I was chatting over lunch today with Bike Noob and Loving the Bike about fixing flats. Loving the Bike indicated he had just picked up a couple of CO2 cartridges to carry instead of a pump and Bike Noob made a comment about experiencing a CO2 blowout. I recommended he practice before getting caught out on the road, which is the same advice I got from the LBS, who convinced me to make the switch.
I also shared with them a little tip I learned through experience. Every time you fill up a tire with a CO2 cartridge to maximum pressure, there’s always a little bit of CO2 left in the cartridge. This little bit is useful for fixing your next flat because it allows you to fill up your tire to some pressure, but not so much pressure that if your tire wasn’t seated, it would blow your tube out the side. You can then inspect the tire to make sure it’s clinching properly before blowing it up to maximum pressure with your fresh CO2 cartridge.
So, I hope this helps you the next time you’re on the side of the road with a flat. Don’t forget to take your spent cartridges and tubes with you and recycle them if you can.