Does anyone make a CO2 inflator that takes 12g unthreaded cartridges?
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  1. #1
    pmf
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    Does anyone make a CO2 inflator that takes 12g unthreaded cartridges?

    I lost the one I've had for years. Wish I would have bought a couple extras because now no one appears to make one except Serfas (01-AP) and it gets mixed reviews. I can get the 12g cartridges for less than $0.50 and they work fine on a road tire -- 80 lbs -- enough to get home on. The standard seems to be threaded 16g cartridges that cost $3 a pop. That's more than I pay for a tube.

    Any advice appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
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    Aren't 12g cartridges the same length as 16g ones? In that case, the Genuine Innovations inflators with the plastic cartridge holder should work.
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  3. #3
    pmf
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    No, the 16g are longer.

    After more looking, maybe a inflator that takes a non-threaded 16 gram cartridge is the best I can hope for. Looks like I can find them in bulk for around $1 apiece. I kind of worry that my wife will blow up the tube filling a a 700x23 with a 16 gram cartridge. Plus, I'd like one with a housing. Seems like I'd get freezer burn from those little tiny inflators that screw onto threaded cartridges.

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    What I do is get the 16g ones, and put a nickle or dime (I forget which now) in the bottom, then when you drop a 12g in, it takes up the req space to hit the needle.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    No, the 16g are longer.

    After more looking, maybe a inflator that takes a non-threaded 16 gram cartridge is the best I can hope for. Looks like I can find them in bulk for around $1 apiece. I kind of worry that my wife will blow up the tube filling a a 700x23 with a 16 gram cartridge. Plus, I'd like one with a housing. Seems like I'd get freezer burn from those little tiny inflators that screw onto threaded cartridges.
    You do have to be a bit more careful with those minimalist inflators to burn getting a cold burn, but holding it with your gloved hand will solve the issue. I used to use the cheaper unthreaded cartridges but the minimalistic threaded type ones take up a lot less space and I don't get enough flats to worry about the higher cost of the cartridges

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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    What I do is get the 16g ones, and put a nickle or dime (I forget which now) in the bottom, then when you drop a 12g in, it takes up the req space to hit the needle.
    No issues with the smaller neck diameter on 12g cartridges vs. 16g allowing blow by?

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  7. #7
    pmf
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    My situation is that I have five bikes. My wife has three. Each bike has a dedicated seat/tool bag because I don't like to hassle swapping tool bags. So I just carry the CO2 inflator in my jersey. Space is not an issue. I'm not trying to cram it into a tool bag. Besides the freezer burn, I think I'd probably lose one of those tiny thread on inflators anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    What I do is get the 16g ones, and put a nickle or dime (I forget which now) in the bottom, then when you drop a 12g in, it takes up the req space to hit the needle.
    +1 on this

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I lost the one I've had for years. Wish I would have bought a couple extras because now no one appears to make one except Serfas (01-AP) and it gets mixed reviews. I can get the 12g cartridges for less than $0.50 and they work fine on a road tire -- 80 lbs -- enough to get home on. The standard seems to be threaded 16g cartridges that cost $3 a pop. That's more than I pay for a tube.

    Any advice appreciated, thanks.
    You can get 16g thread carts in bulk off eBay for a buck a cart

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    A mini pump would make all these questions/issues moot. Jus' say'n.

    I used to use co2 and in retrospect not sure what I was thinking.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    A mini pump would make all these questions/issues moot. Jus' say'n.

    I used to use co2 and in retrospect not sure what I was thinking.
    If you don't mind standing at the road side 5 or 10 minutes in all kinds of weather trying to get a rideable pressure...when you could accomplish the same task in 5 seconds

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    If you don't mind standing at the road side 5 or 10 minutes in all kinds of weather trying to get a rideable pressure...when you could accomplish the same task in 5 seconds

    If I can handle riding a bike in certain weather I can't imaging standing being a problem. But whatever.

    You're right about the extra time though, for the first flat. More flats than carts or malfunction and you're kinda screwed though, unlike with a pump.

  13. #13
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    If you don't mind standing at the road side 5 or 10 minutes in all kinds of weather trying to get a rideable pressure...when you could accomplish the same task in 5 seconds
    Plus a BIG 1 on that. I used to use a mini pump years ago. Nothing like standing on the side of the road in 100 degree heat pumping that thing 150 times to get enough pressure in a tire to ride home. Years ago bikes had pump pegs on them and the Zefal frame pump was the thing to have. Now days, there's no practical way to carry a frame pump. I'll never go back to a mini pump again.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    If you don't mind standing at the road side 5 or 10 minutes in all kinds of weather trying to get a rideable pressure...when you could accomplish the same task in 5 seconds
    Wow, you must have weak arms!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If I can handle riding a bike in certain weather I can't imaging standing being a problem. But whatever.

    You're right about the extra time though, for the first flat. More flats than carts or malfunction and you're kinda screwed though, unlike with a pump.
    I carry both. 2 carts and a mini pump. No saddle bag. I figure, the mini is great to add just that little bit of air to get the tube on or to back up the carts if they fail or if you have multiple flats. Multi flat rides have happened and they arenít random, itís same tire over and over and Iím not finding the acute cause. Now I carry cotton balls for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    I carry both. 2 carts and a mini pump. No saddle bag. I figure, the mini is great to add just that little bit of air to get the tube on or to back up the carts if they fail or if you have multiple flats..
    The other big advantage - so you have a flat - don't you want to know where the tube got punctured so you can make sure there's no debris in the tire before you replace the tube? Do you want to waste 1/3 of your cartridge to find out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    The other big advantage - so you have a flat - don't you want to know where the tube got punctured so you can make sure there's no debris in the tire before you replace the tube? Do you want to waste 1/3 of your cartridge to find out?
    If push come to shove, you can blow the tire up a bit with your mouth; it doesn't require a whole lot of air in the tire to check it. You never did this as a kid growing up in the neighborhood. I learned a lot of bike tricks as a kid who did not have a lot of resources that I can apply to today's bikes without the need for whole lot of the high tech fancy stuff - had to be resourceful back then.

    OP, I used the inflator below for many years before I went the minimalist route. The cartridge is stored upside down in the chamber with the puncture end sticking out a hole in the bottom of the unit until needed.
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    Last edited by Methodical; 01-11-2020 at 02:49 AM.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=ogre;5375739]The other big advantage - so you have a flat - don't you want to know where the tube got punctured so you can make sure there's no debris in the tire before you replace the tube? Do you want to waste 1/3 of your cartridge to find out?[/QU

    Iím not 100% sure I understand the reply, so I might not be replying as I think... but thatís what the cotton ball is for. It works better than a finger, especially if the debris is glass.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    The other big advantage - so you have a flat - don't you want to know where the tube got punctured so you can make sure there's no debris in the tire before you replace the tube? Do you want to waste 1/3 of your cartridge to find out?
    That's a good point too. I don't have the wind to find anything but bigger holes that would have been obvious anyway with mouth inflation. Those tiny wire holes that cause a slow leak not a rapid flat don't get exposed with just mouth inflation.

    Also I want to be able to help clueless cyclists I might see on the side of the road who didn't bring anything. I've done that with CO2, but then I'm riding home on egg shells knowing I'm screwed if I get a flat.

  20. #20
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    rode with a friend last week and flatted (on a brand new tire, ugh).

    my buddy offered to save me a cartridge and use his name-brand mini-pump to air up.

    altho he put in at least a hundred strokes, the tire still felt mushy so I just topped it off with CO2.

    didn't convince me that a pump is that useful. carrying two tubes and 3 cartridges has never left me stranded...
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  21. #21
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    Yea, when riding, who has time for flats? I'm back on the road in 5 min with CO2!
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  22. #22
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    The only way I would use a pump is if I was out of CO2 cartridges, and I normally carry 3 so it's not likely. Pumps are outdated technology, like tubes in tires and rim brakes.....
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    The other big advantage - so you have a flat - don't you want to know where the tube got punctured so you can make sure there's no debris in the tire before you replace the tube? Do you want to waste 1/3 of your cartridge to find out?
    No need to waste any of a cartridge, if you lined your valve up with the rim label, you'll know exactly where to look

  24. #24
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    What are these Ďtubeí things that you speak of?

    Oh, thatís right, itís that thing I carry in my frame bag that I havenít used in three years.



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    Last edited by rideit; 01-11-2020 at 06:54 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by stogies4life View Post
    No need to waste any of a cartridge, if you lined your valve up with the rim label, you'll know exactly where to look
    Haven't you ever had a flat but you don't know where the puncture is? Do you want to just put in a new tube and hope for the best? Lining up the label to the valve stem only helps locate the tire spot once you've found where the tube was punctured.

    That said, I carry CO2 and nothing else on my road bike and MTB. Can't beat cartridges for speed of getting back to riding. I normally carry three cartridges and that's only failed me one time. I have a Lezyne pump on my gravel bike. I do think that carrying a pump (even as a backup with cartridges) is the ultimate answer for self sufficiency and helping others.

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