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Pump Or Co2?(23 posts)

Pump Or Co2?Michael Gretton
Mar 26, 2001 9:32 AM
I am new to road riding. What is typically suggested as a means of recovering from a flat? As a mountain biker, I take a long glue-less patches, and a frame pump. I purchased a frame pump (topeak road morph) for my new road bike. Is Co2 better? How do most road cyclists keep from being stranded? I never see them with supplies! I never want to rely on anyone to help me. I like to carry the stuff needed to do a repair.

Pump, and toss the glueless patchesCory
Mar 26, 2001 10:37 AM
OK, I'm biased--but my eventual failure rate with glueless patches and 100psi tires is close to 100 percent. You save, what, 45 seconds over spreading glue, and then when you get home, if you do, you have to peel the thing off and replace it with a real patch anyway. Why not just make the permanent repair by the side of the road?
I have a CO2 inflator, but I always carry a pump anyway because I worry about the thing going ffffft. So why carry both; I leave the inflator home now.
As for not seeing roadies with tools...either they're way more confident (and lucky) than I am, or they've got them in jersey pockets or a little tiny seatpost wedgie pack. A spare tube, patch kit and a couple of tire levers fit into a little bag you can barely see under the saddle.
If you want a pump recommendation, I vote for Zefal hpX.
Pump, and toss the glueless patchesMichael Gretton
Mar 27, 2001 3:42 AM
This is a wonderful board - good advice. Can i get a general opinion from people about glueless patches for roadies? I love them on my mountain bike. I never had the problems you or others here mention. I stick'em on an leave 'em. My rear tire presently has 4 or 5 patches! I put the last one on several hundred miles ago! ARe they that poor with Hight Pressure road bikes?

glueless patches - NOT!PaulCL
Mar 27, 2001 5:25 AM
They have never worked for me. As the previous poster reccommended, take the extra minute and use a regular patch. Maybe its' the 100-140psi pressures we put into road tires. I threw all my glueless patches into the garbage. the way, I second the vote on the Zefal pump
Co2Spoke Wrench
Mar 26, 2001 12:08 PM
The only tools I carry with me on my road bike are a Co2 inflator, a tire lever and a spare inner tube. The only times I can remember having more than one flat on a road ride have been when I failed to get the tire reinflated hard or made some simiar stupid mistake.

Zefal HPX is my preferred frame pump, but it takes me about 5 minutes of steady pumping to get a road tire up to a useable pressure. For the last two minutes or so I have to brace my hand against a tree or road sign. A Co2 inflator with a 16g cartridge, on the other hand, takes me about 2 seconds. At my age I have to be careful about how I spend the time I have left so I use the Co2.
Mar 26, 2001 1:34 PM
I pack 2 CO2 cartrigdes w/inflator, glueless patches, spare tube, and a mini-pump. Nothing beats CO2 for fast, high-pressure inflation. The mini pump is for putting that tiny shot of air into the tube prior to mounting and is a last resort if something goes wrong with the CO2 system (which has never happened). Also, I use a brass presta to Schrader adapter on my inflator. I feel like it gives the inflator a more secure interface with the valve since it screws on to the adaptor.

I used to carry glue and patches, but the glue had a tendency to dry out too easily. Glueless patches are generally not very durable. Neither is CO2 once it's in your tube. It'll let you finish your ride, but you'll need to air it up the next day.
Try thisBipedZed
Mar 26, 2001 1:44 PM
To get some air into a new tube before mounting you can just blow into the presta valve with your mouth (with the valve open of course). Gets just enough air in the tube to give it some structure.
Try thisE3
Mar 26, 2001 1:54 PM
I do that sometimes. It seems like some valves/tubes will take and hold a breath of air, some won't. At least that's been my experience.

Maybe I'll try a blast of methane next time.....:)
Try thisscreamingbunny
Mar 28, 2001 6:44 AM
yes this may work, however, Methane is less dense than air and will tend to seap out of your tubes over time.
You didn't get your card yet?mike mcmahon
Mar 26, 2001 1:42 PM
You wonder why you never see roadies with supplies. Upon officially becoming a roadie, every cyclist is issued a membership card in the Roadie Roadside Assistance Program (RRAP). The card is equipped with a microchip that, when pressed, summons a friendly RRAP Technician, who usually arrives on-site within 2-4 minutes. The RRAP Technician brings all the necessary tools, spare tubes or tubulars, and packets of various flavors of energy gels, bars, and drinks. If you are new to road riding, your card is probably in the mail. ;-)
I walked 2 miles Saturday after running out of CO2Dog
Mar 26, 2001 1:51 PM
Saturday, I was attempting a PR for 100 miles solo, doing 4 laps on a nearby 25 mile loop.

At 45 miles, I was averaging 21 mph, well on pace. Then got a flat. No problem, fixed it and running again in 3 minutes. At 55 miles, while still on pace, 5 miles past my car parked at the beginning of the loop, get another flat. Fixed it, but the tire was gashed, too, so I reluctantly aborted the ride and started back toward the car. Guess what? A third flat, and I had used both CO2's. I was screwed. I had to walk about 2 miles in my cleats back to the car (destroying the cleats, BTW).

Moral of the story: 1) CO2's help to fix flats very fast; and 2) Always carry a pump, too, or sooner or later, you'll be hoofin' it.

Then why carry the CO2 at all?look271
Mar 26, 2001 2:03 PM
I prefer CO2, 2 spare tubes (don't ask!), and a patch kit, as well as a mini tool. You can't possibly prepare for every situation (I had a Specialized Turbo blow out, couldn't fix that),but this takes care of most. BTW- at least 2 CO2 cartridges, possibly 3 for a long ride.
Mar 26, 2001 2:11 PM
No one can pump any pump as fast as a CO2 can inflate. I've been lucky and always gotten by with 2 cartridges on short rides, 3 on long ones, like you. But, use them up and you're screwed.

For a race or supported event, or even when riding with buddies (let them carry the pump, heh, heh), I won't carry the pump. But solo? Never again.

Mar 26, 2001 4:53 PM
That's sort of why I carry 2 spare tubes. Had the mis-fortune of packing one that was defective! No patch kit either. I make DAM&ED sure that I won't get stuck with a flat again!
you value your feet more than your cleats? :-)ET
Mar 27, 2001 4:28 AM
If there aren't pebbles and glass everywhere, I'd be inclined to take off the shoes and walk in socks (where you hold the shoes in one hand slung over the top tube, with arm holding the top tube in place as you walk), not just to save the cleats, but to save my legs. Man, is it tough walking in cleats!

Question: do the CO2 cartridges last more or less forever, or do you have to change them every once in a while due to possible leakage?
definitely feetDog
Mar 27, 2001 5:32 AM
Bad place to walk. Busy road, so couldn't walk on the pavement. Lots and lots of glass and rocks (thus, the flats...). I learned my lesson.

As far as I know the cartridges last forever until opened. They are sort of welded shut, and the nozzle pierces through the metal to open them.

Pumps are "Greener" IMOParker
Mar 26, 2001 2:19 PM
Every flat you inflate w/ a CO2 cartridge add to waste, not
to mention all the empty cartridges I see on popular ride routes,
but that's an issue of lazy cyclists, not all CO2 users.
Pump it up.
A time perfected kit.Highgear
Mar 26, 2001 2:34 PM
Toss the saddle bag. This is what you do. Get a tube, patch kit, tire iron and a 5mm allen wrench. Put the wrench inside the patch kit, place the kit and tube in a thick baggie to protect it from your sweat. Wrap a few elastic bands around it and place the tire iron under the bands. This and a good mini pump is all you need. You can put both in the center pocket of your jersey. Some like to carry a spoke wrench too , especially on long rides. The 5mm will come in handy to loosen the cable tention on the breaks if one pops.
I agree, Highgear. Put it in your jersey pocket and forget it.nigel
Mar 26, 2001 4:34 PM
I don't get the need, personally, to carry both C02 AND a pump. For as often as I flat, a mini's just fine. I tend to go pretty minimally, though, but cover my bases. Don't want to get trapped out there!

I carry a Topeak DX Master Blaster mini-pump, a spare tube, two plastic tire levers (they snap together), glueless patches (in a TINY baggie they came in), and 4 and 5mm hexes.

I, too, rubber-band them together, and they all fit nicely in my middle pocket. The pump's 9 inches in length, so it only sticks up about two or three inches out of the pocket top. The Topeak pumps on the in and out strokes, and gets tires up to over 100psi.

This all handles up to a few flats (I rarely ever flat, though), and all adjustments except for wrenching spokes. If I go on a long solo ride, I'll bring a simple spoke wrench, too, but the tools I carry can get me out of 99% of potentially tool-y situations. No need for a seatpack or frame pump, and still leaves two jersey pockets for ID, keys, and lens rewetting drops. I don't even know all that's in my jersey when I'm riding. Keeps the bike clean-looking and unencumbered, too.
Forget it until you crashmike mcmahon
Mar 28, 2001 5:04 AM
On the rare occasion that I carried a mini-pump in my jersey pocket, I couldn't help but wonder what damage it might do to my spine if I were to end up on my back in a crash.
re: Pump Or Co2?Ian
Mar 26, 2001 4:54 PM
I used to carry a tube, 2 Co2, mini-tool and patch kit. I never used the second Co2, mini-tool or patch kit. Now I carry a tube, one Co2 and if I am alone, my cell phone.
re: Pump Or Co2?muncher
Mar 28, 2001 4:28 AM
Been using compact pump (top peak) and glueless patches for years - work fine, never had a problem. However, I always carry a spare tube (under the seat) since a tube split where the rubber valve stem joins the tube - not fixable, and a long cleated walk home....
re: Pump Or Co2?DINOSAUR
Mar 28, 2001 7:38 AM
I switched to a full frame pump. I was using a mini, it worked fine, although the plastic pump holder scratched the heck the cherry paint job on my Klein. The mini was double actioned and it actually worked better than my Blackburn. It would be a tad too long to stuff in my jersey pocket. I carry a patch kit as a last resort only. I pack two spare tubes, one in my jersey pocket and one in my seat bag. If I carry two, I seldom have more than one flat. Carry just one and I have had more than one flat (Murphys Law I guess). I patch the tube when I get home and pack it as a spare.
I wouldn't rely on Co2 only. I've never had a full sized frame pump fail on me. Consider a Silca, it will be the last pump you will ever have to buy.