The Unich CO2 Injector Pro is a flexible and well-engineered design, with a price tag to meet or beat premium brands such as Lezyne or Birzman.
It isn't the lightest inflator out there, weighing in at 52g excluding the 16g cartridge (the lightest inflator in Mr Smithers' private collection is a scant 17g in comparison, but that's a push-on variety that only takes threaded CO2 cartridges). The standout design features of the Pro are that it's a screw-on fitting for both Presta and Schrader valves, it has a press-button flow control, and, critically, it takes both threaded and non-threaded CO2 cartridges.
Depending on where you buy cartridges from, there can be a real premium – approaching double the price – for threaded cartridges. Unthreaded cartridges also tend to be more widely available, at sporting retailers and big-box stores like Wal-Mart catering for paintball, airguns and other uses, so you're less likely to be left 'ungassed' following a discharge far from a cycling-specific retailer.
The cartridge – threaded or non – is stored reversed in the body of the Pro. It does rattle ever so slightly inside, so benefits from a sliver of inner tube to keep it silent. When needed, you unscrew the body, turn the cartridge around and do the body back up. No gas escapes during this process. Note that once the canister is punctured you can't remove the body again without letting all the gas escape, as the cartridge nozzle receptacle itself isn't threaded.
Assuming all tube repair or changing protocols have been followed, screw the inflator onto the valve, Presta or Schrader (the knurled head fits securely onto both types), then the button on the back facilitates gas release. This is controllable, the pressure required on the button being quite firm – no chance of accidentally discharging here. As expected, a 16g cartridge filled a 28mm 700C tyre to around 85psi. During filling the Pro did get cold to the point of condensation, but not uncomfortably so for a naked hand.
After inflation the head is easily unscrewed, but being metal it's the coldest point, so take care. The press button can then be used to release the remaining 85psi of gas before the cartridge is removed.
Doing a leak test over a couple of hours in water after threading the cartridge on showed no bubbles. If you're only using the Pro to top up a partly inflated tyre, you could keep an eye on any possible leakage by weighing it over a period of weeks to see how much CO2 is remaining, having first weighed it unused, of course.
As the cartridge needs to fit inside the body, you are restricted to 16g cartridges, so this is not for high-volume high-pressure uses. But if you're looking for a one-piece solution to use with threaded or unthreaded 16g cartridges, for Presta or Schrader valves, the Unich CO2 Injector Pro is a good-looking option. Pricey though.
An elegant CO2 inflator with flexibility designed in – but pricey
road.cc test report
Make and model: Unich CO2 Injector Pro Pump
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's for people requiring thread-on Presta and Schrader valve ability, using both threaded and non-threaded 16g cartridges.
Freeze-free aluminum design will protect hands from the cold during inflation.
CO2 INJECTOR-PRO has fast inflation function and is compatible with threaded and non-threaded 16g CO2 cartridges.
Patented push button makes it easy to control air-flow.
It is 100% CNC machined aluminum so the CO2 INJECTOR-PRO is lightweight and durable.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
52g plus cartridge
Black or Silver
CNC machined aluminium – looks very swish.
Went on easily enough, didn't leak, gave reasonable control during inflation.
Built very solidly, can imagine it lasting decades.
Comfortable in the hand, a bit of a wrist-bender to get on squarely though.
You're limited to 16g cartridges, and at £24 it's pretty pricey – but if you need the combination of both valve and cartridge types plus screw-on then it could be worth it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. Can't really fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The reversed storage design, and the screw-on head for both valve types.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The slight rattle was disappointing, given the attention to detail elsewhere. A tiny bit of rubber down the far end would have rendered it silent out of the box.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If Unich removed the rattle and maybe made the knurls on the head a tad larger and therefore easier to turn, it would rate higher. As is, it's one of the most expensive inflators on the market – which has to drag the overall mark down.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking and Dutch bike pootling