Blackburn Mammoth CO2'Fer Mini Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Integrated CO2 inflation, quality construction, low profile
Cons: Pumping power is average, no hose means you might bend a valve head
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Nothing inflates a tire faster than compressed air, which is why the Blackburn Mammoth CO2'fer is such an appealing mini-pump. The Blackburn is unique in that it delivers a CO2 inflator and mini-pump in one compact package. It's ideal for cross-country racers or anyone who prefers to compressed air for instant tire inflation.
Despite its thicker diameter piston, the Mammoth CO2'fer has a rather short stroke, limiting its pumping performance capability. On a 27.5 x 2.3-inch tire, it took the Blackburn 300 pumps to reach 22 psi. But when using one 16 gram threaded CO2 canister, the Blackburn brought a tire up to 21 psi in almost an instant. Some might consider it cheating, but using Blackburn's integrated CO2 feature can get a tire up to pressure faster than any other pump in the test. For that reason, it scored well, but not at the top of the heap, as you can see below.
When it comes to inflating a 700C x 25mm road tire, the Blackburn does not excel, only reaching 39 psi after 100 pumps. But considering the Mammoth CO2'fer is not designed nor recommended for road use, our review does not issue any demerits.
Ease of Use
The Mammoth CO2'fer is quite easy to use and features a handy integrated CO2 cartridge that doubles as a mini-pump. When you use the CO2 cartridge, this pump can inflate a tire far faster than any other pump in the test.
To use the cartridge, all you need to do is thread the canister fully onto the pump, fit the pump head onto the tube valve, lock the lever, and then depress the red CO2 button on the head. When the CO2 is empty, you can pump the tire up to your desired pressure manually. While this application requires less labor than any pump we tested, its mini-pump performance is less impressive. This lowered its score a bit in the ease of use metric.
Unlike other pumps we tested, like the Birzman Velocity Apogee MTB and the pumps from Lezyne, the Blackburn does not use a retractable hose. It features a traditional head with locking lever that mounts directly onto the valve. Because the Blackburn lacks a tube, pumping ergonomics are a little awkward. The user has to keep the pump straight and level to avoid potentially bending the valve head, especially on Presta valve tubes.
Measuring only 17.78 cm, the Mammoth CO2'fer is low profile and portable. But it is thicker in diameter than leading competitors like the Lezyne Tech Drive HV. The pump also mounts to a bike frame without looking bulky.
The Blackburn is reasonably light but is far from a class leader. It tips the scales at 214 grams without a CO2 cartridge and 272 grams with a cartridge. Still, considering this is a CO2 and mini-pump blended into one, it makes the Blackburn a rather attractive option for those seeking a low-profile and versatile mini-pump that can easily mount on a bike frame or fit into a jersey pocket.
Looks and Design
The Mammoth is a good looking pump. CNC machined aluminum bits give it a quality appearance. We gave it a good score.
The way the CO2 canister is stored upside down inside the pump body is very slick, although the canister is prone to a little rattling when you mount the pump to your bike. A large knurled aluminum ring threads the pump body onto the head. Inside the pump body is a chamber where the CO2 canister sits. It's a very sleek and efficient packaging of CO2 capability and a mini-pump.
The Blackburn features a CNC machined aluminum pump body with a plastic head. This is a relatively durable design, and it scored well as a result.
The head has two plastic threaded ends, one that mounts to the pump body and one that threads to an aluminum cap that attaches to the tire valve. Plastic threading wears and strips more quickly than medal. That is our only durability concern.
The Blackburn is an excellent value, especially considering its integrated CO2 capability. Purchasing a mini-pump and CO2 inflator separately often runs more than $40. And then you have to carry two separate pumps.
The Mammoth CO2'fer is an innovative and quality mini-pump that can suit the needs of many mountain bikers. While not the most powerful pump in terms of volume, the CO2 capability can get a tire up to pressure almost instantly, giving the Blackburn a unique position in the mini-pump segment.
— Kurt Gensheimer