In 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 26â€ tube to 30 psi and a 700c tube to 90 psi and a 16 g cartridge (which is what I have) will inflate a 26â€ 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.Â 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.Â 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 â€“ 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.Â What I have learnt:
- 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);
- The inflation of the tube does result in a â€œfreezingâ€ 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!
- The sleeve for the canister is a handy thing to keep. The canister gets cold!
- 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.