How Many Tires Will A CO2 Cartridge Fill?

If you don’t want the hassle of taking a hand pump with you when out on your bike, you have probably looked into the idea of getting a CO2 pump. These small pumps are very handy for providing a quick blast of air if you get a flat tire when out riding. But how many tires will a CO2 cartridge fill? Well, I have done some research and in the guide, I will let you know what I found out.

For those in a hurry.

The efficiency of CO2 cartridge usage will vary depending on the size of the tire being filled, typically a road bike tire will take one CO2 cartridge to fill. A mountain bike tire, if ridden on a lower PSI can also be filled with just one CO2 cartridge, however, you will need more if you would like to have a firmer ride. Fat bike tires will take around two CO2 cartridges as they require more air in them, even though they are ridden at a lower pressure than other bike tires.

Want to know more? Read on…

How Many Tires Will A CO2 Cartridge Fill

How Many Tires Will a CO2 Cartridge Fill?

The amount of tires that a CO2 cartridge can fill varies depending on the size, width and preferred riding pressure of the bike.

One 16g CO2 cartridge should be able to fill one road bike tire to a good pressure. It can also fill a narrower mountain bike tire to lower pressure. This will give you enough air to be able to ride home or to your vehicle, but isn’t really enough to keep your ride going if you are inflating a completely flat tire.

For larger tires, such as fat bike tires or 29-inch tires, you will need either a larger CO2 cartridge or more than one CO2 cartridge. Alternatively, you can use one CO2 cartridge in conjunction with a good bike pump to get your wider tire fully inflated and to the right pressure.

Do CO2 Canisters Expire?

CO2 canisters do have an expiration date, but it varies depending on the type of canister. There are 3 types of CO2 canisters: 12g threaded, 20g threaded, and high pressure. The high-pressure ones are the only ones that expire because they are sealed under high pressure.

Can CO2 Cartridges Explode?

It is possible for CO2 cartridges to explode and the main cause of this is when they are subjected to significant heat. The best way to prevent this from happening is to never carry a full cartridge in pockets or purses, as it can easily create enough heat and pressure to cause an explosion. If you do need to store one for any reason, make sure that you keep them away from your body so that if anything does happen, no harm will come to you.

How Do CO2 Pumps Work?

If you have been wondering how CO2 bike pumps work, well the process is pretty simple. By supplying a sudden blast of pressurized air into your bike tires, a CO2 pump allows you to inflate them effortlessly, all you simply need to do is screw on the pump, open the valve, and the tire will be inflated. It’s not ideal for those who like to maintain control over how the tire pressure or PSI in their tires changes; it can be burdensome to maintain a constant PSI in your tires.


So there you go. A standard, 16g CO2 cartridge will fill one road bike tire or narrow mountain bike tire. You will need more or larger cartridges if you want to fill a wider or larger tire.