Will a CO2 Cartridge Fill a Bike Tire?

Will a CO2 cartridge fill a bike tire

A flat tire while riding a bike is normal and frustrating as well if you are a regular rider. When I started long rides, I faced this too and was fed up carrying a hand pump with me. Already riding was eating up my hard effort, and then pumping, it was like a nightmare. But nowadays, it has become so simple. All you need is just a thumb-size CO2 cartridge to fill a bike tire.

Many of us think a CO2 cartridge is designed to hold a certain amount of gas, which is why it’s not very effective when filling up a bike tire.

A CO2 cartridge is a little can containing carbon dioxide gas at pressure. It’s little in size, but a CO2 cartridge can fill a bike tire. You just have to attach the co2 inflator head to the tire valve, and the co2 flow will automatically be transferred to the tire in a few seconds. But how much it can fill will depend on the bike types and the CO2 size. 

Whether it’s a road bike, mtb bike, or fat tire bike, CO2 gas is usable on any type of bike and tire and in any condition. Now, you don’t have to carry heavy air pumps, air tanks, or any pro bike tool. You can fill your bike tire with an incredibly easy-to-carry CO2 cartridge. 

We will know below how much CO2 is needed to fill which type of bike tire. Be with us to learn more.

How Many Tires Can a CO2 Cartridge Fill?

Will a CO2 cartridge fill a bike tire
Filling Bike tire air by Co2 cartridge

A CO2 cartridge is a tini bike tire inflator. It’s usable on any kind of bike tire, including road bike tires, mtb bike tires, and fat bike tires. 

How many tires it can fill depends on the bike tire type and the size of the CO2 cartridge. There are two types of co2, threaded co2 cartridge and non-threaded cartridge. Both the CO2 cartridge is available in various sizes- 12 gram co2 cartridge is the minimal option you can get. Then 16 gram, 20 gram, 25-gram, and some more sizes are available in the market. 

A smaller 16-gram co2 cartridge can fill one road bike tire. A larger 20 grams co2 canister fill two road bike tires or one mtb bike/fat bike tires. And if it’s 25-gram CO2, it can fill two mtb bike tires, fat bike tires, or 29er automotive tires.

Road bike or regular bicycle tire needs up to 120 psi; a small co2 tire inflator can fill up to 130psi, so it’s enough to fill one road bike tire.  

How Many CO2 Cartridges to Fill a Mountain Bike Tire?

How many co2 cartridges you will need to fill a mountain bike tire will depend on the mountain bike tire size and width. An adult mountain bike is available in 3 sizes, 26 inches, 27.5 inches, and 29 inches, with different psi. A 26inch mountain bike needs a minimum of 30 psi, a 27.5inch mtb bike needs 25 psi, and 29-inch mtb tires need 31 psi for a single tire. 

You will need two 16 gram co2 cartridges to fill a mountain bike tire because a 16 gram cartridge can fill 15 psi to a flat tire, while the average psi of an mtb bike is 22 psi to 40 psi.

But if it’s a large 20-gram or 25-gram co2 inflator, one co2 cartridge inflator is enough to fill a mountain bike tire. 

How Many Co2 Cartridges to Fill a Road Bike Tire?

A road bike tire doesn’t go flat as often as an mtb bike or fat tire bike, but it sometimes goes flat and needs to be inflated. You can inflate road tires with a hand pump or mini pump or use co2 cartridges. CO2 is a smart mini inflator filled with pressurized carbon dioxide. It will save up your time and fill your tire in a second. How many co2 cartridges to fill a road bike tire?

One 16-gram co2 cartridge is enough to fill a road bike tire. A standard road bike needs to be inflated between 90 to 120 psi, while a 16gram co2 cartridge can provide up to 130 psi to a road bike.  

But what if both the tires need to be filed? What will you do then? You will need up to 120 psi to fill each tire, and in total, 340psi that a single 16-gram cartridge can’t provide. So you will need two 16-gram cartridges or one large 20-gram cartridge. 

How Many Co2 Cartridges to Fill a Fat Bike Tire

A fat bike tire has a wider footprint to provide an optimal level of grip and needs higher air pressure to handle rough terrain. They are available in various wheel sizes and widths, and how many co2 cartridges you will need to fill a fat bike tire depends on this. If you have a narrower tire, you will need lower cartridges to fill it, and if has wider tires will need more. 

A fat bike tire width is between 3.7in. 5.2in. You will need two 16g cartridge or one large 25-gram cartridge to fill a fat bike tire. A large 25-gram co2 inflator can fill a fat bike tire (26 inches with 4.0 width) up to 7.5 psi. 

Or, if you don’t want to take any risk, you can take a 38 g co2 cartridge. It can inflate 26×4.8 tires up to 6-7 psi and 29×3.0 tires up to 20-22 psi.

Is 16g Co2 Cartridge Enough?

A 16g CO2 cartridge is a small, lightweight device used to inflate a bike tire. By using this inflator, you can fix flats or inflate a bike when you are out of town and unable to use your bike’s pump. Some of us use a hand pump or mini bike pump to fix such flats, but a CO2 inflator is better than others. This tini bike tire filling inflator is incredibly easy to carry and takes only a few seconds to inflate.

And a 16 gram co2 cartridge is enough to fill a  29” road bike tire. It can produce up to 130 tire pressure to a 29” road tire. But one 16gram cartridge is not enough to inflate a mountain bike tire or fat bike tire. 

You will need two 16 gram cartridges or a large size (25gram) cartridge to inflate a single mountain bike or fat bike tire. 

Can You Refill Co2 Cartridges?

can refill Co2
Co2 Cartridges Ready To Use

A co2 tank is not filled with liquid co2, and it’s not an air compressor, and neither does it store air. It uses pressurized carbon dioxide and inflates the bike tires. You just have to connect Co2 inflator with the valve stem, and the carbon dioxide will burst, and the tire will be inflated. 

CO2 cartridges are available in various sizes, and large ones like 25gram can be used more than once on a road bike if you know how to use them.  

Be careful while attaching the co2 with the valve and releasing it. And make sure you close it on time without wasting the gas. Remember, every time the pressure gets run out, you have to buy more. 

You can’t refill CO2 cartridges and use them again to inflate bike tires. But don’t throw them away; you can recycle them and get new CO2. 

Once the CO2 tank gets emptied, you can get co2 replacement cartridges by recycling them. So, keep them in your pocket or seat bag and take them for recycling. 


CO2 is a smart alternative to a hand pump or mini pump, and it saves up a lot of time, money, and effort! To help my readers understand “Will a CO2 cartridge fill a bike tire” if yes, then how many are needed to fill one bike and some more related questions that may help you, I have answered here. I tried to design this article with only a few related questions and didn’t cover the using process or something more. If you have any questions in mind, let me know through comments, I will try to design an article based on your question.