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Old 12-30-03, 04:12 AM   #1
Roland Lewis
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CO2 mini-pumps for road bikes?

How well do CO2 mini-pumps work? Can they inflate road tubes to over 100psi? How long do individual cartridges last?

I've struggled with manual hand-helds for too long, and obviously do not wish to carry around a floor-pump with me.

Anyone recommended one from
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/v2_product_l...0-%20Mini&Cat=
in particular? (Scroll down to find the CO2 ones.)
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Old 12-30-03, 04:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Lewis
How well do CO2 mini-pumps work? Can they inflate road tubes to over 100psi? How long do individual cartridges last?
They work pretty well IME but I rarely get flats. I however only rely on CO2 inflators for road biking since if I manage to somehow use up all my spare cartridges, I'm usually not too far away from civilisation and can call for help or walk to a gas station and use a presta-schrader adapter if needed. For mountain biking, I'll always carry a minipump.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Lewis
Can they inflate road tubes to over 100psi? How long do individual cartridges last?
For 700c, a 12g cartridge will just get you to 100psi if you're lucky and don't waste it by accident. If you want to go to 120psi and above, you'll want a 16g cartridge. AFAIK, the cartridges have unlimited shelf-life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Lewis
I've struggled with manual hand-helds for too long, and obviously do not wish to carry around a floor-pump with me.
I maintain several disciplines with CO2 inflators:
  1. I only rely on them if I expect to be within vicinity of civilisation. I would not use them for mountain biking or self-supported long range touring.
  2. I always carry at least two cartridges and when I've used up one, I will attempt to immediately find a place to acquire a new one. My inflator uses threaded cartridges and these can sometimes be a bit difficult to find though. Some people recommend an inflator that uses non-threaded cartridges as they're more commonly found.
  3. I carry 16g cartridges and I like to ride at 120psi but sometimes I waste some pressure while attempting to fill up so I usually only fill up enough to get me to a place where I can add more pressure... preferably from a floor pump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Lewis
Anyone recommended one from
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/v2_product_l...0-%20Mini&Cat=
in particular? (Scroll down to find the CO2 ones.)
I use the SKS AirGun. I like its form-factour. You can click on my roadbike link in my signature to see some pictures of how it mounts to the frame.
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Last edited by khuon; 12-30-03 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 12-30-03, 07:21 AM   #3
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I use a full size frame pump. Mini-pumps are useless as far as I'm concerned, and CO2 has to be replaced with air relatively quickly, since its smaller molecules can easily permeate the tube. Plus, the frame pump sits quietly under the top tube of my frame, while a CO2 inflator has to fit somewhere- either in an already crowed seat bag, jersey pocket, or mounted under a water bottle, where it may rattle loose and disappear, usually about a mile before you will need it. I have had a Blackburn frame pump for about 5 years, and on the rare occasion that I need it, has never failed to properly inflate my tires to 120-130 psi.

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Old 12-30-03, 07:48 AM   #4
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I use the CO2 pumps when I'm in a jam or in a hurry- they work fantastically, but I would never rely on them for everytime I'm inflating my tires. Most of the time, I use my minipump, then use the CO2 pump to fully inflate the rest of the tire to the 120 psi I like to ride at.

Still, I always carry a CO2 pump. I wouldn't leave home without it- I never know where I'll be riding, and to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and slaving away at changing a tire for longer than I need is very unappetizing.

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Old 12-30-03, 08:02 AM   #5
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I carry C02 inflator with 2 12g cartridges and
a frame pump.
I've had zefal HP and Silca pumps, both work well.

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Old 12-30-03, 08:10 AM   #6
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Hi,
this is the real deal. It's small enough that it doesn't get in the way. But it works!
It even has a foot rest and a pressure gauge.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ype=&estoreid=
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Old 12-30-03, 09:41 AM   #7
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Have you tried a telescopic minipump ? , as an emergency aid mine seems to work fine and includes a guage ( it´s good for about 100 psi ) and it always helps to put a little air into the tube before refitting the tyre , and what if you puncture more than once ?

CO2 was for MTB racing ,¨cause the rules say no wheel changes and a pump was too slow but for the road ?
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Old 01-01-04, 05:32 PM   #8
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OK, thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like CO2 may be OK, provided I'm never in the middle of nowhere. I'll see what's available in my LBS.
Quote:
or walk to a gas station and use a presta-schrader adapter if needed.
Isn't there the danger of over-inflating and bursting the tube if a car tyre pump is used?
Quote:
I use a full size frame pump. Mini-pumps are useless as far as I'm concerned, and CO2 has to be replaced with air relatively quickly, since its smaller molecules can easily permeate the tube.
Uh? Surely an N2 molecule (air is a mixture compromising 78% nitrogen) is smaller than a CO2 molecule? The former's atomic mass is 28 units; the latter's 44.
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Old 01-01-04, 06:00 PM   #9
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Surely an N2 molecule (air is a mixture compromising 78% nitrogen) is smaller than a CO2 molecule? The former's atomic mass is 28 units; the latter's 44.
I don't mean to suggest that atomic mass is directly proportional to a molecule's size, but instead that with the constituent atoms of nitrogen and carbon dioxide being approximately the same size, the one with three (CO2) is likely to be larger than the one with two (N2). Or am I hopelessly incorrect?
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Old 01-01-04, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late
Hi,
this is the real deal. It's small enough that it doesn't get in the way. But it works!
It even has a foot rest and a pressure gauge.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ype=&estoreid=
the topeak road morph pump get my vote as well. it works great!!!
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Old 01-01-04, 06:43 PM   #11
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Gah. I'm not about to get into a discussion on molecular weight, I failed anything that even looked remotely like science... I am suspiscious of gas station pumps, as there is the danger of over inflation. Recently, I repaired a bike for a young lady who had filled her tire at a gas station. Not only had it burst the tube, but the air pressure had bent the rim entirely out of shape.
Now this wasn't the highest quality old rim (a rigada, if memory serves) , but still... I think I'll go with my ridiculously slow old mini-pump.
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Old 01-02-04, 10:40 AM   #12
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I used a couple mini-pumps, and I couldn't get the pressure over 80 psi. this was an SKS "raceday" another SKS model, forget what it is called.

luckily, I was riding so slowly and carefully (trying not to pinch-flat at 80 psi) this german couple passed me, and their crankbrothers mini pump got me to about 100 psi, which was still a bit lower then I wanted. I had pinch flatted at 105 (thats how the flat got there in the first place)

thats beside the point though. I carry a C02 thingy with two 16g cartriges now, and I've used the inflator once. it worked like a charm. remember to let the air in slowly becuase it will freeze the valve. The LBS guy said to change the air becuase co2 is like bad for the rubber of something. Maybe because the co2 is so dry?
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Old 01-02-04, 11:02 AM   #13
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I like CO2 because I'm hard on tire valves--when I use my frame pump, the movement as I pump weakens the tire valve where it attaches to the tube, eventually becoming an unrepairable flat. That said, I haven't had a flat in so long I can't even remember my last one.

I also found that if you use a 12 gram, unthreaded CO2 cartridge, you can pick up the same thing at a 75% discount by simply buying them from BB-gun supply stores. Why pay $2 for a single cartridge when you can get them for 50 cents? Just make sure you are getting the right size for your pump, without a threaded neck.
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Old 01-02-04, 11:14 AM   #14
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I dont understand why somebody wants a frame pump?
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Old 01-02-04, 11:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
I dont understand why somebody wants a frame pump?
'Cause you'll never run out of air. (If you do, then it won't matter anyway!) End of story.
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Old 01-02-04, 04:11 PM   #16
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'Cause you'll never run out of air. (If you do, then it won't matter anyway!) End of story.
What do you mean run out of air?I carry a pump in my bag.A pump is not to keep the tire pressure up,it for fixing flats.Is it cool to stop on a ride,check your psi and top off your tires,no.Check psi before you ride and go.I've rode for a few years now and never used my pump but for fixing the 2 flats i've had in 7 or eight years.I had a pump on my 2000 cannondale i never used,once.So again,why a frame pump?
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Old 01-02-04, 06:26 PM   #17
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What do you mean run out of air?
I mean if you have a pump you'll never worry about using up all of your CO2 cartridges. From your comment I figured you were talking about CO2 vs. frame pump.

A good frame pump makes it easier to get your tires up to a high pressure in case you do get a flat. I ride with a spare tire, a patch kit, and a frame pump. Many's the time I've had to use my pump over the years. I would never rely on just CO2 cartridges. A frame pump is a lot easier to get you tire up to high pressure than a mini-pump.

What do you mean you carry a pump in your bag? There is no way I could get a pump in my under-the-seat tool bag.
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Old 01-02-04, 06:45 PM   #18
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I use a camel back. It carries, along with my tools, a spare tire, a patch kit, a C02 inflator, 2 16g cartridges and a very small blackburn mini pump that I can get around 100psi with (it just takes forever to get there). For convenience I just swap the tube and use C02 but if I had to I could patch and pump as many times as needed.

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Old 01-02-04, 08:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveE
I mean if you have a pump you'll never worry about using up all of your CO2 cartridges. From your comment I figured you were talking about CO2 vs. frame pump.

A good frame pump makes it easier to get your tires up to a high pressure in case you do get a flat. I ride with a spare tire, a patch kit, and a frame pump. Many's the time I've had to use my pump over the years. I would never rely on just CO2 cartridges. A frame pump is a lot easier to get you tire up to high pressure than a mini-pump.

What do you mean you carry a pump in your bag? There is no way I could get a pump in my under-the-seat tool bag.
Smallest bag i could find and i have a mini pump,c02 and a tube,patch kit,multi-tool,id and a few quarters and zip ties.I dont like having a pump on my bike.
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Old 01-02-04, 09:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
I dont understand why somebody wants a frame pump?
I use minipumps with the UO-8 and the mountain bike, both of which have 65-70 PSI tyres, and full-size frame pumps (Zefal HP-X or Blackburn) on the other 3 bikes. I consider compressed gas cartridges uneconomical and unecological. We cycle partly for exercise; inflating tyres is good upper body exercise.
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Old 01-02-04, 09:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
I dont like having a pump on my bike.
On the other hand, I don't mind having a pump on my bike. If I want my bike to look nice and take a picture of it, I'll clean it up, remove the pump and seatbag. If I'm in a race, I'll remove the pump and seatbag, too. If I'm riding, I am more concerned about being prepared than what the bike looks like. Of course, I want to look good!
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Old 01-02-04, 09:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveE
On the other hand, I don't mind having a pump on my bike. If I want my bike to look nice and take a picture of it, I'll clean it up, remove the pump and seatbag. If I'm in a race, I'll remove the pump and seatbag, too. If I'm riding, I am more concerned about being prepared than what the bike looks like. Of course, I want to look good!
Hay,i dont have a problem where others have a pump,i just would rather have it in my bag for a cleaner look.I just ride.
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Old 01-03-04, 06:15 PM   #23
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Good discussion here. I have the HP-X frame pump on my old bike, but my new one doesn't have a mounting peg. I recently bought both a CO2 inflator, which fits in the seat wedge, and a mini-pump which I'll take on multi-day rides as a back up just in case I go through all 3 of the inflator cylinders. Have to admit I don't like the looks of the mini-pump hanging off the side of the bottle mount, but figured I'll need to pack one for the big rides.
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Old 01-03-04, 09:36 PM   #24
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You should be able to find a clamp on pump peg, but if you also use a velcro strap to hold it in place, the spring load should keep it under the top tube.

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