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  1. #1
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    Any real difference in CO2 inflators?

    Until recently I've been running tires with maximum pressures of around 80 psi. But I'm now riding a Bianchi Pista with tires rated to 120 psi. I run them around 110 - 115 psi. I got a flat today and had to rely on my mini hand pump. I was only able to get about 90 psi in the tire and got a nice bruise on my hand doing it! So I think it's time to start carrying some CO2 cartridges and an inflator. My question is whether there's any real difference in the ones available. I see a lot of them on Amazon but they look pretty much the same. Recommendations please!

  2. #2
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    I like the Innovations Microflate, very small and simple with no moving parts. It uses 16 gr threaded cartridges that will take a 700 x 23 mm tire to 120# quickly. The flow rate can be controlled easily by turning the cartridge on its threads. May take a lite practice to become proficient.

  3. #3
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    Something with an easy to control valve.

    Sometimes you just want a little bit of air to round out a tube or locate a leak. You want to be able to use a bit of CO2 seal it, finish the repair then inflate.

  4. #4
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    I haven't used many different ones, but possibly because I'm 100% happy with the Genuine Innovations Air Chuck Elite I have. It's an itty bitty little thing, easy to use, and reliable. The spring-loaded valve makes it easy to regulate flow like gsa103 helpfully pointed out. The only downside I can think of is that it requires threaded CO2 cartridges, which may cost a little bit more.

  5. #5
    Senior Member spinbackle's Avatar
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    TopeakŪ Cycling Accessories ? Products - Mini Morph?

    Do not hesitate. This is the answer to your problem. CO2 is great in a pinch but this is the solution. You will thank me (and the hordes who swear by these). End of thread.
    '84 Trek 850--spinbackle-built, '85 Trek 670 Campy Nuovo Record--project, '87 Trek 560 SS/Fixed--project, '87 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp w/ Deore XT--Specialized-built, '87 Rossin Record, '03 LeMond Wayzata--commuter,
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinbackle View Post
    TopeakŪ Cycling Accessories ? Products - Mini Morph?

    Do not hesitate. This is the answer to your problem. CO2 is great in a pinch but this is the solution. You will thank me (and the hordes who swear by these). End of thread.
    I have a version of that made by Serfas, and I love it. I am glad to know about that one, I will order one to have as a spare when my discontinued version dies. Used often.

    Rod

  7. #7
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinbackle View Post
    TopeakŪ Cycling Accessories ? Products - Mini Morph?

    Do not hesitate. This is the answer to your problem. CO2 is great in a pinch but this is the solution. You will thank me (and the hordes who swear by these). End of thread.
    I carry this Mini Morph pump. I like the small size and the hose, which allows the base of the pump to be on the ground.

    But it takes forever to get up to even 80-90 psi. I think I roughly counted at least 200 strokes. I know I'm done when I'm pressing down with my full weight. The tire still isn't at normal pressure, but it's good enough to continue the ride.

    I see they still don't include a beside-water-bottle mount. Odd. I got the (performance bike?) cheap mount that's been recommended on other threads, and the pump fits fine alongside the water bottle.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 04-09-14 at 06:02 AM.

  8. #8
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    My only problem with threaded CO2 cartridges in general is their absurd cost. I use the Superflate that takes 12 gm threadless cartridges (cheap and available in any sporting goods department). A 12 gm cartridge will get a 700-23 up to about 90 psi by itself but I use a mini-pump to get the first 20 psi or so to be sure the tire and tube are seated properly and then the CO2 brings it up to full pressure.

    I agree that the mini-Morph is the most versatile but it still takes forever to fill a tire completely.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by roka View Post
    Until recently I've been running tires with maximum pressures of around 80 psi. But I'm now riding a Bianchi Pista with tires rated to 120 psi. I run them around 110 - 115 psi. I got a flat today and had to rely on my mini hand pump. I was only able to get about 90 psi in the tire and got a nice bruise on my hand doing it! So I think it's time to start carrying some CO2 cartridges and an inflator. My question is whether there's any real difference in the ones available. I see a lot of them on Amazon but they look pretty much the same. Recommendations please!
    Use this to determine your pressure.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    My only problem with threaded CO2 cartridges in general is their absurd cost.
    I pay just over a buck per threaded 16g cartridge, shipped, from these guys in Minnesota. (No affiliation, blah, blah, blah...)

    I've been using them with a Genuine Innovations Proflate which can use 16g unthreaded cartridges as well as really any size threaded cartridge without the sleeve. I like the way it can hold a 16g cartridge backward for storage.
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  11. #11
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    After going door to door asking strangers for the use of a bike pump, I carry a frame pump. it seems to me the weight penalty is hardly more than a mini-pump plus CO2 inflator plus 2 CO2 cartridges.

    Thought I did recently pick up one of these on sale - mini pump that also accepts a threaded CO2 cartridge.
    CFH Pumps
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  12. #12
    Member melloveloyellow's Avatar
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    CO2 is worth it just to avoid a manual pump, IMO. We ride a lot, and get maybe 3-4 flats/month in the right season (star thistle being the culprit). When you abruptly become a pedestrian, it really harshes the biking buzz. CO2 is fast.

    As to the OP: 12 oz cartridges cost ~$.55 each, available in bulk (25, 50, 100). That's the determinant for me. I got an ultraflate:
    Attachment 373731
    and store a cartridge inverted in it, along w/4 more in my kit. Clearly, weight is not my main concern.

  13. #13
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    I use a Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 inflator, $25. It has a control valve so you can partially inflate a tire if needed.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Paramount1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDawginHTown View Post
    I use a Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 inflator, $25. It has a control valve so you can partially inflate a tire if needed.
    +1 on the PDW Shiny Object. The little, beautifully made inflator handles Presta or Schrader valves and has a needle valve that allows you to precisely control the inflation.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDawginHTown View Post
    I use a Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 inflator, $25. It has a control valve so you can partially inflate a tire if needed.
    The Genuine Innovations inflators have a trigger inflator (black lever in melloveloyellow's picture) and an inflator lock (red lever) that works very well to keep remaining CO2 inside the cylinders. I have a Shiney Object given to me by a friend, but the first time I used it in cold weather I found it far to fiddly compared to the GI. YMMV. Mine probably will to if these 80° temps become a normal thing...
    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
    No single raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinbackle View Post
    TopeakŪ Cycling Accessories ? Products - Mini Morph?

    Do not hesitate. This is the answer to your problem. CO2 is great in a pinch but this is the solution. You will thank me (and the hordes who swear by these). End of thread.
    I have that or a version of it. Its great. Gets 120psi and has a gauge. Takes a bit of effort to pump an mtb tire to 80psi but its never let me down.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinbackle View Post
    Snip End of thread.
    Yeah everyone should buy the same bike you ride too, talk about arrogance!

    Quote Originally Posted by melloveloyellow View Post
    CO2 is worth it just to avoid a manual pump, IMO. We ride a lot, and get maybe 3-4 flats/month in the right season (star thistle being the culprit). When you abruptly become a pedestrian, it really harshes the biking buzz. CO2 is fast.

    As to the OP: 12 oz cartridges cost ~$.55 each, available in bulk (25, 50, 100). That's the determinant for me. I got an ultraflate:
    Attachment 373731
    and store a cartridge inverted in it, along w/4 more in my kit. Clearly, weight is not my main concern.
    This is what I carry along with a small frame pump on my road bike. My cross bike I carry just the co2 inflater along with several tubes and a hand full of cartridges. My time is valuable co2 is cheap. Good tires makes for not needing to use either very often.


    Mark

  18. #18
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melloveloyellow View Post
    We ride a lot, and get maybe 3-4 flats/month in the right season
    Time to go tubeless.
    Alaskans for global warming.

  19. #19
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    This is what I carry along with a small frame pump on my road bike. My cross bike I carry just the co2 inflater along with several tubes and a hand full of cartridges. My time is valuable co2 is cheap. Good tires makes for not needing to use either very often.
    I thought I was the only one that carried both... I carry this and a road morph.

    I would advise that people avoid cheap/off brand. I had a cheap one (forget the brand), and the first time I used it, it blew a seal... and that was on a relatively low pressure hybrid tire... Nothing like trying to inflate a tire and having the inflater blow out to start your blood pumping.
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  20. #20
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    On local workout rides I just carry the CO2 pump. On longer trips I carry both (topeak mini morph).
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  21. #21
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    I carry the cheapo combination mini-pump/Co2 inflator from Nashbar. I think it was $12. I pump the tire enough to seat the bead and make sure the tire is on right (about 20 PSI, which is easy pumping), then I give it a shot of Co2 to finish filling, adding about 90 PSI to a 700/23 tire. Maybe 50 cents a cartridge. Best of both worlds. Also fits in a medium size wedge bag when disassembled.

  22. #22
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
    I carry the cheapo combination mini-pump/Co2 inflator from Nashbar. I think it was $12. I pump the tire enough to seat the bead and make sure the tire is on right (about 20 PSI, which is easy pumping), then I give it a shot of Co2 to finish filling, adding about 90 PSI to a 700/23 tire. Maybe 50 cents a cartridge. Best of both worlds. Also fits in a medium size wedge bag when disassembled.
    That's a great price. Where?

  23. #23
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    CO2 vs. mini-pump is not an either/or discussion for some people:





    Last edited by BikeAnon; 04-10-14 at 02:19 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    My strategy is also carrying a little Topeak Race Rocket HP (TopeakŪ Cycling Accessories ? Products - RaceRocket HP, black) and a Genuine Innovations AirChuck inflator (I like the all-metal construction). I use the Topeak pump to partially inflate the tube for seating, then the Co2 to bring the tire to full pressure. I carry two 16gms Co2 cartridges.

    I am tempted to spring for the PWD Shiny Object, as that could mean ditching the pump totally.
    Regards,

    Jed

  25. #25
    Member melloveloyellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    That's a great price. Where?
    Robot Check

    If that's too many, split a box w/a couple of fellow riders. Smaller quantities cost ~$.65 each, nowadays.

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