Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

1-Gal Air Compressor for Tubeless Tire Setup?

Notices
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.

1-Gal Air Compressor for Tubeless Tire Setup?

Old 04-27-21, 11:37 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 167

Bikes: VeloBuild VB-R-022 // '89 Specialized Allez Full Dura-Ace 7400 // Santa Cruz Stigmata CC // Bridgestone MB-3 BoxTwo 1x Conversion // Bridgestone MB-6 // Santa Cruz Highball C // Ibis Spanky

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
1-Gal Air Compressor for Tubeless Tire Setup?

Hey everyone -

So yesterday was an extremely frustrating day. Riding my gravel bike with my 700x37 WTB Riddlers set up tubeless at about 35 psi on a trail I've done a million times and I get a sidewall slash from a rock or something. Sealant spurting everywhere, you know the drill. Won't seal after multiple attempts, so I put my tube in and finish my ride. I get home and try a plug slug, still won't seal. I try inflating the tire and tilting toward the gash so it'll fill with sealant, no dice. So, since the tire was pretty worn anyway, I go buy a new one. Exact same tire.

The bead will just not seat. I have a Blackburn chamber pump which I have used for many other tires, including the original Riddler on these same rims, which I must have filled up 20 times last night. I tried soaping the bead, I tried inflating with a tube first and only having to seat one half of the bead, I tried my ratchet strap, this stupid tire will just not seat.

I left the tire inflated with a tube overnight and it is sitting there at 55 psi right now until I get off work. I'll try again and hopefully having "stretched" the bead for 24 hours will do the trick, but if not I'm gonna throw in the towel and buy an air compressor.

My main question is: how big of a compressor do I need? I live in an apartment (I do have a garage but it is still close to my neighbors) and one neighbor in particular constantly complains about noise when my other neighbors use any sort of tools. Luckily, I have escaped her wrath so far, but I would like to continue to do so until I move out. So, the typical pancake/hot dog air compressor for Harbor Freight seems to be out of the questions due to its noise.

I've found a couple compressors like this one for $113 or the 2-gal version for $155. There's also a Husky brand 1-gal for $100 and another quiet California one with a 4.7 gal tank for $140.

How much capacity do I need if I just want to use this to seat tubeless tires? Is capacity the most important or is it CFM? I obviously want to spend as little as possible (with a quality product still) and keep it with a small footprint since I only have a 1-car garage and its already overflowing with stuff.

Thank you!
speedyspaghetti is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 11:42 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,352
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 949 Times in 556 Posts
the California compressors are so quiet been using them for years. when I had a failed part they sent it out right away.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 11:46 AM
  #3  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 167

Bikes: VeloBuild VB-R-022 // '89 Specialized Allez Full Dura-Ace 7400 // Santa Cruz Stigmata CC // Bridgestone MB-3 BoxTwo 1x Conversion // Bridgestone MB-6 // Santa Cruz Highball C // Ibis Spanky

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by fooferdoggie
the California compressors are so quiet been using them for years. when I had a failed part they sent it out right away.
Good to know! Which tank size do you have?
speedyspaghetti is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 11:54 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,352
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 949 Times in 556 Posts
Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti
Good to know! Which tank size do you have?
I don't use it for tires like you do but even a small one should do it for a tire at a time. the first one should be fine. you can also get a tank to fill up and use that to fill the tires.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 07:28 PM
  #5  
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,490

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilťe, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3200 Post(s)
Liked 1,739 Times in 1,049 Posts
Get the biggest tank you can swing if you want to keep noise to a minimum. The ultra-quiet compressors are quiet, but they still make noise, so if that’s really a crucial factor, having a big tank will reduce run time.

That said, I think 3gal is minimum, 5-6gal ideal.

I have a Husky Silent Air 4.5gal twin tank which I’m quite happy with and can recommend.

Having tried several inflation heads over the years, I can suggest saving yourself a lot of headaches and just throwing down for the Park pro head. It’s almost as much as the compressor, but it’s such a critical piece; it’s what you work with, and lousy, clumsy heads can torpedo your job.
chaadster is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 07:31 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,352
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 949 Times in 556 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster
Get the biggest tank you can swing if you want to keep noise to a minimum. The ultra-quiet compressors are quiet, but they still make noise, s.
\actually it is about 60dbs for the California 5 gal. it s really quit not a problem at all background noise will drown it out.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 07:37 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,468

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 340 Times in 230 Posts
Forget about tank size and get the shortest fattest hose you can get on it with extra large fittings (inside diameter) and a free-flowing fill valve like the Park or other. Take out the valve core. What you need is a really fast initial puff of air to seat the bead, not a giant slowly hissing tank of air.
dwmckee is offline  
Likes For dwmckee:
Old 04-27-21, 07:58 PM
  #8  
Full Member
 
zen_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 55 Posts
If you need something quiet, an Airshot canister or charger pump will work nearly as well as a compressor.

The only tires I have not been able to setup with an Airshot were wire bead MTB tires on rims that were not tubeless ready either, and even though they were comically loose, a co2 still worked. For some reason a co2 will often work where compressed air will not on very difficult tires. The cost and waste kinda sucks, but a $1 co2 here and there is still a lot cheaper than a quality air compressor if your only use for it is bike tires.

I would also not recommend the low end HF compressors because of the noise, and they just don't last. The pancake one lasted one year with light use before the piston ring just fell apart.
zen_ is offline  
Old 04-28-21, 04:44 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,365
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 286 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 58 Posts
A $1 CO2 cartridge will seat most tires. If I can't get a tire to seat with a pump I'll just use the CO2 inflator and pop - it's on.
billyymc is offline  
Old 04-28-21, 06:17 AM
  #10  
I like bike
 
scottfsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Merry Land USA
Posts: 662

Bikes: Roubaix Comp 2020

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Liked 283 Times in 191 Posts
I recently was in a similar situation (never had problems seating til I got one set of tires that would not seat). I bought a 3-gallon because I have other stuff to pump up, using it to dry off bike, etc. But I think a 1-gal would be fine for you. The tire either seats right away or never, so it is not like you need to run it for a long time. If you want more air you probably could hook up a fat hose to the bleed valve. Just be careful to not pop the tire as the air literally screams out of that.

Even with my new compressor I could not seat my tires (Gravelking SS; LBS also could not seat for me). I finally got them to seat by a last desperate idea I came up with: kneading them for a few minutes. With thumbs on tread rotate tire toward you and pull sidewalls toward edges of rim with sides of knuckles of index fingers. You are pinching the tire a bit to do this, every two inches or so alternating sides. It needs to be completely dry or you won't be able to get a grip on the tire - no soap no sealant. Do three laps of this around the tire and the bead is now close to the rim at all points. Don't put on floor, just stick on compressor while holding and inflate. So far I am batting 1000 with this method.
scottfsmith is offline  
Old 04-28-21, 07:12 AM
  #11  
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,490

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilťe, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3200 Post(s)
Liked 1,739 Times in 1,049 Posts
Originally Posted by scottfsmith
But I think a 1-gal would be fine for you. The tire either seats right away or never, so it is not like you need to run it for a long time.
Iíve been on road tubeless since Ď13 and currently have four models and five pairs of tubeless wheels on active duty and it is not my experience that tires seat immediately or never. Usually they do, but sometimes a little air working and pressure on the tread in the spot where the bead is loose is needed. Iíve had some rough goes, but never an unmountable tire. Sometimes itís a tape issue, and sometimes itís having sufficient volume and duration of air which makes the difference, but since there is no way to know which wheel/tire/tape combo is going to be troublesome or need which technique to mount, all we can do is gear up and be ready.

Regarding tank capacity, there are two things to be aware of. First is that a gallon of air isnít much, and if a tire isnít seating and air is escaping, youíll blow through most of that in a couple of seconds and the compressor will run attempting to recover tank pressure. Further, small compressors are not only small in terms of tank size, but compressor power and output, and a .8 SCFM compressor will need to run longer than 3.0 SCFM compressor to maintain pressure, and it will not be able to provide as much pressure either. A 1 gal tank will pretty much run every time you need to mount a tire, which is exactly what the OP does not want.
chaadster is offline  
Old 05-05-21, 09:35 PM
  #12  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 198

Bikes: 1984 homemade 531SL road bike; 1988 Ritchey TimberComp; 1997 Nashbar tandem; 1998 Kona Explosif; Specialized Epic, Scott CR1 Pro; Salsa Beargrease; Curtlo custom Tandem, Curtlo custom S3 steel gravel bike.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
You need fast airflow, not a lot. A big tank is not going to help inflate a tire. Someone already said this - take out the valve core. Then use an air blow gun attachment with a hose over the valve core.
Also, Skinny Strippers (FattyStripper Tubeless Fat Bike Solution and SkinnyStripper Tubeless CX & DH Solution <link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_Logo_320.jpg" / ><link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_L) work great and make it much easier to inflate a gravel tire - I've done it with a regular floor pump!
Chilepines is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.