Genuine Innovations Microflate
The Genuine Innovations Microflate is a really neat idea. It's a unique, simple, bare bones CO2 inflator. The Microflate is comprised merely of a CO2 "chuck" and a valve that screws onto your wheel's valve. Being so minimalist, it will fit in your jersey pocket or the smallest of seat wedge packs and you might even forget it's there. It's simple enough that there is little chance that any part of it will break or fail. Simplicity is key in outdoor products, they last longer that way.
How well does it work?
The short answer? Perfectly... The first time we tried this little inflator it blasted our tires up to the perfect pressure in a split second. One of the neat functions of this inflator that is not present in other similar products is the ability to regulate how much CO2 you use. On the Microflate, all you have to do is slightly unscrew the CO2 cartridge and the inflator stops releasing CO2. Then you can effectively use the inflator on another tire. In our testing, one 16g cartridge in the Microflate was able to fill one roadie tire and about 1/3rd of another. Simple yet effective is the best way to describe the way it works. Another bare bones inflator that I used was nothing more then a straight-through valve that connected the CO2 to the tube's valve. The problem here is that there was no place to hold it and the "valve" was nothing more than a piece of metal. Since I rode with the old inflator in all kinds of conditions, it corroded. The Microflate has a small grip that is made from glass reinforced nylon and the valve is made of brass. So, corrosion and comfort should be of no issue here.
The microflate weighs in at 38.12 grams and works on both Presta and Schrader type tubes. It's compatible with 12g, 16g and 25g threaded CO2 cartridges. It will pump your roadie, mountain bike, tricycle, city bike and ATV.
The Microflate kit:
You can purchase the Microflate as part of a kit that includes: the Microflate Inflator, 2 X 16g CO2 cartidge, 1 Small patch kit (Glued), 2 Tire Levers and 1 Black seat pack. So, what do we think of the kit? The Microflate Inflator, totally cool... it's in my seat pack right now and that's where it's going to stay. 16gram CO2's? Ok, a little big for my roadie tubes but, I can seal them off when I reach full pressure. Still very cool. Small Glued patch kit? Anh, naaaa, not going to use it. Glueless patch kits are the way to go. The glued ones work but after pushing my ride to the next level to go faster, who has time to stop and wait for glue to dry?? Tire levers? Well, we broke one trying to pull off our first tire. Chuck them and put some of those blue levers in there. Seat pack? Big enough for a tube, small enough not to get in the way, will hold my minimal tool set and seems durable. Cool, I dig it. What it boils down to is a cool inflator, seat pack and some CO2's, the rest you can live without or replace with better alternatives.
For the weight weenie who needs to fix a flat fast enough to get back in the race this is an excellent product. For the cyclist who doesn't feel like lugging an extra pump around this is a great option. For cyclist who doesn't have the arm strength or patience to pump a road tube up to 120PSI, there is no better option then CO2 and this is a simplistic, easy to carry solution.
Wanna see the Microflate in action? Check out this video:
::The inflator movie at Genuine Innovations::