Every serious cyclist knows it is essential to carry a pump when riding. Walk into any bicycle shop, however, and you’ll find a dizzying array of pumps. Frame pumps, CO2 pumps, mini pumps, dual pumps- how do you know what to choose? This week we’ll look at the Genuine Innovations Microflate Nano CO2. In subsequent weeks we’ll review other types of pumps.
The Microflate Nano is a minimalist pump that is the opposite of a frame pump. It’s small, effortless to use, very quick, and it works on both presta and schrader valves. To use, simply thread a CO2 cartridge into the pump head, put the pump on your valve, unscrew the cartridge 1/4 of a turn, and gas will escape the pump to inflate your tire. This process takes less than a minute and is much easier than trying to inflate your tire with a flimsy frame or mini pump. The Microflate Nano has been spotted in black, bright yellow, red and pink but the website boasts custom colors. As always the brighter the better for road and trail side repairs.
Like all products, though, the Microflate Nano has a few drawbacks. For one, it doesn’t have a gauge, unlike many of the mini pumps available. Another drawback is that a CO2 pump isn’t a one-time purchase. Every time you get a flat you’ll need to buy another $3-$6 CO2 cartridge. For anyone who frequently gets flats, these cartridges will certainly add up. Also, since you need one cartridge for each flat tire, you will be out of luck if you get multiple flats during a ride but didn’t bring multiple cartridges.
GBL Last Word: For the minimalist cyclist who wants to spend more time riding and less time fixing their flat tire, the $15 Microflate Nano is the perfect pump to toss in a seat bag or jersey pocket. Though it’s not a one-time purchase, for some its benefits outweigh its drawbacks.
By Katie Arehart-Rose – Boulder, CO