Combines an efficient minipump with the ease of CO2 inflation, for a failsafe inflation option. But the pump is quite short and there’s no regulation of CO2 output.
Combines CO2 and pump inflation options
Relatively compact pump
Snap-It head is quick and easy to use
Comes with two cartridges
No regulation of CO2 discharge
Quite a short stroke
CO2 inflators get you going again far more quickly than a pump if you get a flat when out riding. They’ll also get a tyre up to around 100psi, which is hard work with most pumps – if I check tyre pressure when I get home after a flat mid-ride I usually find I’ve given up at about 60psi.
But get it wrong with a CO2 inflator or get a second flat and you don’t have a get-out once the gas from the cartridge has been lost.
The Sheath Apogee combines the quick and easy option of a CO2 inflator with the belt-and-braces solution provided by a minipump.
It’s essentially a relatively short minipump with a built-in hose that extends from the handle. But you can unscrew the head from the hose, which allows it to be used as a CO2 inflator that screws onto a standard cartridge.
You don’t get any regulation of the carbon dioxide discharge, so you’ll use a complete cartridge, but you will get your tyre up to pressure in double-quick time.
The head also features Birzman’s easy to use Snap-It Apogee presta-schrader head, which gives a simple, secure connection to the valve. You just push it on, pull up the collar and give it a quarter turn and it’s airtight. Pull the collar down again and it disconnects without air loss.
Watch: Buyer's guide to inflation
Although the pump is quite small, it is nevertheless efficient enough to get a tyre up to get-me-home pressure and is not too difficult and relatively comfortable to use.
There’s a built in rubber end piece that snaps over the valve head to keep it clean and out of the way, although I found I pulled this off the pump with vigorous use. It’s relatively easy to refit though.
Birzman sells the Sheath Apogee with an under-bottle cage mount and two CO2 cartridges along with a neoprene insulator to protect your hands from the cold generated by discharging the cartridge, going some way to justifying its quite high retail price.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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