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Verdict: 
This design has stood the test of time; it's simple to use, good quality and should last
Weight: 
152g
Genuine Innovations AirChuck CO2 Inflator
7 10

The Genuine Innovations AirChuck CO2 Inflator is a simple and efficient way to get air into your tyres quickly; it's a little on the expensive side but is good quality and should last.

  • Pros: Simplicity, light
  • Cons: No freeze protection

I've been using an earlier (brass bodied) version of this inflator for over a decade now, and with the low cost of replacement cartridges, I can't really think of a reason not to use them in preference to a hand pump when out on a ride.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The Genuine Innovations name is synonymous with well-engineered products, and the AirChuck is no exception. Sean reviewed the Ultraflate recently, which offers more control but is a bit bulkier to carry in a jersey pocket.

The AirChuck is directly compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves, so there's no swapping out of components if you happen to have bikes with both valve types.

The chuck works very well in that there is no wastage of CO2, so don't expect to hear a hiss as you screw a cartridge in to pierce it, just turn it all the way home.

With the chuck attached to the tyre valve, and using a firm hand, the release of CO2 happens by overcoming the AirChuck's spring-loaded valve. At this stage you have to be ready for a bit of a shock as the metal cartridge body becomes instantly very cold and can sometimes stick to the skin. It could really do with a sleeve of some sort, or you can always wear gloves.

It's not designed to be controllable like some (including the Ultraflate) – you can change how hard the chuck/head is pressed down against the spring pressure to adjust the flow, but it fully inflates a tyre within the space of two or three seconds, so it's quite hard to determine just how hard to push down until you've checked the tyre pressure with a gauge, and where necessary topped up with another quick blast of CO2.

> Buyer's Guide: 14 of the best pumps and CO2 inflators

The AirChuck comes with two threaded canisters, a 16g and 20g (the labels refer to the weight of the gas; the canisters themselves are far heavier than their names imply). The 16g, said to be suitable for 'small to medium tyres', inflated a 25mm 700C tyre to 100psi with some left in reserve, as did the 20g, retaining enough CO2 to top up a tyre that had a very slow puncture. Another 20g canister did the job on a 29er mountain bike tyre.

Overall, the AirChuck is a simple and reliable device. The Ultraflate does address any misgivings you might have about gas leaking from this type of inflator and is more controllable, though I had no problems with the AirChuck, and I really like its simplicity. The Ultraflate might also be cheaper, but it does only come with one canister – though there's no denying the £7.99 B'Twin beats them both on value.

Verdict

This design has stood the test of time; it's simple to use, good quality and should last

road.cc test report

Make and model: Genuine Innovations AirChuck CO2 Inflator

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for

Inflating tyres, quickly.

GI distributor ZyroFisher says, "The perfect product for the racer or those wanting the lightest kit possible, the all-metal Air Chuck weighs a scant 16g. Using Push-To-Inflate technology, the Air Chuck slips straight onto Schraeder or Presta valves and is supplied with both a 20g and 16g threaded cartridges for greater versatility."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The head of the AirChuck is made of aluminium and uses a simple spring-loaded valve to retain the contents of a CO2 cartridge.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Surface anodised for protection from corrosion.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Faultless in getting CO2 into your tyre, if not easily controllable, and beware the cold canister...

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Too early to tell but it looks durable and older versions have stood the test of time.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
5/10

Could have done with a cartridge sock.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Genuine Innovations' own Ultraflate is £19.99, and is controllable (though you only get one 20g CO2 cartridge); B'Twin's is £7.99...

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

No wasted gas.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Could have done with a cartridge sock to protect the hands, but not really a problem.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely

Use this box to explain your overall score

It performed without fault, and if my previous version is anything to go by it'll prove reliable in the longterm – maybe more so than more complicated designs. It could do with a protective case, but otherwise, is simple and efficient.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 55  Height: 1.79m  Weight: 62Kg

I usually ride: Fondriest Domino carbon 55cm  My best bike is: Vincenti Dabitur track bike

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, track

8 comments

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LastBoyScout [440 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I was lucky enough to get given one of these by Genuine Innovations when I enquired about getting a replacement handle for another one of their pumps - they sent me the required handle, a couple of spare seals, this and a rubber cover for the cylinder, all free of charge, so excellent customer service.

I've seen the rubber covers for sale in shops, or you can make one from a bit of old inner tube - worth cutting it long enough to cover the cylinder and the valve.

I can't tell whether mine has developed a crack or a deep scratch in the trumpet part (black bit in your pic), but still works fine and works very well, although I've only needed it a couple of times.

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StraelGuy [1401 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

If I have to use mine, I just wrap one of my mitts around the cartridge. If you run it through the combined gas law, instantly discharging a 16 gram CO2 cartridge drops the temperature to -268 C .

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fenix [981 posts] 3 months ago
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Anyone new to cycling might get the wrong idea from this review ? It's only good for inflation on the road. The co2 leaks out over the course of a few days.
A decent track pump is worth its weight in gold at home.

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StraelGuy [1401 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Agreed, CO2 leaks through rubber so always deflate and re-inflate with air when you get home.

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Redvee [398 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Aldi/Lidl have CO2 cartidges on offer sometimes and these have a foam sleeve on them which can be removed and re-used. As mentioned above, a 2" - 2.5" length of 25mm inner tube works as well for insulating the cartridge. 

Cheapest price I've found is less than £1 each from

https://www.co2cartridges.co.uk/mosa-co2-16g-threaded-box-of-30

 

 

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Bobbinogs [269 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Bit ironic that cycling is trumpeted as a 'green' hobby/sport and yet some folks are happy to squirt pure CO2 into the atmosphere just to avoid using a decent pump.

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fukawitribe [2383 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Bobbinogs wrote:

Bit ironic that cycling is trumpeted as a 'green' hobby/sport and yet some folks are happy to squirt pure CO2 into the atmosphere just to avoid using a decent pump.

Nothing is free - exercise will increase the amount of CO2 you release over base-line, even pumping up a tyre. Wonder exactly what the ratios would be though... jogging is in the litre/min range - you'd hope getting your tyre back up again would be less strenuous though - and road tyre volume is roughly order of a litre. Should all be easily measurable in the lab, bring on the science  1

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Toast [58 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

More concerned about the lump of aluminium than the CO2, to be honest. I know you can (and should) recycle them, and I'll absolutely use them to save time at the side of the road, but for just topping up a slow puncture I'd rather keep a pump (as well) on any ride where the added luggage isn't a pain.