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Tire pump question -- related to on-bike tool kit question.(6 posts)

Tire pump question -- related to on-bike tool kit question.Delia
May 8, 2001 9:22 AM
Okay, laugh if you must, but I was wondering how small regular on-bike pumps should be. The CO2 pumps are quite small but the other ones at my lbs are, although not huge, quite bulky. Is this normal. Am I supposed to just attach the velcro grips to my bike? or should I be looking for something smaller?
re: Tire pump question -- related to on-bike tool kit question.peloton
May 8, 2001 9:41 AM
A lot of what you will find with pumps is personal preference. Some people prefer co2 because of it's small size, others value full size frame pumps. I would reccomend this. A mini pump to me on a high pressure road tire is next to worthless. The amount of time that it would take you to get enough air in there to ride, and the inability of most mini-pumps to put out enough pressure to fill a road tire makes them not worth their small size to me. A full size frame pump is good for getting enought pressure into a road tire at high pressure. To use a full size frame pump though, you must have a pump peg built onto your bike. Some bikes due to unusual design (think non diamond frame) or small size don't accomodate a frame pump easily either. I also think that they look cluttered (personal view). A co2 fill is small enough to fit into a saddle bag, and will fix a flat tire very quickly. Negatives are that you only have as many chances as you have cartriges. If you have only one cartridge, and you have two flats you are out of luck. Although the same would go if you only had one tube. You also should try to use the co2 flate before you need it. It takes some know how, and like I said, you only get one chance. You don't want to mess it up when you have a flat on the side of the road.

So, in short-

mini pump- pros- small size cons- doesn't work well at high pressure

full size pump- pros- will move lots of air cons- large, must fit on bike frame (size limitations and aesthetics)

co2 cartrige- pros- smallest size, fastest option cons- once you have used up your co2, you are out of luck

It is some personal preference. I choose a co2 flate because I like the small size, and the quickness it will fix a flat. With two cartriges and a patch kit in my saddle bag, I don't worry about getting stranded. I also feel comfortable getting the cartridge to work the first time. I have friends who swear by a frame pump. Find what works for you, and what you are comfortable with.
May 8, 2001 9:51 AM
You need the bulk in the chamber size to shift some air - esp if you are going to get a tyre to a decent pressure. The better ones come with mounting brackets, generally fitting on the water bottle bolts under the bottle cage. Failing that - strap it to the seatpost if you have room, or the frame if not - or bung it in the back of your jersey!

CO2 are smaller, but lots of people don't like them - you have to carry the cartridges too. I prefer simplicity on the "if it can go wrong it will" principle and use a non CO2 one, but others swear by them. Oh the choices....

I agree with pelotonSpoke Wrench
May 8, 2001 10:14 AM
The first time I used a CO2 on the road, I thought to myself "This is too easy." Takes 15 grams to do a road tire up to pressure. I prefer the threaded cartridges. They're more expensive, but how many flat tires do you have? I just pre-inflate the tube with my mouth to give it shape before installing it in the tire.
re: Tire pump question -- related to on-bike tool kit question.Poulidor
May 8, 2001 3:28 PM
You can carry both a CO2 inflator and a mini-pump as back-up. Silca makes a mini-pump that can get you up to about 70-80 psi with little trouble (difficult to get up to the 100-110 psi they claim). While that is a little low, it will get you home safely. I carry an inflator (with a cartridge in it), two extra cartridges and the mini pump. I can fit all those items, along with a multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit and two spare inner tubes in a 75-80 cubic inch seat bag. While that may not be the most svelte seat bag around, I have most everything I need for on the road repairs and I don't need to mess with a frame pump (you know, style is everything). Cheers.
Intentionsgrz mnky
May 8, 2001 6:28 PM
Try to ballance the advice against the type of riding you plan on doing. One tube and one or two CO2 cartidges won't do you much good if you're deep in the boonies solo and you're on some nasty surface. On the other hand a patch kit and a full frame pump isn't much good if you're in a race. Blackburn now makes a cool dual mode mini pump that works better and is lighter than their best frame fit. My personal bias is to avoid any pump that begins with the letter Z - too many bad experiences and flash backs. At the extremes you can be a minimalist and carry nothing or you can be a boy scout and carry tons of stuff. You gotta find what works for you, but it's best not to totally rely on any one single solution. I've had pumps break, patches fail, glue dry up, tubes and tires shred, and screwed up cartridges. Of course this only happens when I don't have a backup.