Cycling News

Which is better, a mini pump or a CO2 inflator?

Cofidis' Spanish rider Ion Izaguirre Insausti cycles in a lone breakaway in the final ascent of the Col de la Croix Rosier during the 12th stage of the 110th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 169 km between Roanne and Belleville-en-Beaujolais, in central-eastern France, on July 13, 2023. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Being able to inflate a flat tyre is an absolute must to bring along with you on every ride, along with a multi-tool, and some tyre levers. If you’re kitting yourself out with some new gear for the first time, or you’re considering swapping from the best bike pumps to the best CO2 inflators and are a little unsure then worry not, I’m here to take you through all the pro’s and cons of each system and give you my suggestions for when you should be using one or the other.

co2 inflators vs mini pumps

You’re going to find it harder to find a CO2 setup that comes in smaller than a mini-pump (Image credit: Will Jones)


This one is a pretty easy win for the CO2 inflator. Even the largest, with the largest MTB canisters, are smaller than the majority of mini-pumps. Even my go-to tiny mini pump, the Birzman Mini-Apogee, is larger than it’s CO2 equivalent. If you start taking more than one canister out with you though the tables can shift in favour of the mini pump, but only if you’re packing a very small model of mini pump.

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