Nowadays, with the wider and wider popularization of cycling, more and more people squeeze into the activity. And with the rapid changing speed, the riding requirement is diverse. The competitive products for the same use or function appear in a high frequency. At that moment, which one product do you prefer? Facing various products, maybe it is difficult for you to make a decision. You should take all affairs into consideration, pondering over their advantages and disadvantages. Comparing one by one, and then you would make the final selection.
As for the pumps, until a few years ago, the hand pump or the frame pump would be the only option. With a miniature version of a track pump, the frame pump usually has a Presta and a Schrader valve tube. Owning the design, the operation is simple. You can pump up either style of the tube but take a bit of elbow grease. And CO2 inflators arrived on the scene not too long ago. With tiny canisters filled with CO2, you can simply screw or slot it into an inflator and fit the inflator to the valve. And in around 10 seconds, the tires would become hard. Seeing these concise words, we can see some differences between frame pumps and CO2 inflators. Indeed, things are not that simple. What’s the merit and demerits of CO2 inflators over frame pumps? Next, I would like to share something with you.
Simple operation. CO2 is an easy way to get air into your tires quick, with no effort. We know that CO2 cartridges are these tiny canisters glutted with CO2. And thanks to the special design, CO2 inflator can fill up your tires much faster than the frame pump. After all, operate the frame pump by human power. And CO2 inflators are just like the automatic tools. So it is well acknowledged that using the CO2 inflators is much faster than the frame pump. Besides, operating the CO2 inflators is just to hook up the valve and push the button. It is a simple action without pumping. Therefore, it is effortless, compared with the frame pump.
Less weight. Generally speaking, a frame pump is heavier than the CO2 cartridges. Maybe you would refute that we own the smallest one. Much smaller as the frame pump is, it would occupy more space than CO2 cartridges. So even if the frame pump is not heavier than the CO2 one, it is bigger than the latter. And it is possible for you to think that little space cannot mean something. But as for cyclists, especially for the long riding tour, little also means a lot. The heavier things you carry, the bigger burden you get, watering your dear energy. And both CO2 canisters and inflators are small, compact, and weigh very little.
Lower initial investment. In general, considering all unexpected issues, the biggest cost for a cycling trip is a valve and 2 cartridges. Comparing with a good frame pump, even the smallest, CO2 inflators is cheaper.
More practical. Apart from the simple operation, less weight, smaller space and lower cost, the CO2 inflator plays more functions. And probably the most legitimate purpose of CO2 inflators for the bicycle is for tubeless tires. During the riding trip, CO2 inflators can help you repair a tubeless tire easily but the frame pump cannot. In other words, if you need to replace or repair the tubeless tire, chances are you will have zero luck inflating the tire with a hand pump. In fact, there are two ways to deal with that situation. Out of tubeless tire’s characteristics, you either need to use an air compressor if you carry or a CO2 inflator. Obviously, carrying a CO2 inflator on your rides is more convenient. Otherwise, when initially inflating the tire, air will escape from the tire as fast (or faster) than you can pump it in by hand.
Consumable items. There is no doubt that using CO2 inflators means applying the CO2 cartridges. Once you use up a CO2 cartridge, it is not useful any longer. Maybe you have nothing to do but throw it away. A frame pump is sustainable to use while the CO2 inflator not. They are cannot be recycled. So bike shops advertise them because they are consumable items. Every time you use a cartridge, the shop is likely to another sale. Whereas a good frame pump should last many and many flats. In addition, there seem to be fewer placements in the shop.
No backup. It is well recognized that you can apply the frame pump whenever and wherever you need. But each CO2 cartridge contains a certain amount of CO2. And even if you cannot use up the fluid at a time, it is impossible for you to reapply it. So as for the individual CO2 cartridge, there is no backup. Of course, you can take more extra cartridges. But then you may lose the weight advantage.
Go low faster. We know that CO2 inflator can fill up your tires much faster than the frame pump. With the CO2 inflator, CO2 can spread through the tube a bit faster than the air. Under the circumstance, you have better to top off the tire sooner than if you’d used a frame pump. If you cannot make it, you cannot receive the expected result.
Environmentally irresponsible. Producing CO2 inflators needs more techniques and more expensive materials. And the CO2 cartridges cannot be recycled. From this respect, CO2 inflators would waste more resources. More importantly, using CO2 inflators will come about more rubbishes—the used canisters. And the cartridges are not easy to handle and dissolve. Even if the country or the government can do it, it also needs time and money to get them together and then settle.
Nothing is perfect, so as to the CO2 inflators. Taking all above information into sight, we would have a better understanding of CO2 inflators. They own their merits as well as demerits at the same time. The CO2 inflator, frame pump, which one is your best choice? It all depends. Thinking over the real demands and your facts, you can make the satisfied choice. And if you still hesitate to make a decision, you can try the combo unit, carrying the CO2 inflator and the frame pump together. May all of you a wonderful cycling tour.