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Tire width, pump type and CO2 cartridge size

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Tire width, pump type and CO2 cartridge size

Old 12-17-15, 10:29 AM
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Ben I.
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Tire width, pump type and CO2 cartridge size

Hi all,

Just realized there's a specific forum for gravel grinders and the like so I'll try my luck here.

Going to get another bike this weekend (woo hooo!!) which comes with 38mm tires, because it's a gravel grinder type bike. I'm fine with wider tires but wondering a couple things regarding inflation.

First, for mini pumps would I be better off with a mountain bike style pump (high volume) instead of a normal road one (high pressure) because of the large tires or will it not matter? I may down the road downsize the tires to 32-35mm but I figure a high volume mini pump might be a little more efficient than high pressure one for any of those bigger widths.

Secondly, I'm a belt and suspenders guy so I carry a mini pump and CO2 with me on my rides. Should I carry a 20g cartridge (or something bigger) instead of the usual 16g to make sure the tires aren't underinflated after I replace a flat?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-17-15, 02:47 PM
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DirtRoadRunner
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I prefer frame pumps over mini pumps, especially if your bike has a pump peg. Topeak makes one for around $25 that I use. You'd be looking at several hundred strokes with a mini pump to fill a 38c tire, so bigger is better.

I haven't used CO2 before so I can't comment. I have a micro pump in my seat bag for use in case on frame pump failure.
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Old 12-17-15, 03:07 PM
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I have looked into the Topeak Road Morph but not sure if a road (high pressure) or MTB (high volume) pump would be best for running that large of a tire although I probably will downsize to 32mm or 35mm down the road. One opinion I've heard is that at that point it'd be a little more efficient to use a MTB style pump but I'm trying to confirm that.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:56 AM
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I use only co2 and always use 20g tanks. That extra air is nice if needed.
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Old 12-18-15, 10:30 AM
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I'm a big fan of Lezyne pumps. They make most of their models in HP and HV versions, so be careful which you get.

HV is the one you want for wider, medium pressure tires. The HV pumps can still reach 90 psi, which is higher than you'll need.

FYI, I run 50 to 55 psi in my 700 x 38 tires on gravel.

It's up to you if you want to carry CO2 as well. I've never used CO2. I find pumps sufficient and I dislike the waste of CO2 cartridges.
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Old 12-18-15, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by "Fred" View Post
I use only co2 and always use 20g tanks. That extra air is nice if needed.
That's kind of what I was thinking, thanks for confirming!

Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
I'm a big fan of Lezyne pumps. They make most of their models in HP and HV versions, so be careful which you get.

HV is the one you want for wider, medium pressure tires. The HV pumps can still reach 90 psi, which is higher than you'll need.

FYI, I run 50 to 55 psi in my 700 x 38 tires on gravel.

It's up to you if you want to carry CO2 as well. I've never used CO2. I find pumps sufficient and I dislike the waste of CO2 cartridges.
I'm also a big fan of Lezyne. I have their Road Drive pump for my road bike and love it. I'm going to get the Gauge Drive HV, looks like a great pump and goes up to 90 psi still.
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Old 12-21-15, 06:39 AM
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I have a Blackburn mini pump that is switchable between high pressure or high volume - works pretty well for me, although I have yet to actually use it on the trail. I also carry CO2, I think 16g, but not really sure. I carry two of them. My only flat experience on the trail was due to goat head thorns - I pulled 38 out of the front, and about that many out of the rear. After that, I found the best flat insurance was to run a smidge of stans in my tubes - about half of what's needed for a tubeless setup works wonders. Continental makes nice tubes with removable presta valves.
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Old 12-21-15, 09:54 PM
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A 16g get's you home with a 42mm tire.

A minipump is an essential for back woods, "must not fail" backup and finding the hole in the tube, but you'll be late to work if you use one for a flat on your commuter.
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Old 12-22-15, 01:35 PM
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I say go High Volume and top up with CO2 if you get tired of pumping or can't get a high enough pressure.
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