates easy handling. It’s easy to use as it effectively delivers CO2 and inflates your tire within just a few seconds.
This is one of those well-priced inflators that provide a fully controlled way to blast your bike tires. Just be careful not to allow the snug valve union to remove your valve core after use.
It comes with a knurled section that ensures you have a good grip and the formed sleeve fits tightly to ensure you screw the cartridge in while it’s on. It also ensures that the replaceable O-rings don’t leak.
The valve allows you to progressively control the flow of gas, which is helpful when you have to sit on awkward beads or if you ever find yourself without hand protection.
- Compatible with Shrader and Presta valves
- Nozzle available in three color schemes
- Knurled section
- CO2 cartridge
- Compact and lightweight
- Has control lever operation facilitating pressure control
- Stylish and sleek
- The inflator head design facilitates the installation of different CO2 cans
- Foam insulation runs a bit thin making it hard to use without gloves
3. POWERAXIS CO2 Inflator
The POWERAXIS CO2 tire inflator has a 2-in-1 valve head and a configuration that makes things easy for you when you’re on the go.
It features a durable aluminum alloy canister for increased structural integrity. The canister is also structured to ensure a firm hold when you’re using it to pump up your tires.
Plus, the inflator’s valve head makes it ideal for both Presta and Schrader valves which is very convenient. The POWERAXIS CO2 inflator also comes with a turn lever system that controls the amount of CO2 released.
It’s compact, portable, and easy to use. It’s a safe inflator to carry around when you’re going on an outdoor adventure.
It’s one of the competitively priced ones that can give quick inflation with a single push of a button. All you need to do is put the cartridge into the storage canister then quickly inflate the tire.
The premium aluminum alloy material is both solid and lightweight, two characteristics that come in handy in any bike inflator.
- Turn lever system
- Compact design
- Structured canister
- Aluminum alloy canister material
- CO2 cartridge
- Facilitates quick inflation with lever control
- Safe and efficient
- Anti-cold protection ensures you don’t hurt your hands
- Made of premium alloy material
- Canister susceptible to heat damage
4. Briskmore CO2 Inflator
Aside from being durable, the heavy-duty nozzles that come with Briskmore inflators are also compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. Each nozzle features a twist release mechanism that lets out CO2 from the canister and fills the tire quickly and safely.
The all-black head gives it a sleek understated type of vibe, making it fit easily with other different black accessories you might have. The entire package features an insulated sleeve that keeps your hand safe from getting cold when using the inflator.
The Briskmore CO2 inflator fits all kinds of threaded sizes such as the 12g, 16g, 20g, and 25g canisters. Note, however, that you would have to buy the CO2 cartridge tank separately as it doesn’t come with the bike tire inflator.
- CO2 cartridge
- Heavy-duty inflator nozzle
- Twist-release mechanism
- Insulated inflator sleeve
- Durable and lightweight
- Suitable for both Presta and Schrader
- Strong alloy material
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Does not come complete with CO2 cartridge tank
5. Birzman’s Roar Control
Birzman’s Roar Control bike inflator is one of those tire inflators that offer a neat touch compared to a number of other models you can find around you. You can easily control this inflator by twisting its CO2 cartridge.
You need to screw the threaded cartridge first on to the head so that you manage to puncture the seal. After doing so, slowly unscrew it to allow for the gas to flow.
If you’re wondering about the flow rate, it depends on just how far you unscrew it.
You can always allow the CO2 to trickle out until you’re certain that everything sits right before proceeding to blast your tire up to high pressure.
The Birzman Roar Control comes with a neoprene sleeve that slides over its cartridge so that you don’t suffer any freeze burns when you pump your tire. It also features a head CNC-machined from strong aluminum alloy to ensure durability and precision.
Plus, it comes threaded to facilitate screwing onto a Presta valve or a Schrader one.
Lastly, it’s one of the best CO2 inflating tools that allow you to pump without inserting too much effort because it’s lightweight and has a turn pierce function that controls accurate inflation when you pump your tire.
- Threaded CO2 cartridges
- Each CO2 cartridge is 3 x 16g
- Neoprene sleeve
- CNC-machined head
- Will easily pump your tire
- Prevents freeze burns
- Gives accurate inflation when you pump your tire
- Can be unstable
- Doesn’t work well for valveless inflation
As you can see from the review, it’s important to be careful when picking an inflator that you’ll use for a long time to pump your tires, whether they’re threaded or not.
To get the best CO2 inflator, always carefully check the material it’s made of. It could be either plastic or aluminum.
Aluminum is a great option, but you might want to go for the plastic version if you’re on a tight budget.
Keenly check the size of the inflator and the cartridge too. Ensure there’s a good balance between the tire inflator stability and its size.
Avoid going for a small type of inflator as it might not be the easiest to use.
Also, as mentioned already, the CO2 cartridge of your tire inflator can be a non-threaded cartridge or threaded.
The threaded ones are cheaper making them more popular than the non-threaded ones. The non-threaded ones are easy to use but there is the extra cost factor to consider.
Having reviewed these five best bike inflators, you may be asking yourself which among them is best. Well, my pick is the Lezyne CO2 inflator.
Aside from being easy to use and compatible with the most common types of valves available, it’s light and compact—perfect for carrying around as it doesn’t add too much weight to your bag.
Everyone loves a good-looking item and the glossy finish that comes with the Lezyne CO2 inflator makes it stand out among the best CO2 inflators that can pump your tire. Plus, you need not worry about the grip or how to turn it, thanks to the knurled ring and graphic indication that shows you the right direction to turn.