OWNER REVIEW – Planet Bike Red Zeppelin CO2 Inflator

1019altIn December, 2009 I decided to get a C02 inflator. As I had a gift voucher for TBE, Osborne Park.  I used it to pick-up a Planet Bike Red Zeppelin inflator for AU$29.95. It comes supplied with two 16g threaded CO2 cartridges and a insulation sleeve.

The manufacturer describes the inflator thus:

  • Precision-machined body and head with Airflation ControlTM knob for 100% reliability
  • Insulated cartridge sleeve to prevent frozen fingers
  • Fits Presta and Schrader valves without adapters
  • Includes two 16g CO2 cartridges & insulator sleeve
  • Can control inflation

and they advise that a 12g cartridge will inflate a 26” tube to 30 psi and a 700c tube to 90 psi and a 16 g cartridge (which is what I have) will inflate a 26” tube to 40 psi and a 700c to 120 psi.

Well on January 23, 2010 I got a puncture in a Vittoria Zaffiro which is fitted to the front of Froggie, my Look 555. As I was in a hurry to get to the Freo Wheelers group ride I thought it was a good opportunity to put the inflator to the test.

As it was my first use, I used the pump to put a little air into the tube for installation, but in hindsight I could have used the Red Zeppelin as I quickly found it has good control on the gas flow.  Once I had the tube installed, I fitted the inflator which easily connected to the valve and open it up. With seconds I had a rock solid tire, easily inflated to ~120 psi. Hard enough for me, for sure.  I would have to say this was the quickest tube change I have done and I am impressed with the inflator. I am sold!

It was easy to use, fitted the valve well and had good flow control. Now that I have a better handle on its use I would use if a partial inflate and the a full inflate in future.

Long-Term Testing – 12 Months Use

I have used the Planet Bike Red Zeppelin inflator a few times now over the past 12 months of use and despite a couple of user hick-ups I am pretty happy with the inflator and will continue to use it.  What I have learnt:

  1. Make sure the valve is turned off before screwing in the canister; otherwise you can kiss that canister good bye (lesson learnt the hard way);
  2. The inflation of the tube does result in a “freezing” of the inflator to the valve stem. It pays to hold/warm up the connection point before attempting to unscrew it. Another lesson learnt the hard way when I discovered a tube had a removable valve!
  3. The sleeve for the canister is a handy thing to keep. The canister gets cold!
  4. A 16g canister is ample to partially inflate and then fully inflate a tube to around 120 psi;

A good source of 16 g threaded canisters is Finewhip.

One Response to OWNER REVIEW – Planet Bike Red Zeppelin CO2 Inflator

  1. Rod HUNKIN 26 May 2012 at 12:03 PM #

    I used the adapter several times over 12 month or so and it worked well. However the last time I used it the gas would no flow into the tube and the adapter stuck firm onto the valve. Had to break the valve off and replace wih another tube to get home. I thought I put it on cross threaded or something. Because I had such a good use out of it previously I bought another. The very next time I used the adapter the same thing happened. Was not impressed. Cost of another adapter, another broken off tube and the time I kept all my friends waiting whilst I was stuffing around trying to pump my tyre up has not endured me to this product.It is a shame as I like the concept with the screw co2 control. However I have not replaced with another Red Zeppeline.

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