Planet Bike Red Zeppelin CO2 Inflator Review…

2 04 2012

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As a general rule I’m not in favour of CO2 to inflate bicycle tires. A pump is cheaper in the long run and does run out if you have 2 or 3 flats in a row. Plus I don’t feel great about sending CO2 cartridges to the recycling depot.

Having said that I do own a Planet Bike Red Zeppelin CO2 inflator. It lives in my Bike Friday Tikit’s seatbag because there is no handy way to attach a pump to this folding bike, but I still want some inflation capacity onboard. In 3.5yrs of service I have finally got a chance to use this inflator when I had a flat the other day.

The Red Zeppelin worked as advertised. One 16g cartridge inflated my Tikit’s 16″ x 40mm tire twice. The conrol knob allowed me to use as much CO2 as I needed and then shut it off so I could use the rest later. I filled both Schrader and Presta valve tubes.

My advice is to use a pump whenever possible, but if you are going to get a CO2 inflator – you might as well get one that works!



6 responses

2 04 2012
Greg Weber (@onespeedgreg)

Off topic a bit , except that you have talked about Fat bikes a lot lately… I saw a guy using one on his half fat the other day. I stopped and loaned him my pump..he looked frustrated.

2 04 2012

Ya I’ve heard a lot of fat bikers talk about CO2. I guess they feel the big tires are need so much air that they can’t pump them.

In Baja Kurt had 13+ Pugsley flats – sometimes multiple flats on one ride. We inflated those big tires just fine with a Topeak Road Morph pump.

If you want to carry CO2 for your fat bike carry a good pump as well. That way you won’t be screwed if the CO2 doesn’t work out like you hoped.

2 04 2012

I superstitiously keep a CO2 inflater with me while biking, even though I’ve got a perfectly good Lezyne pump on each bike, because I’ve had pumps fail on me.

So… carry the pump to prevent against the CO2 not working out. Carry the CO2 to prevent against the pump not working out.

2 04 2012

I’ve had so few pumps fail me that it’s not a risk I guard against. When I ride with other we all have pumps so it becomes almost impossible for total failure to occur in those situations.

3 04 2012
Steve Fuller

The fatbike guys around here use the 40 gram cartridges for their fatbikes. The problem is that those carts don’t use CO2, but propane and can definitely be a bit finicky at low air temps.

I had a small thorn that was hidden in the casing of one of my Black Floyds, and I ended up finding it only after turning the tire inside out so it would poke through the inside of the casing. I pumped my tire up 3 times from completely flat in 3.5 miles. The secret is to get a pump that’s high volume and low pressure. I have a Quicker Pro that I use and it’s of that ilk. My only complaint is that it would be great if it turned into a mini floor pump to put a bit less stress on the stem when pumping.

4 04 2012
Greg Weber (@onespeedgreg)

So a 40 will fill a Fat up enough..?? Does it take 2??

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