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CO2 inflator/cartridge -- need recommendations

Old 06-21-09, 07:05 PM
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bagel007
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CO2 inflator/cartridge -- need recommendations

Which CO2 inflator/cartridge would you recommend?

Where to buy it?

I've purchased a floor pump (Topeak Road Morph G), but I'm not sure it's worth mounting it on my bike.

I understand that CO2 inflator/cartridge combo is more compact and doesn't add too much weight.

Are there any disadvantages to CO2 inflators?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-21-09, 07:11 PM
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The cold of the CO2 can freeze your hands. Carry an insulated glove.
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Old 06-21-09, 07:13 PM
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Also interested!
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Old 06-21-09, 07:29 PM
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I've got a couple of CO2 inflators from Innovations. I don't remember what they call the model but they have a trigger so I cann control the flow of CO2. They've never let me down. I have only used 16 gram threaded cartridges. They're more expensive but I only use about 1 per year so the cost isn't a big deal to me.

The advantages of CO2 are that it's more compact, much faster, and easier to use.

The disadvantages of CO2 are:
1. You really should practice at least once at home before you depend on it on the road.
2. CO2, even the cheap, unthreaded WalMart cartridges, cost more than air.
3. There is an environmental factor in disposing the old cartridges.
4. It's illegal to carry CO2 cartridges on an airplane.
5. You can run out of CO2 cartridges and not be able to reinflate your tire.

I understand all that, I still think that CO2 is a good deal, and I'm a retro-grouch. Then again, I don't et very many flat tires. If I flatted more I think the cost factor might change my opinion.
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Old 06-21-09, 08:07 PM
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I can highly recommend the Innovations MicroFlate: https://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/display/70560/

The threaded 16 gr cartridges will fully inflate a 23 mm tire or similar. Screwing the cartridge into the small inflater causes a spike to penetrate the end of the cartridge. Unscrewing the cartridge slowly dispenses the CO2 into the tube. With just a little practice this system works very well. I carry one inflater and 2 or 3 cartridges on each bike. Only one cartridge is needed per flat.
I have not carried a pump in 11 years.


Al
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Old 06-22-09, 12:24 AM
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Get something with a variable valve.
I've used a cheapie from the REI equivalent in Canada, and it works just fine.
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Old 06-22-09, 12:56 AM
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I really like the Genuine Innovations Big Air cartridge system.

It will inflate more than one tire allowing me to put whatever pressure I like into a tire, even filling my Pugsley 4".

The problem is...it's not CO2, it's propane.
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Old 06-22-09, 01:42 AM
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Whatever happened to frame pumps? I'm getting a Topeak Road Morph, and it would seem more reliable. I've heard from a number of sources to "Practice" first with CO2, and to have a pump "just in case". That worries me a bit . . .
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Old 06-22-09, 03:09 AM
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I dunno, because the Topeak Road Morph's mount takes up the whole water bottle mount?
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Old 06-22-09, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
Which CO2 inflator/cartridge would you recommend?

Where to buy it?

I've purchased a floor pump (Topeak Road Morph G), but I'm not sure it's worth mounting it on my bike.

I understand that CO2 inflator/cartridge combo is more compact and doesn't add too much weight.

Are there any disadvantages to CO2 inflators?

Thanks in advance!


Disadvantages?

Guess which one has an unlimited supply of air and which doesn't?
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Old 06-22-09, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
I've heard from a number of sources to "Practice" first with CO2, and to have a pump "just in case". That worries me a bit . . .
Idiotic is what i'd say to that. If i'm just commuting i'll take my chances with co2 + 2 cartridges. If i'm doing a century into the middle of nowhere i'm taking my mini moprh with me.
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Old 06-22-09, 05:12 AM
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Planet bike makes an inflator that screws onto the tube stem, has the CO2 cartridge screwed into the inflator and has a knob to regulate flow from 0 to max. Pretty simple. It also comes with an insulated sleeve over the CO2 to keep your hands from freezing.

The principal disadvantage of CO2 is that it will leak out through the rubber in your tube. Usually it's a good idea to empty the CO2 when you get home and replace with air.
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Old 06-22-09, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
The principal disadvantage of CO2 is that it will leak out through the rubber in your tube. Usually it's a good idea to empty the CO2 when you get home and replace with air.
While true, I never considered that to be much of a disadvantage, probably because I top up my tires before almost every ride anyway. I just replace whatever leaked out overnight. It's not a big deal. As the concentration of CO2 in the tire normalizes it leaks out less quickly.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:35 AM
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Did you say, "propane?"
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Old 06-22-09, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by calyth View Post
I dunno, because the Topeak Road Morph's mount takes up the whole water bottle mount?
I've got three . . . and you can get the piggy-back mount if you only have two.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
The cold of the CO2 can freeze your hands. Carry an insulated glove.
Regular biking gloves won't be good enough? Like the EMS half-finger gloves I'm using??
Attached Images
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Old 06-22-09, 10:56 AM
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Bike gloves don't cover your fingertips, which is what you would eb holding onto the inflator with. That being said, I have a Genuine Innovations inflator- the one with the trigger. It works just fine, and I have never frozen my fingertips. Just make sure to take the empties with you. Pisses me off when I see them on the side of the roads.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:00 AM
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Not all CO2 systems are created equal. I have two different Innovations inflators lying around, and I favor the "lower tech" model (can't remember the exact name) because it more consistently locks onto presta valves without leakage. The newer one (and it's probably five years old) has basically been retired because it failed me on a couple of group rides. Fortunately there was someone there with a frame pump.

Many riders use CO2 inflators all the time and never have a problem. I'm not one of them. Yes, I've practiced before using them on the road... And yes, I've carefully read the instructions. Sometimes they even work for me...

But I'm all about certainty, so I gravitate to solutions that work every time. If I get a flat, I'm already in a bad mood. I don't need to see a cloud of freezing CO2 escaping around the valve I'm trying to fill -as I'm already being delayed... A couple of experiences like that was all it took to send me running back to a more conventional method of filling my tires.

CO2 is great when you are on a group ride. If it works, your buddies aren't standing around as you do a forearm workout with your frame pump. If it doesn't, someone will roll their eyes and hand your their pump so you can finish the job...
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Old 06-22-09, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I can highly recommend the Innovations MicroFlate: https://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/display/70560/

The threaded 16 gr cartridges will fully inflate a 23 mm tire or similar. Screwing the cartridge into the small inflater causes a spike to penetrate the end of the cartridge. Unscrewing the cartridge slowly dispenses the CO2 into the tube. With just a little practice this system works very well. I carry one inflater and 2 or 3 cartridges on each bike. Only one cartridge is needed per flat.
I have not carried a pump in 11 years.


Al

Thanks!
My bike's tires: Kenda 700 x 38c (40-622), inflation pressure 50 - 75 P.S.I.

Not sure how 38c with max recommended pressure of 75 psi measures agains 23 mm tires, but I believe that having 3 cartridges should suffice to inflate the tube in the case of flate tire.

The MicroFlate inflator looks very compact and that's exactly what I need. I want carry it all (inflator + cartridges) in the seat bag.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
Bike gloves don't cover your fingertips, which is what you would eb holding onto the inflator with. That being said, I have a Genuine Innovations inflator- the one with the trigger. It works just fine, and I have never frozen my fingertips. Just make sure to take the empties with you. Pisses me off when I see them on the side of the roads.
This one?

https://www.genuineinnovations.com/bi...late-plus.html
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Old 06-22-09, 04:36 PM
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Why to bother with Microinflate Nano when for only $5 more I get Ultraflate Plus that is as compact as the former one, works with threaded and non-threaded CO2 cartridges, cannot freeze the hand and (because of the trigger) is easier to use???
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Old 06-22-09, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
I've purchased a floor pump (Topeak Road Morph G), but I'm not sure it's worth mounting it on my bike
It is so worth it, I can get to 110 PSI (my preferred pressure) in two minutes, with minimal effort with my Topeak. I cant justify carrying 2+ cartridges (maybe more for your larger tires) when I'm also carrying a patch kit (at least) and wallet and cellphone and keys.

Just my IMHO.



I call it my unlimited Oxygen/Nitrogen (high pressure) inflator.
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Old 06-22-09, 05:58 PM
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Questions:
  1. In what sense are the CO2 inflators unreliable?
  2. Why do I need to practice? OK, prepare the inflator by inserting (or turning around the cartridge), attach it the spare tube valve, unlock the trigger, press the trigger, lock the trigger -- and that's it. What else is there to learn?
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Old 06-22-09, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
It is so worth it, I can get to 110 PSI (my preferred pressure) in two minutes, with minimal effort with my Topeak. I cant justify carrying 2+ cartridges (maybe more for your larger tires) when I'm also carrying a patch kit (at least) and wallet and cellphone and keys.
I'm carrying spare tube, set of hex-keys, small wrench, zip ties, small swiss-army knife, keys, cellphone, ID, some cash, maybe credit card. All in the seat bag. OK, I often ride with a backpack with some food (bananas, energy bars), maybe camera, rain jacket.

When I get flat, I don't care if the tires are properly inflated after replacing the inner tube. All I want is to get home. Now that's when I'm close to home. Sure, if I take a longer trip I want to have that Topeak pump with me.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
The principal disadvantage of CO2 is that it will leak out through the rubber in your tube. Usually it's a good idea to empty the CO2 when you get home and replace with air.
You realize that it leaks with air too right. Complete waste of time.
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