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View Poll Results: CO2 or Pump?
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Pump or Psssssh?

Old 08-03-15, 12:25 PM
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Pump or Psssssh?

I was riding with a few friends in the mountains this Saturday and had occasion to repair a flat.

So the guy is pressing the CO2 dispenser to the valve, and something fails. The result was a near-explosive exhaust of CO2 ... this big blue gust of air. I'm amazed he managed to keep his hand on it and that he didn't get a frost burn.

Next, we went to another person's C02 dispenser. About half way through that inflation, another valve failed, this time allowing air to build up in a rubber grommet, bursting it with a loud POP.


Personally, I tried C02 once. I effed it up so bad, I decided to stick with pumps from then on. There are other advantages too ... pumping up the tube to find the leak and make sure the tire is clear, pumping up the new tube to make insertion into the rim easier ... pumping a slow leak again and again just to make it home (did that one last Friday). My guess is that they are lighter and ecologically more sound as well. Then again, CO2 is faster and more convenient.

So I'm curious. What are people using? C02? Pump? Or both?
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Old 08-03-15, 01:12 PM
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Haven't we done this like a gazillion time in the past couple of weeks? Oh well, I'll play (since I didn't post in the other threads - I think).

I have both. I carry a CO2 inflator and at least two carts. I also have a mini pump on my fixed gear and road bike (the winter commuter gets a Topeak Road Morph G). I use the pump to seat the tire, find the flat, etc.; then I use the CO2 to get me up to pressure. The one time I had a flat on my winter commuter (which also has Tuffy Liners), I didn't bother with the CO2, since the Road Morph works so well.
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Old 08-03-15, 01:27 PM
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I carry both, a CO2 and a mini pump, plus 2 extra CO2 cartridges in my saddle bag.
I'd carry my Silca pump with a Campy head, but it won't fit on my Alchemy or Moots.
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Old 08-03-15, 01:29 PM
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co2 only on all 3 bikes. I've (knock on wood) rarely had to use them but have done so without problem.
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Old 08-03-15, 01:32 PM
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Depends on the bike. Got a frame pumps on my hybrid and my winter beater. On my other bikes I don't like to clutter them up with too many accessories, so I keep a CO2 inflater in the under-seat bag.
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Old 08-03-15, 01:36 PM
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My pump, under H2O cage mount, holds a CO2 cartridge and I have 2 more in the bag. Use the pump to seat and partially inflate then press the button to finish off with CO2.
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Old 08-03-15, 02:09 PM
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Pumps for me. I like to add air in stages, not all at once. Pumps allow unlimited fillings in a slow, gentle process. If I ever race, where seconds matter, I'm going to have one of the yellow Mavic support vehicles fix my tires. Until then, I'll use a pump.
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Old 08-03-15, 02:46 PM
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Topeak Road Morph Mini-G dual with guage. Never leave home without it. It will crank out 110psi and with a guage you can know just how much more you have to sweat. I'm glad I dont get many flats but it is good to know something light and capable is down there under the water bottle just in case.
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Old 08-03-15, 02:59 PM
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I carried CO2 only (no pump for back up) on my road bike for years. I don't know how many roadside repairs I made during that time. I do know how many times it let me down - zero. I can only think of two drawbacks: 1. When you're out of CO2 cartridges, you're also out of luck. 2: You have to be real confident in your flat fixing practices or you can lose all of your CO2 without inflating your tire. Then you revert to problem #1 .

I stopped using CO2 when I switched to riding recumbents because I'm cheap. I punctured the 20 X 1.5 front tire on our Screamer tandem and discovered that 1 16 g cartridge barely did the job. A 16 g cartridge wasn't going to cut it on our bigger 26 X 1.5 rear tire. I'm too cheap to blow 2 cartridges to fix a flat so I switched back to using a pump.
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Old 08-03-15, 03:19 PM
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Greetings Biker395,

Though I genuinely fancy the convenience of CO2 cartridges, I’ve never liked putting myself in proximity of anything that’s under high pressures and additionally has the potential to cause frost bite. I really don’t care how safe CO2 cartridges are allegedly “supposed to be;” if there’s a way for things to go terribly wrong, my old friend Murphy’s Law is always right there to make certain that I get a big dose of that wrong!

Additionally, at least for me, bicycling is about being self-reliant and so, manually pumping up the tires after mending an inner tube is part of the bicycling experience as well as provides additional cardio (pumping up my large volume 26” x 2.0 street tires with my little air pump would even be a workout for Hercules).

I also concur with Retro Grouch; I’m unwilling to pay to pump up my tires when I can do so with a bit of work and old fashioned sweat (and quite possibly some choice vintage swearing on the hottest humid days - ).

And so, I’m an air pump guy.
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Old 08-03-15, 05:25 PM
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I'm cheap and a slow-adopter. There weren't CO2 cartridges available in the '60s when I started; they don't do anything that a pump won't do and they do have other drawbacks as noted above. As such, I'm unlikely to change my stubborn ways.

Heck, in spite of getting a flat about once every five to ten thousand miles, I still carry spare tubes, a patch kit and some dollars (tire boots).
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Old 08-03-15, 05:35 PM
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Co2 only on both the mtn and roadie. I use a "Genuine Innovations Air Chuck Elite" on both bikes, I've never had a problem, and the design lets me add co2 a bit at a time so I can find a leak in the tube without hitting it with a whole cartridge.

I carry three cartridges and an inflator in my seat pack along with patches, a spare tube, and some tools.
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Old 08-03-15, 05:40 PM
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I found a carbon pump on sale that was actually lighter than the CO2 pump and carts. I switched. I've only had to use it twice, and so far it's a good pump.
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Old 08-03-15, 05:48 PM
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I prefer a mixture of about 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% Argon, 0.04% CO[SUB]2[/SUB], maybe a bit of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O vapor and a few other gases for good measure.

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Old 08-03-15, 06:49 PM
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I own five frame pumps.
I don't have anything to throw away when I use a pump.
CO2 carts are a waste of resources, IMO.
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Old 08-03-15, 08:11 PM
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I was using CO2 in the late 80's, but it seemed difficult to source replacement carts for a reasonable price. Once they came out with a decent compact pump that fit in a jersey pocket I went with that. I found a frame pump would mar the paint.

The CO2 inflator I had was dead-simple. Screw inflator on the valve then screw the cart on the inflator until it punctured. There was no flow control -- you got what you got.

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Old 08-04-15, 06:22 AM
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Used CO2 for several years now, no problems with them to date. I always keep 2 spare cartridges in the bag as a precaution, and I am in the market for a mini pump.

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Old 08-04-15, 09:50 AM
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Long ago, I got talked into carrying CO2 (like, you know, it's "cool")... half the time it didn't work and I was forced to carry a pump "just in case". Since I had to carry a pump anyway, I didn't need the CO2... cost savings for me and less hassle (and no waste - throwing away those little canisters). My pump of choice "Topeak Road Morph" (or MTB when on dirt). Never fails me, easy to use, works great.

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Old 08-04-15, 10:18 AM
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Being a cautious man, son of a cautious man, I carry a Leyzine pump. Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Pump HP from It is a very good quality item that should outlast me. I like the hose arrangement so that one can get in a comfortable position while inflating and the attachment to valve stem is a screw-on tip. It does not weigh much but I pay for the weight by skipping a milkshake every few weeks.
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Old 08-04-15, 10:18 AM
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I have two different pumps for my road bikes. One has a Lezyne road drive and a Second Wind. Both have CO-2 capability. Maybe on a cool day I will use the pump or if someone else has a flat I will let them use my pump but I tend to use the CO-2. It is faster and I am back on the road sooner. The pump is a back up.

On my MTB I just take the CO-2. Got used to it when I had my old MTB with tubeless tires. They come in 20 gr as well so they will fill a 29er.
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Old 08-04-15, 12:18 PM
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I bought a co2 canister about a year back. I couldn't quite trust just taking the canister alone so for several months carried pump and canister. Then I realised how stupid this was and dumped the canister because of my lack of trust in it.
I don't get many punctures, and am never in a hurry, so the effort needed to pump the repaired tube is not going to kill me.

I know I should trust the co2 but the nagging doubt just won't go away.
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Old 08-04-15, 12:50 PM
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I could never justify the extra weight and luggage with the extra CO2 cartridges.
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Old 08-04-15, 01:20 PM
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I carry 2 CO2 cartridges and a spare tube and a patch kit on most road rides. I buy the BB gun cartridges from KMart. They are cheap and put exactly 90PSI into the tire. I have tried cheap mini pumps with less than stellar results.
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Old 08-04-15, 01:50 PM
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I got a little plastic pump wi me bike 6 years ago. Its the easiest thing to use. But i couldnt figure out how to attach it to said bike, with the supplied bracket.

So i take nothing with me. Never had a puncture, or even replaced the tyres yet, theyve been brilliant.

But in the event of a flat, ill flag down one o you lot. . .
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Old 08-04-15, 01:50 PM
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I have always used pumps, usually long old school frame fit ones. They look right on my vintage bicycles, and they almost never let me down, as long as I occasionally grease the diaphragm. (I did have the shaft of a Zefal HP-X break through the top of the handle while I was riding, rather than inflating. I rode home and replaced the pump.)
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