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
By Paul Norman
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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