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  1. #1
    Senior Member RdRunner's Avatar
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    Frame pump vs. CO2 cartridges

    I would like to hear some opinions on using co2 cartridges vs. putting a frame pump on the tandem. What works best for you and why?
    My stoker ain't no slacker

  2. #2
    SDS
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    When your bread is landing jelly side down the last thing you want to do is to run out of bread. So for crucial things like inflating tires I only like renewable resources that won't run out, and that means a pump. On both my most frequently used tandem and my most frequently used single I have Blackburn AS-1 Air Stik pumps. The quality of your pump and your ability to use it is key. It does no good to have a pump if you are physically incapable of using it to achieve the required pressure. Lots of people have seen me use a Zefal HPX-4, and while they may fix their own tires, they often hand the job of inflation to me. I'm a wispy 180 lbs at 6'2" these days, but few people can beat me at using a frame or water bottle mount pump.

    I've seen people have success with various CO2 systems often, but I've also seen them fail, and when they do, the one thing that will be welcome is to have a friend around who has a pump and knows how to use it. Put another way, various tools and supplies can be split up around the pack, so the burden is not too great on any single person. I often carry a folding spare tire, and I guess about once a year, somebody needs a spare tire to get home. They rib me about the spares 'til they need them, but never after that....

  3. #3
    Kev
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    There is + and - to both of them. Co2 is definately quicker and easier just practice using it before you hit the road to get a feel how it works. Do same thing with a frame pump. THe drawback of Co2 let's say you carr 2 cartridges with you and you get 2 flats and miss a hole one time so waste a cartridge so you are walking home. Now with a frame pump that will never open, you will never run out of air maybe steam from pumping so much Drawback of frame pump it takes more work to pump up a tire and weighs more (big deal)..

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Pump; they take more effort by they always get the job done. If I hadn't learned how to cuss as a kid I would have certainly picked up on some choice words watching folks fiddle with CO2 cartridges over the years.

    Blackburn FP-1 is my particular favorite: steamlined look on the frame, high-pressure is relatively easy to achieve, and the flip-out T-handle is a nice touch. They also seem to be a bit more resistant to rust than say the Zephal HP's, of which I've had a few. The last one is a keepsake since it was painted to match my single road bike.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-30-05 at 08:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    I carry a Co2 inflation system. I've got plenty of room to be reduntant with 16gr cartridges. In five years of using them I've only had trouble once. As I'd mentioned on the site when it happened, Co2 inflater failed, back up pump failed, tandem team walk home.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RdRunner's Avatar
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    I have always carried a pump on my half-bike. It was on the bike when I bought it, so I just kept it there. Had to use it a couple of times too. It works ok, but I cant really get the pressure up as high as it should be. I guess newer pumps do better at that. It also marred the paint on the bike where the spring loaded tension holds it against the frame.
    Mark, how is your pump held under the frame? It is not locked in by spring tension like mine is. Is there a clamp on the frame?
    I have got a CO2 system, but will probably carry the frame pump as a backup until I feel secure with the CO2. But I hate to mar the paint on our new tandem with that frame pump.
    My stoker ain't no slacker

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Our Santana had and both of our Ericksons have pump pegs on the underside of the internal tube, just behind the captain's seat tube. The frame pumps all have a pump peg "dimple" in their spring-loaded handles that fit onto either a flush or L-shaped (hooked) pump peg and then contoured valve ends that nest into the crotch at the junction of the internal and boom-tube. I put a strip of clear plastic frame-saver tape on the boom tube where the valve end contacts the frame to keep it from maring the paint.

    I forgot that Co-Motion doesn't put a pump peg on their tandems. That leaves you with at least four or five pump mounting options:

    1. Get a frame pump that's the correct length to fit horizontally under your top-tube, held in suspension between the head tube junction with the internal tube and the junction of your seat tube and the top tube -- although you might need to put a zip-tie around the top end of your seat tube with the square end pointed forward to act as the pump peg.

    2. Get a frame pump that's the correct length to fit vertically in front of Vicki's seat tube, held in suspension between the internal tube junction with the bottom bracket and seat tube and the junction of the top tube with the seat tube (although, the front derailleur bracket might get in the way depending on how "thick" it is).

    3. Use a pair of pump straps to attach it to the underside of your internal tube in the stoker's compartment. If you want to guarantee that your paint doesn't get marred you might want to wrap some black vinyl electrician's tape around the two places on the internal tube where you'd attach the velcro straps so that the straps don't actually come in contact with the paint. WD-40 will take any adhesive off of the frame tubes if and when you remove the tape.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...023&Store=Bike

    4. If you could find one, they used to sell "clip-on" pump pegs that could be attached to frames that didn't have brazed-on pump pegs. I don't think the metal clip-on ones are large enough to fit around a tandem's internal tube, but one of the newer ones that are basically designed to attach to a frame like a plastic hose clamp would certainly do the trick. You'd need to check with your LBS to see if they still have those.

    5. Get a Topeak Road Morph pump. It's not as sexy as the Blackburn FP-1, but it's actually a good compact frame pump that works like a mini-floor pump. Instead of being held in suspension between a pump peg or the head and seat tubes, it mounts to your bike using a special bracket that you attach to one of your water bottle mounts -- usually the furthest forward one on the internal tube in the stoker's compartment. The bracket mounts under the water bottle cage.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...556&Store=Bike

    Just some options.

    Mark
    Last edited by livngood; 09-10-03 at 05:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    RdRunner,

    We prefer Co2 cartridges simply because they take up less space. Just chunk a couple of them in the tool bag, and you're covered; as long as you don't forget to strap the bag on the bike.

  9. #9
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Get a full length single throw pump like the FP1. For practice, using an air gauge, pump up a tire... Count the number of full strokes and measure the pressure with a presta/schrader air gauge.

    When the pressure you want to run in your tires is reached... Make a note of how many full strokes you used to get the tire full.

    When you have a flat you don't have to work hard and pant and puff... Just take your time filling the tire until you reach the number of strokes... And you are done.

    A full length frame pump, not a mini pump, is best due to better air volume, tend to be more durable and it can be mounted inside the triangle away from bottles and such.

    CO2 has too many drawbacks. I see some people successful but this weekend a guy wasted two carts trying to pump up his girls' tire... Turns out the aero rim and the short tube stem was too much for the CO2 stuff. I see CO2 fail in odd situations where the pump always comes through.

    The only time Ive seen CO2 work well is when you carry a mini pump to get things started (See CO2 blow a tire off rim before you can check or prevent) and then when the tire is got about 30% pressure then use the CO2 to finish the job.

    But you still don't know how much air is in there so you will still need to carry a gauge with you. With the counting method you will always be close and more certain the pressure is right enough to get you there.

  10. #10
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    Well with all the good points and bad points of pump vs Co2 I've come to a conclusion. From here on out I'm not using either! I'm going to go with a support vehicle to supply wheels if and when I need them Anyone want to drive??

  11. #11
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Today we were talking about that. So what you want to do is also switch to tubulars and shave some weight from those rims!

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by prestonjb
    Today we were talking about that. So what you want to do is also switch to tubulars and shave some weight from those rims!
    While we know a couple of really go-fast teams who use tubulars, they are the exception and not the rule. Tandems tend to wear through tires about 2x faster than single bikes and tubulars cost about 1.5x - 2x as much as clinchers of similar quality. Moreover, tubulars aren't widely available in widths that many tandem teams want or need. Lastly, while descending a steep grade with lots of switch-backs you don't want to have any second thoughts about how well the glue is holding on the spare tire you rolled-on earlier today after getting a puncture.

    Therefore, unless you regularly train on tubulars, I'd stick with clinchers for tandems for just about any type of riding. If you're a tubular tire afficianado, then you could consider using tubulars for some specific types of riding: time trials, important road races, and fast training on good, smooth, relatively flat roads. Otherwise, like most other teams, I'd stick with high-performance clinchers and skip the ice cream stop as a way to shave grams.

    Just my .02.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-30-05 at 08:54 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member RdRunner's Avatar
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    We now have a Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump on the tandem. When it becomes necessary to use it, we should be covered with air.
    My stoker ain't no slacker

  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    As a follow-up, we were out riding with some folks who ride a Co-Motion Supremo this past weekend and I did note that Co-Motion placed a pump peg behind the captain's seat tube, just above the boom tube. I'll have to look at a few more frames to see what Co-Motion owners are doing for pumps as I don't recall seeing too many that carry the pump held in suspension along the top of the boom tube. Then again, I'm not always that observant about certain things.

    Mark

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