For the last few months I’ve been using a nifty new little kit from Blackburn which helps you stash a CO2 (or pump) and a tidy plug kit between your waterbottle cage and your frame. It is just one of many new on bike storage options that we’re seeing more and more of these days which makes it easier to ditch the bag and avoid a sweaty back.
- Includes 25g. CO2, inflator head, mounting plate and plug kit
- 73 grams (without CO2 cartridge)
- 1.96 × 5.27 × 7.6 in
- $ 60.00 USD
Blackburn’s plug kit is really quite small and impressive. It looks like a Duracell battery to be honest, with its black and copper color. A rubber band with a tab on the end makes for an easy on / off.
The CO2 side arrives with an inflator head and a 25 gram C02. The mounting plate will still fit a smaller C02 as well as some mini pumps.
The diameter of the plug kit is roughly between the size of a nickel and a quarter in diameter. A nice, sneaky feature is that the knurled cap on the end of the barrel unthreads and works as a presta valve core tool. That can be super handy when you find yourself trailside with a loose or stuck valve core.
On the trail
While right away I found this kit to be nice and secure, another element that I appreciated was that the CO2 and plug kit don’t really stick out too much past the bottle. This means you won’t be bumping your ankles on it or snagging it while pedaling or messing around off the bike. Props to Blackburn for the well thought out plate shape which utilizes the space between the downtube and bottle/cage nicely.
The inflator worked admirably. While you can find smaller, simpler heads that don’t use a second dial to release the air, I generally prefer this type as it allows you to more easily fine tune how fast you inflate your tire. That can be critical out in the middle of nowhere, in a pinch. Another thing I appreciated was that the threads which fit to the CO2 cartridge have an o-ring in them to keep the inflator in place while you’re riding.
The build quality of the plugger is excellent. There are two o-rings, and grooves for them to fit into, which keep things sealed and snug. Given how low profile the tool is, the ergonomics were pretty good regarding getting heavy handed and forcing a plug into the tire. The design of the tip is pretty well thought out, with a groove on the backside of the angled surface to help keep the plug(s) in place during their installation. The kit comes with 5 total plugs and although space is limited, you could replace them as you please with whichever type of plugs you’d like.
All in all this is a nice little kit. The deployment is definitely a bit more ideal compared to keeping things all wrapped up in a tube strap (or even a bag), and the tools are low in profile and nicely out of the way on the bike. Both the inflator head and plugger kit are very nicely made from quality materials and truly well thought out from a usage standpoint. Lastly, everything stayed both quiet and secure, which was quite a relief. For $ 60.00, this is a great way to keep critical, ride saving bits on your bike at all times.