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Thread: CO2 inflator

  1. #1
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    CO2 inflator

    I've always used bike pumps but I'm going to get a CO2 inflator to use with my new bike. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    lezyne trigger drive. compact, looks fantastic, works just the same

  3. #3
    Pitts Pilot
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    If you must, then I agree that Lezyne has the stuff - get one that let's you control the flow - it's worth the extra few grams and (tiny) bulk. That said, I went there and have come back to Lezyne's Road Drive pump (medium.)

    Not that you asked, but here's my thoughts: If you just carry one CO2 canister, you're gambling. You also can't comfortably help anyone else in need. If you carry two CO2 canisters, you are already over the weight - and bulk - of Lezynes Road Drive pump. With the pump, you can mess up - then get it right. You can help others. I can get a road tire up to 95-100 psi with the Lezyne pump - and that's plenty to finish.

    Other people might point out the environment or cost - for me that's a non-issue, as I flat so rarely.

    The ONLY thing CO2 has going for it is the size (but only if you carry just one shot) and the higher pressure. I run my tires both lower than 100 anyway. Some maybe say speed. ?? I'm thinking if you flat, you won't win the race. If you flat on a Sunday ride, 3 extra minutes pumping isn't going to matter.

  4. #4
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    I carry CO2 because of the speed they inflate my tires... It takes forever to inflate with a mini pump. However when I go on long rides I usually take my mini pump with me as well for the added safety net. On that note I have the premium genuine innovations air chuck.. Works well enough.
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

  5. #5
    B2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    I've always used bike pumps but I'm going to get a CO2 inflator to use with my new bike. Any recommendations?
    I've never had a single problem with the Air Chuck SL. Compact & really easy to use. Always bring a mini-pump as backup though.....
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  6. #6
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    ^^^ This
    You can regulate the air flow into the tire easily enough by pressing in the spring loaded head in quick short bursts. No need for a trigger type system really. I have a couple of trigger actuated units. One is a mini pump and CO2 system in one. But I carry the Air Chuck.

    P.S. (edit)...The only caveat is that you obviously must use a threaded cartridge with the Air Chuck, while some other systems can go either threaded or unthreaded.
    Last edited by Gimme Shoulder; 02-23-2012 at 08:17 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I carry an Ultraflate Plus with two cartridges and a mini-pump. The CO2 because I ride tubeless and getting the bead to seat with a mini-pump is a challenge. I have used the CO2 in the garage and it works great.

    I still carry the mini-pump because I've never had to use the CO2 on the road and want a backup. Once I've had a flat on the road and successfully used the CO2 to repair, I'll probably ditch the pump.

  8. #8
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    Practice at home

    I have the Ultraflate. It can use less expensive non-threaded cartridges from Walmart.

    I carry a mini pump as well, but I'm not too concerned about weight.

    Whatever you select, make sure you practice at home so you know how to use it when you have to.

  9. #9
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    ultraflate, 2 16g cartridges and a specialized mini pump always saves the day
    Cycle World - Northridge CA
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  10. #10
    GT3
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    i hope OP you know CO2 inflates quick but deflates even quicker. don't use CO2 as your primary air, only for backup

  11. #11
    pmf
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    I don't get why you guys are carrying a mini pump and a CO2 dispensor. I never liked mini pumps because

    1. they don't fit that well in my jersey pocket, and
    2. they take 150 strokes to fill a tire -- time consuming and not fun on a 100 degree day

    Between my wife and I, we have 3 different dispensors. They're all pretty much the same. The choice you need to make is whether you want the really tiny kind that only accepts threaded cartridges, or the larger kind that accepts the much cheaper non-threaded cartridges. I use the latter kind. It's about 4" long and maybe 1" in diameter. Yeah, its bigger than the other type, but your talking grams here. I have used the same dispensor for years (maybe over a decade). It's never failed in me. You don't need a back up. You're more likely to break your pedal than one of these things. I typically carry one cartridge in the dispensor and 2-3 more in my tool bag (I carry two spare tubes). I ride a fair bit and have yet to be marooned by flat tires.

    The non-threaded cartridges can be had at any place that sells air guns (e.g., WalMart) for around $10 for a 25 cartridge box. There'a an urban legend out there that claims that the air gun cartridges contain tiny amounts of oil that will dissolve your tube, or that the CO2 isn't as pure, or grit free. I've been using these cartridges for over a decade and they work just fine. Haven't had a tube dissolve on me yet, but feel free to spend $3 on the "better" cartridges at your LBS.

    12 gram cartridges work fine for a road bike tire. 16 grams is overkill -- more suitable for a mtn bike tire. I can get my tires up to 90 lbs + with a 12 gram cartridge. Plenty good to get home.

    CO2 moves through a tube much quicker than ordinary air. Don't be surprised if your tire is flat the next day. I typically let all the CO2 out and refill the tire with the floor pump after getting home with a CO2 fixed flat.

  12. #12
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    Light, fit in your pocket all in one solution:

    Second Wind Road - Carbon Mini

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I don't get why you guys are carrying a mini pump and a CO2 dispensor. I never liked mini pumps because

    1. they don't fit that well in my jersey pocket, and
    2. they take 150 strokes to fill a tire -- time consuming and not fun on a 100 degree day

    ---cut---.
    The main reason I carry CO2 and a mini pump is: the pump is great for finding the spot on the tube that went flat so I can find the item that caused the flat in the first place. Very handy when it is a small piece of wire from a bad car radial tire - very hard to find! Find the spot in the tube, note how far it is from the valve then check the tire in that spot very closely.

    I carry 2 CO2 inflators, the mini pump could be used to fix a third flat (I carry a patch kit too)

    The CO2 are great to fill a tire fast.

    The mini pump is great if I'm not in a hurry.

    Got it all covered!

    Later, Axlenut

  14. #14
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    If weight is a concern...
    1) a "12 gram" co2 cartridge, actually weighs 56 grams. (google), so 2 cartridges = 112 g,
    2) Lezyne trigger drive, 26 grams (lezyne.com), total kit now 138g
    You can buy a drive + 1 cartridge for about $20

    Whereas,
    3) Zefal Rev 88 frame pump weighs 130 grams (zefal.fr), under $10 all over the internet



    This is what I've used for years now. Cheap, functional, gets my tires up to pressure fast enough for me.
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

  15. #15
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by axlenut View Post
    I carry 2 CO2 inflators, the mini pump could be used to fix a third flat (I carry a patch kit too)
    You know, wheels can fail too. Maybe you should consider carrying an extra set just to make 100% sure you're all covered.

  16. #16
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    I've been using Barbieri Carbone mini pumps for 8 years now.. they've never let me down and weigh 59g. No problem getting to 100psi. This particular pump does require plenty of strokes but they are not exactly hard work. Not going to work in a race but neither is CO2.. When I raced I never even carried any tools.. neutral support or bust.

    I bought a CO2 kit once on a whim.. it seems too much of a PITA compared to a pump, it doesn't really save weight, it requires extra consumables ($) and you get a much higher chance of stranding yourself.

  17. #17
    Weed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    If weight is a concern...
    1) a "12 gram" co2 cartridge, actually weighs 56 grams. (google), so 2 cartridges = 112 g,
    2) Lezyne trigger drive, 26 grams (lezyne.com), total kit now 138g
    You can buy a drive + 1 cartridge for about $20

    Whereas,
    3) Zefal Rev 88 frame pump weighs 130 grams (zefal.fr), under $10 all over the internet



    This is what I've used for years now. Cheap, functional, gets my tires up to pressure fast enough for me.
    Exactly.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by B2 View Post
    I've never had a single problem with the Air Chuck SL. Compact & really easy to use. Always bring a mini-pump as backup though.....
    Air chuck and a CO2 in the tail pack. On longer rides, I carry another CO2 and tube in my jersey. Hate that feeling after you flat and use your one spare tube.....

    No pumps here.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogarbage View Post
    lezyne trigger drive. compact, looks fantastic, works just the same
    +1 for the Lezyne Trigger Drive

    Small form factor and screws onto presta and schrader valves for a secure fill. I've used it numerous times successfully. Haven't yet wasted a CO2 with it.
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  20. #20
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    like others; I use the Ultraflate Plus. It works great and accepts pretty much any cartridge available. I rarely get flats so I wouldn't want to carry a hand pump around.


  21. #21
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    For the Ultraflate users, carry a penny with you to drop into the holder if you want to use 12g cartridges.

  22. #22
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    Tire pressure?

    One's who say that they can get their tires back up to 90psi or 95psi or 100psi with either a hand pump or CO2...how do you know this while out on the road?

    My point is if you're out on the road and you do not have a pressure gauge (like what's on most good floor pumps) how do you know that your tire pressure is back to 100psi when using a hand pump or CO2? Feeling the tire after about 60 or 70 psi would feel about as solid as any pressure that high.

    I'm not as much questioning one's ability to refill a tire as I am trying to hear of there is a trick behind filling a tire to 100psi without a gauge.

  23. #23
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    You guys convinced me. I ordered a Topeak Race Rocket which I can attach to a water bottle cage. I've been using Road Morphs for years so this sounds like the perfect compromise. Thanks!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LubbersLine View Post
    One's who say that they can get their tires back up to 90psi or 95psi or 100psi with either a hand pump or CO2...how do you know this while out on the road?

    My point is if you're out on the road and you do not have a pressure gauge (like what's on most good floor pumps) how do you know that your tire pressure is back to 100psi when using a hand pump or CO2? Feeling the tire after about 60 or 70 psi would feel about as solid as any pressure that high.

    I'm not as much questioning one's ability to refill a tire as I am trying to hear of there is a trick behind filling a tire to 100psi without a gauge.
    See http://www.genuineinnovations.com/im...on%20Chart.jpg.

    It's still an estimate, though.

  25. #25
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by LubbersLine View Post
    One's who say that they can get their tires back up to 90psi or 95psi or 100psi with either a hand pump or CO2...how do you know this while out on the road?

    My point is if you're out on the road and you do not have a pressure gauge (like what's on most good floor pumps) how do you know that your tire pressure is back to 100psi when using a hand pump or CO2? Feeling the tire after about 60 or 70 psi would feel about as solid as any pressure that high.

    I'm not as much questioning one's ability to refill a tire as I am trying to hear of there is a trick behind filling a tire to 100psi without a gauge.
    I checked my tire after flatting when got home one time out of curiousity using my floor pump. It read a tad over 90 psi.

    I disagree about feeling a tire -- a tire with 60-70 psi is definitely going to feel softer than one with 90+ psi. Since you have two tires and only one flat, compare it in feel to the tire that hasn't flatted (the one you pumped up before the start of the ride). They should feel similar.

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