Nothing takes the wind out of your sails (and tires) like a flat. And when you're on the road, the last thing you need is to be sidelined by tire woes. While floor pumps can be a pain to pack, there's one tire-treating ride-saver that you should always keep in your pocket: the handy CO2 inflator!
Wherever bikes gather, you'll be sure to find evidence of other CO2 users in the form of spent canisters (ideally, in the trash), so you know they're popular - but how do they work? In today's post, we'll walk through the simple steps to blasting your tires full of that invisible support. Let's jump in!
Adding that Air
Once your tire's ready for air, the CO2 part is a breeze! Your inflator will always have two parts: the CO2 canister, and the bit that connects to your valve.
Each brand/style/make of inflator will look and work a bit differently, but the principles are generally the same: the CO2 canister twists into the inflator, the inflator goes on the valve, and then one more action releases the CO2 into the tire (typically another twist of the canister, though sometimes it's a button push or something). If you're using the Nano CO2 Inflator, it looks something like this:
First, screw the CO2 canister (clockwise) into the inflator until it's tight. This'll puncture the canister so it's ready to release air for you.
Then, place the inflator over your valve. If you have presta valves, make sure you've opened the valve first so you don't spray all that CO2 for nothing.
Finally, holding the inflator on the valve, back the canister off a bit counter-clockwise. That'll release the CO2 into the valve and your tire will plump right up! Be careful because the canister will get super cold as it empties. You can wrap it in a shirt or wear your cycling gloves if you've got sensitive fingers.
And you're ready to roll!
With instant air in a pocket-sized package, there's no reason not to pack some CO2 for roadside emergencies.
Happy riding, and we'll see you out there.