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Old 10-04-12, 08:11 AM   #1
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Portable Tire Inflators

So I haven't had much luck with hand pumps. Could never get the right amount of pressure in, so typically I used a motorized pump at gas stations (probably a bad idea). Sheetz around here has one with a cut off, though it only goes to 70PSI.

That in mind I knew I was going require some kind of pump with me, so I browsed Amazon for some good deals. I knew I needed something small enough to fit in a pack, light, durable and that foot pumps were out.

One thing I found was this: Genuine Innovations Ultraflate Plus

Never having used one, I took the plunge. Armed with that and a box of threaded cartriges, I gave my girlfriend's cruiser's bike tires a go, from some unknown underpressure. Managed to get it into the mid 50's with one and a half 16g cartriges (give or take). Good enough, like a hand pump, to get to a better fill station.

I will have to do a more scientific approach; haven't had time to do this. I'll have to fully deflate all three tire styles (cruiser, hybrid, mountain) at our place and see how much pressure I can get each up to with a given number of cartriges.

This device is very light weight; I could carry it and a full box of cartriges without issue in regards to weight. It's all very small and you can put them in all kinds of places in your pack. A seat bag could probably carry 5+1 in the "gun". There's a lock in case you threaded and punctured it, but you can also carry one in the body upside down because there's an outlet hole for the neck of the CO2 cartridge. Plastic feels just a bit cheap, but it is flexible rather than hard on the body, and the attachment section so far has held up.

Overall, good buy. Catridges are cheap, light.

Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences?


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Old 10-04-12, 08:29 AM   #2
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Those 14-16 gram cartridges are good for high pressure skinny road bike tires. You may want to use a bigger can for bigger tires such as the 40gm Innovations Big Air CO2.

Do you have a floor pump at home?
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Old 10-04-12, 09:42 AM   #3
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So I haven't had much luck with hand pumps
it is not about Luck, kid.

NB: it really is not like a Video Poker Machine,
playing with the buttons and probability odds,

it is getting the better pump,
and learning how to use the tool you purchased effectively.

maybe someone needs to show you a new skill.
using a tire pump..

I prefer the long 'frame fit' pumps.. have for decades..

as the task, it is taking a larger volume of air at low pressure, and compressing it
( fewer long strokes vs more short strokes)
to be high enough to hold you and your bike off the ground, rims off the tarmac..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-04-12 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:23 AM   #4
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Yeah, Fietsbob is right that this should not be about luck; maybe you've been using the wrong hand pump (by which I gather you're referring to mini-pumps)?

I can certainly understand that some people may be uncommonly weak, impatient, have certain disabilities, or simply be disinterested to take the time required, but a good and proper mini pump is completely capable of pumping a bike tire to pressure.

Sure, some mini pumps are easier to use, or more efficient, than others, but so long as its max output pressure is suited to the task, it's just a question of number of strokes.

What type of pumps have you used without success? Knowing this can help us dial in some reccos.

Also, as mentioned upstream, a bicycle floor pump for the house would probably serve you well, especially since you've already purchased the CO2 dispenser. Use the floor pump for maintenance and pre-ride top-ups, and keep the CO2 in your bike bag for emergencies out on the road.

Like Fietsbob, I prefer frame fit pumps, but only use them on my road bike, and prefer the easy-to-remove-and-stash mini pumps for my commuter. I do not like CO2 systems generally; I think they generate a lot of garbage for nothing. I know some use them in races for speedy inflates, which I understand, but to use them for general tire inflation is unconscionable. I also dislike the inconvenience of having to keep repurchasing them when air is otherwise free for the pumping.

I hope that helps, and if you care to, you'll find there are lots of opinions around here about which minipump is best.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:43 AM   #5
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Those cartridges come in 3 sizes typically. The 16oz if for skinny road tires, the 20oz for 26" mountain bike tires requiring around 40psi, and the 25oz for 29" mountain bike tires or 700c fat tires like 700x35 thru 42 widths.

I use the Topeak Road Morph frame pump and have never had a problem with it.. Probably the best frame pump made in my opinion. I also carry a few of the Co2 cartridges for several reasons. First I use wide 700c tires and the Road Morph pump takes over 200 strokes to get my tires up to 70psi, so instead I get the tire seated with a little pressure from the pump and top off the rest of the tire with a Co2 cartridge. Much faster that way, less tiring, and I still have a pump if I run out of cartridges on a long ride with multiple flats.
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Old 10-04-12, 12:37 PM   #6
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I carry this on my bike. It works great. No complaints.

I use this one at home. GREAT pump. Goes on and off very easy.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:50 PM   #7
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I agree with the posts above about the CO2 cartridges: they're convenient but adds up to the landfill. I have on my road bike the Lezyne Pressure Drive, and though it was rated by the manufacturer to 120psi max, my personal experience tells that it's way overrated. Suffered a flat during a Full Century ride, and the most I was able to pump in was 70psi. Sure I could still give it all my strength and probably raise it to 90psi but with 40 miles to go and baking under an 80F sun, it's a tough effort. I'm okay with the thought based on my experience that mini-pumps are there to get you on your way then just top it off as soon as a floor pump is available.

With winter slowly arriving soon here in the East Coast, I am still going to get that GI Air Chuck Elite as soon as the price goes down to my liking. I know this would save me from freezing outside trying to inflate my tire with my Lezyne in case a flat happens.
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Old 10-04-12, 06:30 PM   #8
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I don't get it,.... why can't you just get a small-pump with a gauge. Something like a Topeak road morph or a Lezyne micro floor drive. Is it because of where you live?
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Old 10-04-12, 07:11 PM   #9
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My only experience with CO2 is when my buddy's inflator didn't have enough left to pump up his 700x45 after a flat, thus ending our ride.

Get a good pump.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
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