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  1. #1
    worldtraveller worldtraveller's Avatar
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    CO Cartridges vs a hand pump

    Just like to ask you all for who has use or uses CO cartridges

    i was considering getting a set to use in case of a flat tire with my road bike, as the pump is a little bulky

    For the people who use them, pros and cons?

    is it easy to fill up the tire quickly and get it totally full of air, like proper pressure for road bike tire?

    Your recommendations please?

    otherwise can u recommend a good portable pump for road bike tires. 700cc

  2. #2
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    The advantage of CO2 is that it's fast. I have seen people dump the CO2 without managing to fill the tire.
    You'd probably need to carry 2 cartridges. You only need 1 pump and there are pumps that are not much more bulky than 2 cartridges and a CO2 head.

  3. #3
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    my co2 inflator maxes out at something like 45 or 50psi on a single shot cartridge, so for decent 700c road tires that's going to be 2-3 cartridges, co2 also deflates more quickly then air, so it's more of a get you to the gas station/home/buddies home/bike shop thing. There's any number of mini pumps slightly larger then a co2 setup if your concerned about size, but if your like me and the co2 is about being lazy for roadside repairs go nuts.
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  4. #4
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    CO2 is great for speed and getting pressure, but it's still worth carrying a pump so you can get the tire seated correctly the rim, before taking the pressure up with the CO2.

    For pumps, how much do you want to spend, carbon, aluminum, color, so many factors, Blackburn (Airstik) make good ones, and have a lifetime warranty (have claimed on this recently with a 10 year old pump, and got a new one back)

  5. #5
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    CO2 comes in different sizes. a single, that's 1, 16gram cartridge should inflate a 700cx23 tire to about 130 psi and for a chart for different sizes and applications. Just click on inflation chart. they are compact and easy to use.


    here ya go http://www.genuineinnovations.com/co2-refills/12-gram-co2-threaded-cartridge-display-box-of-30.html

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    You can run out of CO2. A pump never runs out. Three times I've picked up a bit of steel belt in a tire. Only one of those times did I find it on the first try. The shortest of the rides was about 73 miles. If I'd relied on CO2 I'd have been in deep trouble. Now CO2 for speed and minipump for topping off and backup is a reasobable solution.
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  7. #7
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph.1 View Post
    CO2 comes in different sizes. a single, that's 1, 16gram cartridge should inflate a 700cx23 tire to about 130 psi and for a chart for different sizes and applications. Just click on inflation chart. they are compact and easy to use.


    here ya go http://www.genuineinnovations.com/co2-refills/12-gram-co2-threaded-cartridge-display-box-of-30.html
    Sidenote: as far as cartridges go the 16g is the most expensive, I got my hands on an inflator that can use any 12-16g threaded or unthreaded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    You can run out of CO2. A pump never runs out. Three times I've picked up a bit of steel belt in a tire. Only one of those times did I find it on the first try. The shortest of the rides was about 73 miles. If I'd relied on CO2 I'd have been in deep trouble. Now CO2 for speed and minipump for topping off and backup is a reasobable solution.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I can't believe someone would need 2 16 G Co-2 to fill a 700x23 or 25. A 16g will give you close to 120 psi. A 12g puts you over 80. On a MTB you only get about 50 or 60 PSI. But for me a duel pump like the second wind, Specialized air tool, or Lezyne will manually pump up to 120 to 160psi and can use a co-2. The Lezyne is pretty light and compact. The Ait tool has a trigger so you can adjust the rate you fill the tire. If you are in a group the CO-2 is the quick way to go. If you are by yourself and can take the time use the pump. Still having a co-2 is like having a power pump and will fill the tire in seconds. If you plan on onlu using a CO-2 take at least three cartrages just in case. But I reccommend a pump the does both.
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  9. #9
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by worldtraveller View Post
    Just like to ask you all for who has use or uses CO cartridges

    i was considering getting a set to use in case of a flat tire with my road bike, as the pump is a little bulky

    For the people who use them, pros and cons?

    is it easy to fill up the tire quickly and get it totally full of air, like proper pressure for road bike tire?

    Your recommendations please?

    otherwise can u recommend a good portable pump for road bike tires. 700cc

    I use both. If I'm in a hurry I use CO2 if I have time then I break out the pump. Air is free., CO2 costs
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  10. #10
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    I always use 16g cartridges. It's good for everything- road/mt/cx

    16g is insurance on a road bike- sometimes you will loose a bit of air if you don't seat the valve correctly.
    Better to have more than not enough and 12g always seems to not be enough.

    I carry 2 16g cartridges or a big shot for xc

    pump is ok too but they are just a hassle for me unless you get the full-length ones.
    so, cartridges are great for me. Never had an issue being stranded.

    If it's your first time, get a couple 12g's to blow on practice so you understand how to use and control it.
    Super simple but I've seen a couple guys waste cartridges because they were rushed and didn't know how to properly use it.

    cartridges are relatively cheap- airgun shops or hobby stores usually have bulk for cheap (usually unthreaded ones)

  11. #11
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    Just buy the right gear and don't be cheap, you'll be fine either way. The problem I've seen too many times is people in general try and bargain their way into hobby's and end up being miserable or quit because of the hassles associated with being cheap. co2 cartridges, tubes are cheap insurance for an enjoyable ride as is a good pump.

  12. #12
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    Other's views will vary, but I've given up completely on CO2 carts. They won't inflate my 35 or 37mm tires past about 60 psi, and there are a lot of thorns around here. I've had as many as nine flats in a 100-mile ride. I carry a 30-year-old Zefal frame pump or a newer Topeka (Road Morph, I think). The Zefal has surely inflated hundreds of tires and still works like new.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Pump, buy it once and never have to buy anything else unless you wear it out or break it. I use a Topeak Morph, but have heard nothing but good about the Leyzyne.

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    Last edited by wahoonc; 02-23-12 at 03:02 AM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    CO2 and the various pumps each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Which is best depends on your mindset at the time.

    There's basically two ways of looking at flat tires. The first one is that you don't flat very often so however you fix it doesn't matter very much in the big scheme of things. The second is that once you flat, you're already unhappy so anything that adds to your unhappiness is bad.

    CO2 is fast and convenient. A single 16 gram cartridge will fill a road tire to reasonable operating pressure in just a couple of seconds. If your goal is to get back on the road in minimum time, there is no competition - so long as you do everything right. If you have a group of riders standing around and watching you, take the extra time to be sure you haven't pinched your tube under the bead or it'll blow out your brand new tube. Then the onlookers will give you more advice than you want to hear. CO2 leaks out faster so you'll have to top up your tire tomorrow morning with air but I pretty much do that anyway so it's a non-issue.

    No matter who makes the pump, the laws of physics can't be violated. Mini pumps suck because they don't move a large enough volume of air. Everybody likes to talk about how many psi a pump will reach. I'm more interested in how many pumps it takes to get there. The smaller the pump the more you'll have to pump it. Another common issue with any pump that doesn't have a hose has to do with pumping technique. Wiggle the pump head too much and you'll tear your new tube at the base of the valve stem. Those same onlookers who were laughing at the CO2 guy in the last paragraph are now scoffing at you.

    When I rode a road bike I used CO2. It's fast and convenient, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing when I fix a flat and the expense didn't bother me because I only have a couple of flats per year. I never had a bad experience on the road. These days I use a road morph pump because my recumbent tires take more volume than a 16 gram cartridge can deliver. The drawback to the road morph is that it's UGLY but that doesn't bother me because my recumbents have bags that are big enough to hide it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Like several people here, I generally pack a CO2 inflator and a couple cartridges for the speed, with a mini-pump for backup. When I'm on my way to work, or on my way home when it's cold and dark, I really have better things to do than sit there pumping. One 16-gram cartridge does a fine job of getting me underway with 700 x 28s.

    If you're asking for a shopping recommendation: if you have a pump already, get the Air Chuck Elite. If you don't have a pump already, look at the Second Wind, which is a mini-pump with a CO2 inflator built in. If you want a big, fast-inflating pump, Topeak's Morph models have a following, or the classic Zefal HPX in the largest size that fits your frame is a champ.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I think the biggest factor is neither weight nor vanity, unless you're in a bike race. Its serviceability....for yourself and for other riders that you come across during a ride. The guy with the cartridges will be less likely to stop and help.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I prefer to carry a mini-pump. Lezyne Road Drive is good and the Topeak Race Rocket is better IMO. I have and use both. When I flat on a group ride, I'm quite happy to use any CO2 offered by other riders.

  18. #18
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph.1 View Post
    Just buy the right gear and don't be cheap, you'll be fine either way. The problem I've seen too many times is people in general try and bargain their way into hobby's and end up being miserable or quit because of the hassles associated with being cheap. co2 cartridges, tubes are cheap insurance for an enjoyable ride as is a good pump.
    Amen, bro! At least I think you're a bro and not a babe.

    I bought a cheap floor pump with plastic parts. It failed on the day of a big ride (I was venting CO2 from a tire I had changed on the road the day before) and I was so ticked I ran up to the LBS and bought a full metal survive the zombie apocalypse grade floor pump.

    Some of one's views about CO2 might be influenced by their degree of poseurdom. I ride a bent, I got a big old bike bag and I don't give a rip. On Friday I set out with 5 CO2 cartridges and three fresh inner tubes. Now I travel with 4 CO2 cartridges and two fresh inner tubes. If you're a minimalist you might not have the comfort of this redundancy.

    One other thing: if you go with CO2, it's worth a cartirdge or two to practice at home. There is definitely a learning curve to their use.

  19. #19
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I'm a pump guy because I'm afraid of running out of CO2, but then I'm also the kind of person that caries a spare tube AND a patch kit for all rides even short commutes.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  20. #20
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Advantages of cartridges:
    . small
    . fast
    . effortless

    Advantages of pumps:
    . reusable
    . unlimited
    . forgiving

    I carry C02 but if I break down with a group and someone offers use of a pump I'll take them up on it.

    CO2 is clearly faster, but you have to think it through... for instance, some bikes have limited clearance for putting the wheel on with brakes, fenders, etc. If you pump up your tire with CO2 and then realize you can't get the wheel on the bike and have to deflate the tire to get it on, you then have hope you have a little extra in the cartridge or use a second cartridge. So they can be a pain that way. Of course, a lot of mini pumps are a pain to use, period, and take a lot of time & effort to pump up the tire.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    For a road bike my recommendations are pretty simple: FLOOR pump at home and CO2 on the road. Mini-pumps are small, light, and take forever to pump a high pressure tire up. A 16g CO2 will do it in 4 seconds.

    Flats never seem to happen at an opportune time so holding back friends or changing a tube in the rain should be a minimal thing. But CO2 also escapes a little faster too and a floor pump at the house means you have naximum pressure when you start out and no problems getting the pressure up there.

  22. #22
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    I see that some people that don't like CO2 because you only get one attempt per cartridge. The problem I see with that logic is that you only get as many attempts as you have usable tubes anyway. Sure you could carry patches, but in my expereince the glueless one don't work well and even the glued style take some time to do correctly. The way I see it, if I can't fix my issue in a couple attempts then I'm going to have problems even if I have a pump. Also I am not a fan of any pump that attaches directly to the valve stem. It is certainly possible to damage the tube beyond repair and again find yourself in a situation where the limiting factor is usable tubes. Additionally it is extremely difficult to use a pump like this to get anywhere near skinny road tire pressures. If I was going to use a pump I'd look for one with a flexible hose like one of the Topeak Morph styles. Sure they are a little bigger, but I have confidence that they would be so much easier to use and less likely to make the situation worse.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Everybody likes to talk about how many psi a pump will reach. I'm more interested in how many pumps it takes to get there. The smaller the pump the more you'll have to pump it.
    So, it takes a bit longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Another common issue with any pump that doesn't have a hose has to do with pumping technique. Wiggle the pump head too much and you'll tear your new tube at the base of the valve stem. Those same onlookers who were laughing at the CO2 guy in the last paragraph are now scoffing at you.
    I suspect that the main reason this failure more is "common" is because people are impatient (and weak). This issue is fairly easy to avoid.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Smaller diameter piston requires less force but more strokes to reach pressure for pumps with equal stroke length. The Topeak Race Rocket comes in three versions differing in piston diameter. Normal works fine for me pumping road tires to 100+ PSI. My wife uses the HP versions with smaller piston. The largest diameter version helps speed inflation for the larger volume and lower pressure of mtb tires.

  25. #25
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    CO2 for MTB racing, otherwise, pump
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