CO2 vs. minipumps

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ryanspeer, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. ryanspeer

    ryanspeer New Member

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    I'm one of the fortunate few who has literally NEVER had a flat tire on a ride in the last 15 years of biking. The ONLY flat tire I ever had happened a split second after crossing the finish line at a mountain bike race back in the mid-90's. Still though, in spite of my good fortune so far, I've always caried a minipump with me - "just in case".

    I don't have anywhere terribly convenient on my frame to mount the clip for it now, and so I've been carrying it in my jersey pocket. I don't particularly care for it there either, and so I'm thinking about getting a CO2 cartridge and regulator. Is something small and inexpensive like the Planet Bike CO2 adapter adequate enough, or should I look for something with other features? If unused, do the cartridges have an indefinite shelf life? I'd hate to finally get a flat only to discover that a 1-year old cartridge lost its contents last week.

    Are CO2 cartridges generally easy to use, or do you have to be extremely careful during the filling process? In other words, should you always carry multiple cartridges in case you screw up the first one, or are they pretty much "screw up proof"?
     
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  2. Retro Grouch

    Retro Grouch New Member

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    CO2 is easy to use but nothing is "screw-up-proof". I'd suggest practicing at home once just to familiarize yourself with how it works.
     
  3. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    We just had an extended thread on this subject. The best is a full size frame pump, but most of us no longer use them because they are not 'cool'. :rolleyes:

    I prefer mini-pumps, others prefer CO2. I do not trust the potential for trouble with CO2 canisters. I have no problem hooking my mini pump on the side of my water bottle mount with the little thingies that came with the pump.
     
  4. pixelmill

    pixelmill New Member

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    Co2 rocks - quick - easy and for road bikes you get full pressure to get you back on the road. Minipumps get to 110psi and you're blue in the face.

    I think it's a lineball for a MTB - but I have a spare tube, cannister, valve & michelin levers in a tiny seat bag that lives on my bike.
     
  5. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

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    Co2 is fine for Mtb as well as road - takes a 700c road tyre to 100psi, or an mtb to 45-ish, so that's plenty to get you home. There is potential to screw up though, so carry two cylinders. Shelf life is pretty much indefinite.
     
  6. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  7. ryanspeer

    ryanspeer New Member

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    Interesting concept, but I want something small enough to (1) squeeze in my seat wedge or (2) put in my jersey pocket. That looks like more of a useful idea for a commuter who is already outfitted with fenders, rack, panniers, etc. and doesn't care about weight so much.
     
  8. kopride

    kopride Member

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    I like the new Blackburn airfix which combines your co2 and tire tool in one neat package. All you need is this tool an extra tire lever (the one on the tool is pretty useless), and a spare tube. I also carry a spare co2 canister and patch kit. All fits in my jersey with my cell phone (the final safety insurance) and is super light.

    It is tough to say which is more idiot proof. I don't like mini pumps because it is easy to break valve stems with if you are impatient pumping. (frame pumps are better but then you lose a water bottle and they are big). I always check my air with a floor pump before a ride and have never had the slightest problem using a co2 on the road, but again, get the process down before have to try it first time in a race. You will find you need to refill your tire in a few days with a floor pump because co2, like helium molecules, are smaller than the rubber molecules, but the loss isn't noticable even on a long ride.

    Once you get used to Co2, you will never want to touch a mini pump again.
     
  9. carbonguru

    carbonguru New Member

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    I use a carbon mini pocket pump by Ravx. It's stellar light. And it fits in my Jersey Pocket concealed. The 1st time I had to use it I was at 120 PSI in 3 minutes. Great little sucker for the price. I bought it on eBay for like $20. Well worth the investment. :rolleyes:



     
  10. malhoppy

    malhoppy New Member

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    Theres a new co2 pump that can also act as a normal pump as well, best of both worlds. Solves the out of air or stuff up of canister issue. I don't know the brand but can find out tomorrow as a dude on our group ride has 1.:)
     
  11. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    A pump gets you home. CO2 gets you back in the ride.
     
  12. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

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    The above pump would certainly get you back in the ride. Just check it out! The technology it uses is simple but effective. Not great effort! See original site. http://www.cyclaire.com/bikepump.html
    Works on a pulley type system. Don't know why it has not been invented before. Just waiting for someone to import some! My cousin in UK was impressed!
     
  13. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

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  14. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    Wow!!! Please share your tyre/tube/rim setup so the rest of us can benefit. 15 flat free years sounds like utopia...! :)
     
  15. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    If its small and light that you want, you could look for a long time and not find anything better than the Barbieri Carbone.

    As with all mini pumps, it will never replace a good track pump, but it does the job well enough to get you home
     
  16. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    I've had my Carbone for over a year now. Without doubt the best road mini-pump out there - pumps to 120psi with no problems. And it also happens to be superlight.
     
  17. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

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    CO2 - the one thing I found with them is that the tires deflate pretty quickly - like within hours. don't know why, theorize maybe the valve seal freezes or something. also, if you haven't gotten the tire/tube seated correctly, you may blow it out.

    although my friends would point out I didn't carry a pump for a long time, even on 5+ hour rides, I carry one religiously now. I got some very small blackburn that mounts under the waterbottle cage and sometimes carry a cool old chrome silca frame pump. gives me a good feeling to look down and see the pump. I've also crammed two tubes, tire levers, a multi tool, a chain tool, some cardboard (for sidewall cuts), and money into my super compact seat bag. and I tend to run heavier tires when training.

    minipumps are a lot more versatile and if you have a rider in the group who didn't quite figure out that there's a staple (or whatever) in his tire till the 4th tube of the ride, they work over and over as long as there are tubes to pump up.
     
  18. li rider

    li rider New Member

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    carry 1 cartridge more than the number of tubes you carry and you won't have to worry about it.



     
  19. ryanspeer

    ryanspeer New Member

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    I really have no clue why I never had any flats other than the one in that one isolated race. I can't remember what psi I ran my MTB tires at usually, but it was neither rock hard or squishy. Just a good solid easy-rolling, but grippy psi for both road and dirt riding. Considering the trails I'd go on, I really don't know how I got off so easy.

    For road riding I've always just steered clear of gravel, broken glass, potholes, etc.
     
  20. kleng

    kleng New Member

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    I use Co2 with a regulator to control the inflation(Zefal Airflash), the regulator allows you to put a bit of air in the tube to allow it to seat properly, then you can use the rest to fill the tire. You only need to screw the cannister and regulator together when you want to use it, so its much more compact than any pump. Bear in mind that since co2 are smaller molecules than air, your tires will slowly loose pressure and will need to be pumped up again by normal means when you get back from the ride.

    I carry 2 spare tubes and 2 cannisters, my regulator comes with a presta/ schrader adaptor that allows me to top up or fill the tire at any gas station.
    If I get more than 2 flats per ride its time to call it a day (by the way this has never happened).

    [​IMG]
     
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