Road Bike Mini/Frame Pump Help for Newbie!
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  1. #1

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    Road Bike Mini/Frame Pump Help for Newbie!

    I'm new to road biking (training for my mountain bike), but I know from talking to others that flats are a regular occurence. I know I need to carry tire levers, a couple of tubes, and a pump on any reasonablly-sized ride. I'm not quite sure about what type of pump I need. I know I'll need to be around 100-120 psi, which is too high for my MTB mnni pump. I've only seen a few mni pumps that go that high in pressure, none of which have integrated guages. I've only seen one frame pump with a guage.

    What does everyone use for their pump? I would think that you need to know your pressure accurately when re-inflating your tires. If you use inflators or pumps without guages, how do you know the pressure? Can you buy small, lighweight air guages for presta valves?

    Thanks,

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Co2..

    I've used nothing but a CO2 inflator for many years. I use the cheap 12 gram Crosman cartridges from WalMart. I put one in the inflator, upside down so it won't get punctured and carry two more, fastened together with a rubber band. The 12G cartridge will produce enough pressure to get you home (about 90 psi). The inflators that use a 16G cartridege will produce about 130 psi.

    If you use a pump, don't worry about over inflating. You'll be too tired from pumping to do that. Just use your thumb to gage the hardness of the tire.

  3. #3
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    No answer

    As to what to use, you will not find consensus. Us old timers totally prefer full sized frame pumps, claiming that "good mini-pump" is an oxymoron. Others report good results with a wide range of mini-pumps. Another group is the CO2 folks, who claim great success and dis pumps as a waste of time, effort, and carried weight. The arguments are something like this:

    - a full size frame pump never runs out of air and allows you to get to near full pressure relatively easily/quickly. Full sized pumps are dorky looking and some frames have no place to put them.

    - you don't have that many flats so a mini-pump's multiple strokes aren't that big a deal. The pump fits in your jersey pocket or can be easily attached to the frame at a number of points, and they are lighter than full sized pumps. Some mini pumps take over 100 strokes to get to pressure, and most will never get to pressure.

    - CO2 is very quick and easy, and all you have to do is carry a couple of extra cartridges. You spend $1+ for every inflation, cartridges weigh more than a pump, and if you goof up or have multiple flats, you're SOL.

    Then there's the mini-pump/CO2 inflator combo.

    Regarding your pressure question, you can pretty easily determine tire pressure just by pinching the tire between thumb and fingers. Gauges are not really needed out on the road, though some systems include them. Plus, whether it is a frame pump or mini-pump, your arms just about give out as you reach the required pressure, and tire pressure is not that critical anyway. While you might want 120 psi (I don't know why), you can easily ride on 80 psi. With CO2, you learn the number of cartridges or cartridge size needed to get your desired pressure.

  4. #4
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    CO2, Levers and Patches all fit in one pocket. The issue is not that you get many flats on a road bike. It is that you get flats 20 miles from your house or car. Two levers to remove the tire. One or 2 patches to fix the tube. CO2 is the quickest and easiest way to pump the tire. Tire pressure? Who cares. It is better to ride on a slightly underinflated tire versus walking the 20 miles to home base. A 75 - 90 PSI tire is fine.

  5. #5

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    The last post was very informative. I'm basing my 120 psi figure on advice from the LBS guy (when will I learn to NEVER listen to them). He said that you should always fill your tires to the maximum PSI rating on the tire (120 psi on a particular tire) and that even a drop to 100 psi will lead to pinch flats. Prior to that, I thought people generally rode around 90-100 psi. What pressure do people normally ride on for everyday road riding using a regular tube/tire setup?

    So what is the general concensus on the minimum PSI to avoid pinch flats? If it's around 80 psi or so, I think the mini pump I have should work fine. I don't race and I don't plan on taking long rides on crumby roads. Inflators sound great, but refill cartridges seem like a waste. I think with some elbow grease, I could get my mini pump to put out 90 psi or so (though I'll test it at home first).

    Thanks,

    Chris

  6. #6
    shammytime
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    Tire pressue

    I'm continually bemused by the whole PSI 'common logic' found on this board.

    Air pressure is all that's holding your rim off the ground (giving that the side-walls of your tires provide little, if any, support). If you weigh 200lbs, and you have 100PSI in each tire, than your front and rear tires will each 'smush' such that 1 square inch of tire is in contact with the ground. That is, 100PSI (pounds per square inch) x 1 square inch x 2 tires = 200lbs. If you use 'only 80 psi' as many folks here subscribe, your tire will 'smush' such that a 1-1/4 square inch of tire is in contact with the ground. Conversly, a 150lb rider using 80PSB will have only a .9 square inch contact patch.

    Rolling resistance and your probability of dinging a rim both increase as you lower the pressure. Lighter rider can get away with lower pressure, heavier riders cannont. There is no one 'right' tire pressure.

    I've simplified things here quire a bit - if you're running 19 or 20c width tires, this issue is exacerbated. I guarantee that a 200lb rider running 80PSI in a pair of 700x20c tires will soon be shopping for new wheels/rims...

  7. #7

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    crank bros

    Here's what I carry:

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4361

    I like it because is is extremely small and light...will fit into my teeny saddle bag. I don't like to carry crap in my jersey pockets. It has no gauge. I have practiced at home and have gotten the pressure to 90 pounds. I could have gotten it a little higher if I had really tried. It's rated to 100 pounds.

    This one:

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4361

    has a gauge, is rated to 130 pounds. But it's too long to fit in my bag.

    I figure if I have a flat, I'll be more than happy to have the capability to inflate my tire to 90 - 100 pounds to get me back to the car/home.


    I typically inflate my rear tire to 120 pounds, maybe a tiny bit less. And my front tire to 115 pounds, maybe a tiny bit less. I have 700 x 23 tires. I've only been cycling for 3 weeks though, so what do I know.

    oh yeah - I weigh 188 pounds...down from 217 a few months ago.

  8. #8
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    Topeak makes a really nice frame pump.

    A friend and I were helping another rider change her flat and he was impressed enough with the ease of using the pump that he had me try it. I was also impressed and when my son, who's a lot stronger than he is careful, broke my wife's pump I got one for her. Don't sweat the guage just pump it til it's good and hard and keep riding.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  9. #9
    Ya, what ATP said...!
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    CarbOne

    I used to carry a frame pump, then a friend gave me a mini to carry in my pocket. Problem was I kept forgetting to put it in my jersey. Finally got a carbon fiber pump... ooooo.... aahhhh....
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?sku=17207
    It weighs 70 grams, mounts under a h2o cage (as most do) and can do 110psi without a problem. Does take a while to get to ride psi but I don't mind the extra 5 minutes on something I'll only use 4 or 5 times a year. I use a floor pump on both tires before a ride (as everyone on this board does...) and then use the tire that didn't go flat to compare pressure against after I pump. I get it close and then check every 20 pumps until I get it close enough before hopping on. It doesn't have to be exact, just close.

    PSI opinions? Sure, just like saddles, tires, bars, frame materials and everything else discussed here. I like 110 in both tires, weigh 175lbs and have average quality road surface where I live.

  10. #10

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    barberi carbon mini-pump or topeak carbon frame pump

    barberi carbon mini-pump $35~40 (weighs a list as a CO2 system) or topeak carbon frame pump $40~$50

    CO2s are fine IF you only get as many flats as you have cartridges (once i had three pairs of "snake bite" flats, so could happen)... and only really necessary during (unsupported) races.

    for rides and training a good pump securely attached to your frame is the way to go: will not run out of air.
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  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    There is a very good mini on the market by Barboni Carbone (somethig like that), that weighs around 65grms and can pump up to 145psi according to the manufacture. I use the smallest mini on the market-the Torelli Aria that's about 6 inches long and weighs 45 grms and they claim 100psi though a marketing rep got it to 110. 100 psi takes some ffort but since I only need 95 max then this is all the pump I need. Frame pumps are easier because they take less pump action and less effort, but they are heaver if that's an issue for you. CO2's you run into a limited air supply problem and problems with remembering to restock and then the waste problem.

    Knowing the pressure on the road is just a close guess, I don't carry a gauge, but I can tell by the effort I'm putting into the pump pretty close to the pressure I need (within 5 pounds + or -).

    You also should not need 2 tubes IF you patch on the side of the road. I carry a spare tube, but I also carry glueless patches; and I usually try to patch first since I don't ride with others (but it only takes me 5 minutes to patch anyway). I do carry a spare ultralight folding tire in case a tire blows beyond repair.

    I also carry all the above plus tools because I do ride in remote areas and walking 30 miles back home can be a real pain (even though I'm married, I don't use my wife as my mommy, so if at all possible I take care of the situation on the road).

    What Mike West said is true but he used simple logic, meaning that his formula maybe right for the rear tire but it's not right for the front since only about 40% of your weight is on the front tire; and his formula's answer would vary depending on the riders weight-thus the reason to adjust the air pressure accordingly.

    Creelove is also got incorrect info from his LBS because with that logic if you weigh 300 pounds that means to put in the recommended max tire pressure on the sidewall of 125 for example...ok fine, but what if you weigh 150? Do you use the same pressure for all weights? That does not make sense. Take a car tire for example; my daughter has a car with tires that has 45psi as max pressure, does that mean she should put in 45psi? NO, because on the car door the recommendation is 28 on the front and 25 on the rear...why the diff? because the car weighs less then the MAX load carrying capacity of the tires. Most 700x23 tires are rated to carry 220 pounds at those max psi ratings, thus if you weigh less then you need not use max psi. I weigh 162, I run 700x25's (must 25's are rated for 240), I run 95 in the rear and 85 on the front and never pinch flat; in fact recently I was riding on a chip seal road and the jarring was too harsh so I lowered the pressure to 75 in the rear and 65 on the front, my ride improved and I still did not get a pinch flat.

    This next statement will not be recommended by any tire company so take it for what it's worth. All tire manufactures build their tires to be able to withstand pressure of 50% more then the max rating-this is a fact; but there are people that weigh more then the tire company designed the tire for, for example 300pounds; does this mean that a 300+ person cannot ride on those tires? NO, a 300 pound person to prevent pinch flats as much as possible can put in up to 10% more pressure then the max rated psi. I've know guys to do this and know LBS's that recommended this for bigger guys, and I have a friend that weighs 240 pounds and tours with additional 60 pounds of stuff and he routinely when touring overinflates his tires.

  12. #12

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    Torelli mini-pump

    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    ... smallest mini on the market-the Torelli Aria that's about 6 inches long and weighs 45 grms and they claim 100psi though a marketing rep got it to 110. 100 psi takes some effort ...

    i have that pump also. my red Torelli mini-pump took me nearly 500 (?) pumps to get to mere 65 psi on my 700x23 tire/tube -- pant pant; never again... ( I did get home, but i was a bit cautious on the roughly paved road descends. that day i bought an under top tube frame pump, topek carbon.
    Last edited by TrailSeer; 09-15-2004 at 11:22 AM.
    Viner Pro Team Deda' eom 16.5 red Italian steel, 2.8#.
    Trek Reynolds grey lugged 501 steel tourer.

    "if it aint dirty or dangerous, it probabaly aint that much fun"

  13. #13
    al0
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    One more for Barbieri Carb Onr. Other very viable alternative - SKS Teleskop. Later one is rated slightly lower higher PSI but has bigger air volume per stroke, so you will pump faste.

    Concerning the pressure - it depends on your weight and quality of pavement, The bigger the weight and better pavament you can use higher PSI, If you are heavy (e.g. 180+) then 110-115 rear/105*110 front,

    If you are featherweight then 95-100/90-95.

    Theory is theory but test measurements show that on real (i.e. not absolutely smooth) surface higher PSI doesn't reduce rolling resistance), for average cyclist is starts somewhere from 85psi.

    Higher PSI reduce risk of pinch flats (good) and provides for rough ride (bad).

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailSeer
    i have that pump also. my red Torelli mini-pump took me nearly 500 (?) pumps to get to mere 65 psi on my 700x23 tire/tube -- pant pant; never again... ( I did get home, but i was a bit cautious on the roughly paved road descends. that day i bought an under top tube frame pump, topek carbon.

    Your full of crap Trailer; I never counted the number of pumps before, but I knew it was no where near 500. So because of your comments and thinking that didn't seem right, I went to my bike and deflated the front tire, which is a 700x25 by the way, then I reinflated it with the Aria, it took 125 pumps to pump to 85PSI which is all the PSI I put in my fronts; I then went to 95, which is the pressure I put in the rear and it took another 16 pumps to get it to there (granted those last 10PSI does take some effort).

  15. #15
    ride-a-holic
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    Smile Topeak Road-Morph with gauge

    Pumps very quickly to 110psi. Gauge reads 120. Has flip down platform to put foot on. works almost as good as most floor pumps.
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  16. #16
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    Blackburn AS-1 mini

    I can get 100+ Lbs (rated to 160 I think) in a side of the road repair (real world use).

    Mounts under water bottle, doesn't have a gauge though but works quite well.

    Mounts securely out of the way...but works quite well.

    Does take more strokes than a full size version...but works quite well.

    I like mine and recomend it and...it works quite well.
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  17. #17

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    combo is best

    With a combo CO2/mini, you can start the inflation with the pump (much volume, but low pressure) and then use the CO2.....can easily get over 100 PSI this way with a small cartridge. The unit is only slightly larger than a stand alone mini.

  18. #18
    shammytime
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    It's about protecting the rims...

    Quote Originally Posted by al0

    Theory is theory but test measurements show that on real (i.e. not absolutely smooth) surface higher PSI doesn't reduce rolling resistance), for average cyclist is starts somewhere from 85psi.

    Higher PSI reduce risk of pinch flats (good) and provides for rough ride (bad).
    Theory aside...if a 200lb rider (like me) hops on a bike with 80PSI tires and hits one pot hole or big expansion joint, the rim(s) is gone. I run 120 primarily to protect my wheels...

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