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Thread: CO2 Pumps

  1. #1
    Spinmeister
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    CO2 Pumps

    A LBS near me is having a everything-on-sale sale and Ive been looking for a co2 pump. How many people here use one? Should I look for threaded/non threaded compatibility? Anyone have a co2/pump combo? If so, is the pump able to get to road tire pressures? The combo ones I saw in the LBS could only go to 75 psi, I might as well ride on a flat. I would just like the security of having the pump AND the co2. What models does everyone have? I think the sale ends today so any timely responses would be greatly appreciated!
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    Senior Member Cipher's Avatar
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    Go for non-threaded, the cartridges are cheaper. (You can get 25 for approx. $10~12 from walmart). I've had to use my co2 pump 3 seperate times, and each time it's worked like a charm.
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    Kev
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    The combo ones the normal pump pretty much sucks on average. I would get a Co2 that supports non-threaded cartridges since they are ALOT cheaper, you can pickup 25 at wally-wart for about $12.

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    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    I to would get a non threaded inflator or one that supports both. The one thing to remember is if you use it to let the CO2 out at the end of the ride and repump it up with air. I found out why when I changed what I thought was a flat only to find out it wasn't.

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    I have an SKS AirGun which is pretty small and compact but uses threaded catridges. I have found that although threaded cartridges are more expensive, they're not prohibitively so. I bought a "tub" of 20 16g cartridges for about US$25 two years ago and have since only used two. I guess I don't get many flats. I also like how the SKS inflator can be stored on my bike. Click on my roadbike in my signature to see.
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    Kev
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    20 for $25 that is a great deal! I normaly pay around $2-3 a piece for the 16 gram threaded ones. But the ones that just take threaded are smaller and more convenient to carry is a plus I will admit. You should also practice using it atleast once before you go for a ride like you would with any other pump.

  7. #7
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    I use threaded CO2s. The whole threaded deally packs really small. Mostly I use them for road riding. Although they are an expensive way to fix flats, it always seems worth it when it only takes 1 second to get 110 psi in the tire. For mountain biking I usually carry a pump, but always keep the CO2 as backup.

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    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    how exactly do they work? it seems like the tanks are awful small to fill a tire... do they create some sort of vacuum to draw in air?

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    I have used CO2 pumps for several years now. Mine is a non threaded type. I do buy my cart. from Performance @ $1.00 each only because I use it for a road tire that requires 110psi. I have not looked into other sources for them as most do not have enough gram of CO2 to inflate a road tire to my knowledge.

    I have had no issues with these pumps other then learning to use them. I do carry a spare cart. or two in the event I don't get a good seal when inflating the tire. Nothing worse then having a flat and a CO2 pump in the other hand and no CO2. I find them small and light and slip them in my jersey pocket and I'm good to go.
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    Dont use the Co2 from a walmart in your Co2 inflater as it will ruin the inflater. The reason that Co2 is more expensive from a bike shop is it's a different type Co2. You cant compare the prices as it's an apples to oranges kind of thing. The Co2 you buy at a sporting goods store has lubricants in the Co2 that will break down and ruin the seals in your inflater. The Co2 you get from a bike shop does not have these lubes as they are more or less like a "food grade" Co2. That's why they are a bit more expensive. You may get away using cheaper Co2 for a while but, you might end up having to replace your inflater often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad
    Dont use the Co2 from a walmart in your Co2 inflater as it will ruin the inflater. The reason that Co2 is more expensive from a bike shop is it's a different type Co2. You cant compare the prices as it's an apples to oranges kind of thing. The Co2 you buy at a sporting goods store has lubricants in the Co2 that will break down and ruin the seals in your inflater. The Co2 you get from a bike shop does not have these lubes as they are more or less like a "food grade" Co2. That's why they are a bit more expensive. You may get away using cheaper Co2 for a while but, you might end up having to replace your inflater often.
    That's why these forums work, thanks for that information!!!!
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    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Jas-

    The CO2 in the cartridge is highly compressed, so at bike tire pressures, it has enough volume to fill the tire. Also, after you use CO2, you need to replace it with air when you get back to civilization. The CO2 molecule is much smaller than air, and will easily permeate your tubes.

    DEMON

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad
    Dont use the Co2 from a walmart in your Co2 inflater as it will ruin the inflater. The reason that Co2 is more expensive from a bike shop is it's a different type Co2. You cant compare the prices as it's an apples to oranges kind of thing. The Co2 you buy at a sporting goods store has lubricants in the Co2 that will break down and ruin the seals in your inflater. The Co2 you get from a bike shop does not have these lubes as they are more or less like a "food grade" Co2. That's why they are a bit more expensive. You may get away using cheaper Co2 for a while but, you might end up having to replace your inflater often.
    I have to say I'm really skeptical about this. I looked at http://www.innovationsaz.com, the Innovations website. They sell the more expensive, bike store type, cartridges. They tout the specs of their cartridges, quality and construction, but say nothing about lubricants in their competitors gas. I should think that they would use that argument if it were true.

    Anyway, I have and use three of the InnovationsCO2 inflators: the Superflate, the Ultraflate and the Ultraflate Pro. The latter two will accept either threaded or non-threaded cartridges. A 12g non threaded cartridge will inflate a road tire to about 90 psi before the pressure in the tire and the cartridge equalize.
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  14. #14
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasBike
    how exactly do they work? it seems like the tanks are awful small to fill a tire... do they create some sort of vacuum to draw in air?
    /* WARNING - Contents under pressure */

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    d_D
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    I would be more worried about and oil/addatives damaging the tube rather than the tool. The seals in normal pumps don't in my experiance get damaged by oil so why would the CO2 inflater seals be.

    If your the type of person who replaces the tube when it has 15+ patches in and is worn out then this might be an issue, most people appear to replace the tube after a few patches and I can't see they would have a problem.

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    I'm in the industry and got my info from the horses mouth so to speak about the food grade Co2 from innovations. I dont know why they chose not to let everyone know about it.

    If the Co2 in question is made with airguns and or paint guns, yes, they are lubed. Most of if not all Co2 from sporting good stores are lubed for this very reason. The price diff is not that great so I promise you're better off using innovations.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Don Cook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad
    I'm in the industry and got my info from the horses mouth so to speak about the food grade Co2 from innovations. I dont know why they chose not to let everyone know about it.

    If the Co2 in question is made with airguns and or paint guns, yes, they are lubed. Most of if not all Co2 from sporting good stores are lubed for this very reason. The price diff is not that great so I promise you're better off using innovations.
    It doesn't surprise me that your information came from a horse. Next time you're conversing with it, find out precisely what these additives are and how the lubricants eat up the inflator's rubber seal. I'll stay tuned, this ought to be good.

  18. #18
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demoncyclist
    Jas-

    The CO2 in the cartridge is highly compressed, so at bike tire pressures, it has enough volume to fill the tire. Also, after you use CO2, you need to replace it with air when you get back to civilization. The CO2 molecule is much smaller than air, and will easily permeate your tubes.

    DEMON
    LOL, your comment there couldn't be more wrong. First of all, CO2 is actually much bigger than 90% of the molecules make up air. This is why if you put a piece of dry ice into a bowl, the visible CO2 vapor will fill up the bottom of the bowl first, before "spilling over" the brim. it's also why you can play hockey with pieces of dry ice, because it floats on a cushion of CO2 vapor.

    Here are the molecular weights of the major components of air:
    nitrogen 28
    oxygen 32
    carbon dioxide 44

    Graham's law of effusion says that the rate of gas leakage is proportional to the square root of the ratio of the molecular mass of the two gasses you're comparing. so, let's assume for argument's sake, that air is essentially 100% nitrogen. that would mean CO2 effuses at only 40% of the rate that air does. (that is, a tire filled with CO2 is 40% as leaky as a tire filled with air)

    Glad you brought up this point though, because I was actually going to mention that I think it might be a good idea to inflate tires with CO2, in order to reduce the frequency of having to top off your tires.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deliriou5
    Here are the molecular weights of the major components of air:
    nitrogen 28
    oxygen 32
    carbon dioxide 44
    So, filling your tires with CO2 would add rotational weight and slow you down?
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  20. #20
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    hehe LOL... yes... in fact there was a thread a while back about putting helium in your tires....
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriDevil
    A LBS near me is having a everything-on-sale sale and Ive been looking for a co2 pump. How many people here use one? Should I look for threaded/non threaded compatibility? Anyone have a co2/pump combo? If so, is the pump able to get to road tire pressures? The combo ones I saw in the LBS could only go to 75 psi, I might as well ride on a flat. I would just like the security of having the pump AND the co2. What models does everyone have? I think the sale ends today so any timely responses would be greatly appreciated!
    Use it, love it... get it!

    It takes like 2 seconds to fill the tire once you change the flat. This takes my tire changing time from 8 minutes down to 3!

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  22. #22
    d_D
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad
    I'm in the industry and got my info from the horses mouth so to speak about the food grade Co2 from innovations. I dont know why they chose not to let everyone know about it.

    If the Co2 in question is made with airguns and or paint guns, yes, they are lubed. Most of if not all Co2 from sporting good stores are lubed for this very reason. The price diff is not that great so I promise you're better off using innovations.
    Why go to all the effort of using odd seals just to prevent people from using CO2 with oil in. If paintball/air *** seals can cope with the oil then why not a CO2 pump. I have never had a problem with regulare bike pump seals and oil.
    Where are they getting these strange seals from and why would anybody make such things when you can make seals with resistance to oil and massivly increase your potential market.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev
    The combo ones the normal pump pretty much sucks on average. I would get a Co2 that supports non-threaded cartridges since they are ALOT cheaper, you can pickup 25 at wally-wart for about $12.
    How many do you use? Do you flat every ride?Do you use them before every ride to pump up your tires?I've had 2 in my saddle pack for months and not needed them as i havent gotten a flat which is the only time i can see needing them.

  24. #24
    Carbon Fiber Nazi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by d_D
    Why go to all the effort of using odd seals just to prevent people from using CO2 with oil in. If paintball/air *** seals can cope with the oil then why not a CO2 pump. I have never had a problem with regulare bike pump seals and oil.
    Where are they getting these strange seals from and why would anybody make such things when you can make seals with resistance to oil and massivly increase your potential market.
    I have no idea about the seals in bike pumps, but I can answer your question anyway.

    Your car has rubber seals in the brake system, and rubber seals in the oil system. They are NOT compatable! If you put brake fluid into your oil system all your oil seals will swell and start to leak. Different rubber, different resistances to different chemicals.

    Therefore it is illogical to assume that the bike pump seals and airgun seals are made of identical materials. They may be, but they certainly do not have to be.

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