The Zefal E Max FC blends CO2 cannisters with a regular pump but ends up being the worst of both worlds.
There are quite a few mini-pumps like the Zefal E Max FC – it’s a mini pump, but you can actually thread in a C02 canister to inflate the tyre initially and then top it up with the pump. In theory this is great for race situations where speed is of the essence, but some say the CO2 is also good for seating a tubeless bead. Unfortunately, that’s not true – there’s not enough volume in a single 16g cartridge. Not that the pump is really any better – it took an absolute age to get air into our test tyre, and even after 200 strokes, with our arm dropping off, we’d only got 5psi into the tyre.
The pump is an alloy construction and has a nice magnetic locking mechanism, but the barrel is small-diameter, and it has a really short stroke for its length. Our criticisms don’t end there – the extendable hose is buried deep inside the barrel and is really hard to get to. In fact, we had to use a tool on several occasions to pull out the head.
This pump comes with a CO2 cartridge included, but it’s a lot of money for something that doesn’t work that well. You’re better off winging it, because if you do get a flat and have this in your pack it’s going to be a frustrating ride.