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Mini Air Compressor?

Old 12-08-19, 01:32 AM
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milcha01
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Mini Air Compressor?

I have never toured before (only did long rides for road race training), and I am currently working on a mini air compressor doubled as tail light and power bank called Vortex. Has anyone brought a mini air compressor with them on tours before? If so, what was your experience?
I have linked my blog in this post, feel free to follow it if you like. I am just one person working on this and looking for some feedback from different sectors of the cycling culture.
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Old 12-08-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by milcha01 View Post
I have never toured before (only did long rides for road race training), and I am currently working on a mini air compressor doubled as tail light and power bank called Vortex. Has anyone brought a mini air compressor with them on tours before? If so, what was your experience?
I have linked my blog in this post, feel free to follow it if you like. I am just one person working on this and looking for some feedback from different sectors of the cycling culture.
How would you power it, and why would you want it when a nice compact hand pump will be less complicated, not need power, and works perfectly fine and is reliable?
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Old 12-08-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
How would you power it, and why would you want it when a nice compact hand pump will be less complicated, not need power, and works perfectly fine and is reliable?
Power source would be a lithium ion battery pack, and in a self-contained package complete with tail light, white light, and doubles as a power bank. If it is only the pump by itself then it wouldn't be worth it to carry the weight and extra complexities that comes with it. It is definitely a premium piece of emergency kit that can fill at least 8 tires with one charge.
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Old 12-08-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by milcha01 View Post
Power source would be a lithium ion battery pack, and in a self-contained package complete with tail light, white light, and doubles as a power bank. If it is only the pump by itself then it wouldn't be worth it to carry the weight and extra complexities that comes with it. It is definitely a premium piece of emergency kit that can fill at least 8 tires with one charge.
My guess is that between Co2 inflators and pumps there is really no need for this for bike tourists. If you had issues with your pump/inflator - there are better ones out there. In term of "kill three birds with one stone" idea - it is interesting but risky. Was riding with back light on the whole day and now don't have a power to fix a flat. Had a second (third) flat of the day - damn goatheads - have a patch kit but don't have any more juice to pump... Have to walk 10miles along the hw should with no rear light as the battery is dead. Who would want to risk this on the tour?

P.S. As someone who tried to pump my bike tires with 12V emergency car tire compressor and burned it I am also very worried about the ability for the reliable design...
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Old 12-08-19, 08:33 PM
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Its a bicycle tire, it can be pumped up by hand.

Carry a second pump if you're paranoid.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by milcha01 View Post
Power source would be a lithium ion battery pack, and in a self-contained package complete with tail light, white light, and doubles as a power bank. If it is only the pump by itself then it wouldn't be worth it to carry the weight and extra complexities that comes with it. It is definitely a premium piece of emergency kit that can fill at least 8 tires with one charge.
This an example of a problem in search of a solution. There are some great hand pumps out there that are dead reliable, and easy to use. I have one and trust it completely. It is lightweight, mounts behind my seat tube, and inflates the tire easily. I see no reason to mess with anything requiring power. The battery may hold enough charge to fill a tire eight times, but then you have to charge it. So, you would carry a charger, another unnecessary item with a hand pump. Also, what size tire does it fill eight times? Oh, and if you are using it as a power bank, just how much power will be left when you need to fill a tire?

I will stick to a hand pump. Oh, by the way, my bicycle floor pump fills my car tire faster than one of those small compressors. I use it to add air to my car tires. If you had trouble filling a bicycle tire with a hand pump, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 12-08-19, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by riceowls View Post
My guess is that between Co2 inflators and pumps there is really no need for this for bike tourists. If you had issues with your pump/inflator - there are better ones out there. In term of "kill three birds with one stone" idea - it is interesting but risky. Was riding with back light on the whole day and now don't have a power to fix a flat. Had a second (third) flat of the day - damn goatheads - have a patch kit but don't have any more juice to pump... Have to walk 10miles along the hw should with no rear light as the battery is dead. Who would want to risk this on the tour?

P.S. As someone who tried to pump my bike tires with 12V emergency car tire compressor and burned it I am also very worried about the ability for the reliable design...
Thanks for the feedback, it is very helpful. As for power draw from the LED these days are pretty minimal and almost negligible, but like you said, touring is probably not the best application for this system. It all comes down to how long 3500 mAh would last under described load.
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Old 12-08-19, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
This an example of a problem in search of a solution. There are some great hand pumps out there that are dead reliable, and easy to use. I have one and trust it completely. It is lightweight, mounts behind my seat tube, and inflates the tire easily. I see no reason to mess with anything requiring power. The battery may hold enough charge to fill a tire eight times, but then you have to charge it. So, you would carry a charger, another unnecessary item with a hand pump. Also, what size tire does it fill eight times? Oh, and if you are using it as a power bank, just how much power will be left when you need to fill a tire?

I will stick to a hand pump. Oh, by the way, my bicycle floor pump fills my car tire faster than one of those small compressors. I use it to add air to my car tires. If you had trouble filling a bicycle tire with a hand pump, you're doing it wrong.
Thank you for your thoughts, I really appreciate them.
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Old 12-09-19, 05:17 AM
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`This is the second topic you've started on the subject.
Experience with Mini Compressors

Are you soliciting advice, or pushing a product?

There are certainly different styles of touring, from "credit card" touring where a person sleeps in a motel every night to "wild camping" of one form or another.

In a motel, one might be able to top off electronic devices. Camping, and one is either recharging with solar, bicycle generator, or hoping one's battery lasts the trip.

And, one's pump of choice must be 100% reliable. "oops I drained the battery using my pump as a flashlight" doesn't work.

Now, I have worn out handpumps before. But, you must demonstrate your device is more reliable than a handpump.

Enough to pump 8 bicycle tires? In the other topic, a review was linked. The test didn't try pumping a bike tire to 80 to 120 psi, and generally was finding that specs had been over-rated by about 2x. So one's 8 bike tires becomes optimistically 4.

My first response to a flat tire it to try to pump it back up depending on whether it is a fast or slow leak. Or, perhaps I am looking for a better place to change the tire. So, a single flat might be equivalent to pumping the tire at least 3 times or so.

Getting in that situation knowing the next broken part, and one is dead beside the road is very uncomfortable. Or, heaven forbid, walking because of a repair one should have been able to handle in the field.

If I am in the middle of a 100 mile ride, then I use downtime as break time. So, I'm not caught in an ideology where every second counts.

I'm not quite sure how much my handpumps weigh. But, if one is carrying all of one's living needs on the bike, say 1 pound vs 1/2 pound makes a difference. A bigger difference if one is carrying a hand pump as a backup (although there are some mighty small pumps that could be used for an emergency backup).

Other options:?
  • Flashlight. Might be handy when repairing a tire, but as above, draining the battery would be really bad.
  • Taillight? Red flasher? Might be useful for some, but it should be redundant for me.
  • USB Input & USB Output would be nice. Emergency power for the phone? But, as above, a working pump is very important. I don't want to be left in a situation where I have a choice of fixing a flat or making an emergency phone call.
  • Emergency Beacon?
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Old 12-09-19, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by milcha01 View Post
I have never toured before....... and looking for some feedback from different sectors of the cycling culture.
sorry, but this seems to be a problem in search of a problem.

one of those useless, expensive things you buy from spencer's gifts for somebody
you heard rides a bike sometimes, and it's either this or the bluetooth-enabled
water bottle that reminds you to pee.

not really suitable for touring, but perhaps you could try asking in the commuter
subforum. might be useful for in-town riding if you add turn signals and a beard
trimmer.
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Old 12-09-19, 06:30 AM
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[QUOTE=CliffordK;21238622Camping, and one is either recharging with solar, bicycle generator, or hoping one's battery lasts the trip.[/QUOTE]
Not necessarily. Even state, county and municipal parks often have power outlets. Day use parks may also have outlets to take advantage of when you stop for a break. Same with highway rest areas.

That said, there is no way I would carry a device like that. My Road Morph G works just fine, and I have a light rear light that bolts to a hole on a rear rack bracket. The rechargeable batteries I have for it last for at least two weeks, even with use during the day.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
...
one of those useless, expensive things you buy from spencer's gifts for somebody
you heard rides a bike sometimes, and it's either this or the bluetooth-enabled
water bottle that reminds you to pee.
....
Thank you for the good laugh, it brightened up my morning.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:28 AM
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Is this an actual product? Looks like a prototype, not yet on the market.
Personally, for touring it's nice to have items that perform multiple functions, but sometimes that can go too far, to the point where you rely on one device for too much, and if it fails, you are in much worse shape than if a single-purpose item fails.
If you're counting on one item to inflate your tires, be your tail light, and charge your other devices, and it stops working or falls off your bike, now you're biking in the dark with no way to fix a flat or charge your phone. And, as people have mentioned, bike tire inflating is not a problem we usually struggle with. Pumps work perfectly well, and you really don't need them often enough, or at least I don't, to feel that I would benefit from a faster way to pump up my tires. Or at least the benefit wouldn't be enough to justify the extra piece of gear.
I have looked at a mini compressor to use on my tubing trips where I bike to the put-in spot and inflate my float tubes, but that's a pretty specialized situation, and I couldn't see bringing a similar device on a tour.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by milcha01 View Post
Thank you for your thoughts, I really appreciate them.
You're welcome. I'm sorry they weren't really positive towards the product.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:26 PM
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[QUOTE=Rob_E;21238858I don't, to feel that I would benefit from a faster way to pump up my tires. [/QUOTE]

I agree, and I have yet to see a mini compressor pump a tire up faster than I can with a hand pump. They generally take longer. The only "benefit," is you don't have to do the pumping.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I have looked at a mini compressor to use on my tubing trips where I bike to the put-in spot and inflate my float tubes, but that's a pretty specialized situation, and I couldn't see bringing a similar device on a tour.
I have found a mini USB device that is supposed to be strong enough to jump-start a car.

It would probably work with a high-volume, low pressure pump (boat/flotation).

For an innertube, you're probably stuck with mid-volume, mid-pressure, so a pump like above might work well. Would it have the time/juice to pump a 20" truck tube?
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Old 12-09-19, 12:36 PM
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My strongest concern for this is reliability. If this isn't reliable, then I still need to carry a pump - and this becomes something extra.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:58 PM
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One lady I know bought some kind of little rechargeable pump to use on rides. Last time I rode with her, she wasn't using it. One drawback was that it was a noisy little thing. I don't know if it had any other problems or not.
And for sure not something I would ever buy.
Something else to consider is that it might help to optimize it for tire size/pressure. I run my gravel tires at 35 psi, the 28mm tires on my tandem at 100 psi, so a pump optimized for one is not for the other.
I do normally carry a spare tire. But in my experience, a pump is about as likely to fail as a tire. I've broken the shafts on a couple of Road Morphs, and learned to carry some sort of spare. Last time I tried to use a CO2 inflator, it just wouldn't inflate, for reasons unknown.
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Old 12-09-19, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I have found a mini USB device that is supposed to be strong enough to jump-start a car.

It would probably work with a high-volume, low pressure pump (boat/flotation).

For an innertube, you're probably stuck with mid-volume, mid-pressure, so a pump like above might work well. Would it have the time/juice to pump a 20" truck tube?
Well, I'm not thinking about a touring appliance, but some excursions down the river near home, so I don't mind if it takes up a little more space. With that in mind, I have a pretty heavy duty battery that is mainly used to keep my phone charged up over long, camping weekends. I think it would do fine to pump up a tube for the river using something like this: https://www.gearbest.com/pumps---enl...774486193.html

However that maxes out around 20psi, so not much use as a bike tire pump, but that's not what I'd use it for. Although my "plus" tires would likely be ridable at 20psi.
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Old 12-09-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
You're welcome. I'm sorry they weren't really positive towards the product.
No problem, it's good to have honest feedback so I would know where to go next.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
`This is the second topic you've started on the subject.
Experience with Mini Compressors

Are you soliciting advice, or pushing a product?
Thanks for the feedback, I am just looking for feedback at this point. like I said I am just one guy working on stuff, and it's good to have honest reactions.

I really appreciate your time typing it out.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
sorry, but this seems to be a problem in search of a problem.

one of those useless, expensive things you buy from spencer's gifts for somebody
you heard rides a bike sometimes, and it's either this or the bluetooth-enabled
water bottle that reminds you to pee.

not really suitable for touring, but perhaps you could try asking in the commuter
subforum. might be useful for in-town riding if you add turn signals and a beard
trimmer.
I think you have a great point, touring is probably not the right application for this kind of product.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Is this an actual product? Looks like a prototype, not yet on the market.
Right now it is going into prototype stages and I haven't put up the latest configuration on the blog.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:26 PM
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Maybe invent a tire pressure sensor that will connect with a Garmin. I’d be interested in that. Probably not, actually.
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Old 12-10-19, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Maybe invent a tire pressure sensor that will connect with a Garmin. Id be interested in that. Probably not, actually.
Oh, that'll be the new Government Mandated Safety Feature.

Already available in many cars.

But, for bikes, half of BikeForums is convinced a flat tire is such a critical failure, that cyclists are risking death every time they get a flat.

The other half of BikeForums just groans and fixes the flat, then moves on.
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