[Tested] SKS Airboy CO2 Pump/Inflator

[Tested] SKS Airboy CO2 Pump/Inflator

18/02/2015
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18/02/2015

Continuing our look at SKS Germany’s pump line up we test an unusual but incredibly useful trail pump and gas inflater combination. The pump in question is called the Airboy CO2.

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Ready to go, or in this case just used, really useful to have both modes of operation.

Specifications

The idea of this pump is to have a dual system so when pumping is too tough or takes too long, or you feel you want to top up what you have already done then you can switch to the CO2 mode and inflate that way as well.

valve: SV,DV,AV
length: 207 mm
ouput max: 5 bar / 73 psi w/o CO²
weight: 207g (with cartridge)
Material: aluminium-plastic
Price €34,99
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The gas flow control valve is very precise and easy to use.

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The SKS cartridges use a rubber handle which is great as the gas flows and gets cold.

On The Trail

We tested this pump over a variety of  trails in Punta Ala   and with a few different wheel sizes. Most of the time we used the presta valve connector which in our experience worked well. When inflating we found that the pump is perfectly adequate for most tyre sizes, but as it is a fairly short throw does take time to inflate compared to a double action pump also from SKS which we have been using in parallel. That is where the gas bottle comes in, more often than not we found ourselves after the initial pump session switching to the gas bottle inflater and bringing up the tyre to a perfect level of inflation.

The pump itself has been flawless in operation but as with all pumps of this nature it is important not to force the pump on the valve head or it is possible to risk bending the valve tip when using a presta adaptor. Switching to gas inflation mode somewhat negates this problem as no force is needed on the pump. All of the moving parts functioned perfectly during our time with this pump and we became quite attached to the gas cylinder added extra feature.

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Not a long throw pump, but effective.

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We stowed this in our bag rather than use the supplied carry plate.

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A quality presta valve adaptor.

Conclusions

We all hate punctures on the trail, as it interrupts our trail time. We also can get frustrated with inflating our tires manually. What we loved about this pump was the ability to operate in dual mode: often we started pumping and finished with a gas bottle, reaching what we considered a perfect pressure in the tyre. Often we have found alone a single bottle is not enough to inflate completely a large chambered tyre like a 2.5″ Maxxis or Schwalbe on a 27.5″ bike. With this little light weight pump though we discovered a great solution. Speed and convenience if you want it or normal pumping if you don’t.

Material wise the construction of the SKS Airboy CO2 was up to the normal SKS high quality and it did last despite our sometimes rough treatment of the pump that comes with being on an Enduro trail. The gas flow valve was great and functioned precisely when needed. All in all a great pump/gas combination that makes for some an easier life on the trail, definitely worth a look and gives all the options needed in case the use of gas goes wrong and you need to top up.

SKS Germany

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