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Frame pump or CO2 ?

Old 07-23-06, 01:11 PM
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bruce19
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Frame pump or CO2 ?

Just wondering about the long term benefits of each. Seems to me that it would be a hassle to carry carry co2 cartridges and inflation tool as opposed to a pump that just works when needed. Any opinions on costs, weight & space to carry, longevity, effectiveness, etc?

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Old 07-23-06, 01:14 PM
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I carry both a pump and co2 on all of my bikes. I just like the extra layers of protection. Generally i use the co2 for quick repairs but I always know that the pump is there just in case.
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Old 07-23-06, 02:13 PM
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There's two ways of looking at it. Since you only rarely have a flat tire on the road, it might not make very much difference to you. On the other hand, you're likely to be bummed that you have a flat so the quicker and easier you can get back on the road, the better. Which type of person are you?

A pump is cheaper to operate and you'll never run out of air. It'll take a LOT longer to do. That would be the choice for the first type of person.

CO2 is more compact and convenient to carry and it only takes a couple of seconds to inflate your tire to full pressure. That might be a better choice for the second type.

Each of my bikes has it's own inflating system. I carry one of each on my tandem but I haven't used the pump for several years because CO2 is so fast and convenient to use..
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Old 07-23-06, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
...A pump is cheaper to operate and you'll never run out of air. It'll take a LOT longer to do...
The sharpest folks I know carry both a CO2 cartridge kit and a mini-pump. They inflate with the CO2 and then "top off" with the mini pump.
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Old 07-23-06, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
The sharpest folks I know carry both a CO2 cartridge kit and a mini-pump. They inflate with the CO2 and then "top off" with the mini pump.
They probably do the opposite - partially inflate the tire with the mini pump and top it off with CO2. One of the biggest advantages of CO2 is it's ability to inflate a road tire to 115 or 120psi. That takes a lot of work to do with a mini pump.
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Old 07-23-06, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
The sharpest folks I know carry both a CO2 cartridge kit and a mini-pump. They inflate with the CO2 and then "top off" with the mini pump.

Go with both, topeak morph is an awesome pump that won't break your arms trying to fill a 100 psi tire and even has a gauge.
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Old 07-23-06, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
They probably do the opposite - partially inflate the tire with the mini pump and top it off with CO2. One of the biggest advantages of CO2 is it's ability to inflate a road tire to 115 or 120psi. That takes a lot of work to do with a mini pump.

And it's sooooooooo nice in 100 degree weather to do less work at the side of the road.
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Old 07-23-06, 04:15 PM
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I carry both. I use the frame pump as a back up and to start filling the tire. Then I complete the fill with the CO2 inflater.
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Old 07-23-06, 04:18 PM
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I carry both and save the co2 for when I'm riding on the road. When I'm mountain biking a mini-pump is sufficient.
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Old 07-23-06, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
They probably do the opposite - partially inflate the tire with the mini pump and top it off with CO2. One of the biggest advantages of CO2 is it's ability to inflate a road tire to 115 or 120psi. That takes a lot of work to do with a mini pump.
Thanks, Retro - you're probably right. I wouldn't know - my "flat repair kit" is a cell phone and a wife with a Scion xB.
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Old 07-23-06, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Thanks, Retro - you're probably right. I wouldn't know - my "flat repair kit" is a cell phone and a wife with a Scion xB.
That's a workable plan too. What's her number?
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Old 07-23-06, 05:17 PM
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C02 is optional, mini pump is not.
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Old 07-23-06, 05:45 PM
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I suggest this as a solution:
http://www.bikesomewhere.com/bikesom.../272/1962/5652
It does CO2 inflation from threaded and non-threaded cartridges, and works as a pump too. I've never used one though, so they may suck at both. I don't know.
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Old 07-23-06, 06:47 PM
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I imagine a CO2 gizmo would be pretty handy in a situation where you had a flat tire at night or in a vile neighbourhood where you would want to get out of Dodge in a hurry. Most of my running around and commuting is on a converted mountain bike so I find a minipump does the trick for me.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:31 PM
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I carry CO2 kit that can use unthreaded cartidges since I have yet to use a mini pump that can get a tube close to 100psi without a lot of effort. I bought a box of 25 12gram unthreaded CO2 cartridges at Academy for less than $8.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:41 PM
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I use the combination minipump/inflator from Innovations. They say the pump will get you up to 90psi, so I suppose they have some gorilla that can actually do it. For myself, the pump function is good enough to find the leak. So, I have all the pump I've ever needed, without the bulk of a frame pump. Also, it uses an unthreaded 12gram cartridge. I pay $13.00 for 15 of them.

Now, I'm going to state something so obvious that it shouldn't need to be said, but I learned it the usual way. If you have a flat, there's a good chance that inflation won't work without patching or replacing the tube. Be prepared. Also, if you are using those cute little Presta valves (which I hate with a passion uncontested), it just might be a good idea to not tighten them to the point you need tools to remove them - unless you are going to carry such a tool with you.
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Old 07-23-06, 08:53 PM
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Presta valves suck. I had a new tube with a broken valve. Grrrr
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Old 07-23-06, 09:06 PM
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CO2 all the way. I own one. I haven't met a person yet who has anything good to say about a frame pump. Specifically a person who has had to use one in a real life situation.
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Old 07-24-06, 12:32 AM
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having used frame pumps exclusively for at least the last 25 years, i would have a lot of good to say about them, except that they have been used to fix flats so there's not a real positive situation from the get go.

Zefal HP is all you need to get more than ample kilopascals...
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Old 07-24-06, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by -VELOCITY-
CO2 all the way. I own one. I haven't met a person yet who has anything good to say about a frame pump. Specifically a person who has had to use one in a real life situation.
Yup frame pumps suck. Topeak road moprh > c02.
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Old 07-24-06, 01:30 AM
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co2-only is fine. Just carry extra cartridges and a tube along with patch kit. For beginners, then no....you need a manual pump until you become good at not running over stuff and changing a tube without scewing up (ever notice how experienced roadies almost never seem to get flats?). If long miles or really bad neighborhood, then find new roads or carry extra cartridges. And use good tires.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:17 AM
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Well it sort of depends.

I figure on getting a flat every 1000 miles or so. I am used to carrying a pump. The nice thing about a pump is that I will never ever run out of air. I have seen people with the CO2 cartridges bungle the inflation and then they are stuck or they find someone with a pump.

Now CO2 cartridges seem to be the fashion and carrying a pump is not really with it. But as far as I am concerned, I would rather be a bit retro and not be stuck out in some little rural road with a flat tire.

A disadvantage with frame pumps is they take awhile to pump up the tire. Also it can be hard to nearly impossible to get a really high inflation with them like over 90 PSI. Some pumps can inflate tires pretty well and other ones don't. Also some frame pumps require great physical strength to get a high inflation.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:48 AM
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Since 2003 I've one flat. During that same time I've broken three derailleurs, one chain, one control lever and one wheel. I'm seriously considering putting a rear derailleur in the seat bag to replace the CO2 cartridge.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fmw
Since 2003 I've one flat.
You blew it. You have angered the tire gods and will soon be yanking the bead off that rim.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:30 AM
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frame pump all the way! i had the worst commute ever a few weeks ago when i flatted, used all my co2 to fix it, and broke the pump handle on my Innovations combo thingy. Flatted a second time, and couldn't fix it because I was out of air The handle on the Innovations thing looked like it was just glued on. Such crappy quality and design, I'm never doing that again.

co2 is fast and nice, but you have to carry a lot of cartridges with you if you want to be sure of not running out, and even then it's possible to do so. My road morph will go to 120 psi easily, and it doesn't really take all that much time to get there either. The hardest thing about it was finding a place to mount it on my compact geometry road bike that didn't get in the way of my water bottles and didn't rub on my legs.
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