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Questions on C02.(31 posts)

Questions on C02.boy nigel
Jun 27, 2001 1:40 PM
When I was considering what to get for my new bike a while back, I considered going the C02 route rather than the mini-pump route. On the surface, it made great sense. Tiny (fits in a jersey pocket easily), quick, cheap, etc. I finally went with a mini-pump, which I'm plenty happy with--for all of the aforementioned reasons except that it's not as quick as a cartridge.

First, I'm not railing against the converted C02 masses at all. The way I see it, though, is that it can only save you the time/effort it takes to pump up a tire. What's that come out to? Probably not even five whole minutes. Even if it's ten minutes (which I can't see it being), one still has to take the wheel off, remove the tube, put the new tube in (or fix the existing one), and get it back on properly before they can quick-fill it with C02. I'm right to this point, yes?

So, the advantages are basically that it saves you a couple of minutes' worth of pumping, right? But then, when you get home, you still have to let out the C02 and refill your tire(s) with REAL air using a regular pump, from what I understand (C02 doesn't last more than a couple of days at full pressure, I've heard). Where are the REAL advantages, then? Just those couple of minutes saved on the road?

Also, I've read on the board that plenty of people carry around BOTH C02 fixes AND pumps. This I don't get. Why not save the weight/hassle, and just bring a pump? I understand that some people get more than one or two flats on a ride (though I never have, personally), but why not just take the "foolproof" one--the pump? Please explain.

Again, to each his/her own, and I'm looking to create discord here, but I'm just wondering if maybe I'm missing a part of the C02 equation here.

Cheers, mates.
yep.Haiku d'état
Jun 27, 2001 1:55 PM
that's the main advantage: not having to pump, and pump, and pump 'til my arm falls off (topeak). haven't used the road morph, the one i was using was a one-off topeak model without a locking clip on the head, but with a foot clip and hose. it took forever to pump, and was mostly useless. on the same ride, a fellow rider had 2 flats, fixed 'em both in well under 5 min each with a simple co2 pump.

got the innovations second wind, a co2 inflator and a mini-pump; it's sub-6-inches long and easy to use. fits in even my smallest seat pack, but also is light/small enough to go in the middle jersey pocket of tighter-fitting jerseys without much thought during the ride. i carry 4 (yep, FOUR) co2 carts on me 'cause i'm neurotic.

had a zefal frame pump on my old italian project bike 'til the bike was sold, then got rid of the pump 'cause it wouldn't fit my other bikes' frames. it was my fav, since it was sturdy, reliable, inflated pretty fast and could be used as an anti-bubba weapon here in elvisville.

so far i'm pretty happy. AND i like not having a pump mucking up the clean lines of my frame, too! you're each his own!
Pressure capabilityKurt H
Jun 27, 2001 2:16 PM
Hi Jeff,
Okay, so I've read the ads stating that this pump will provide this much pressure, that pump that much, etc. You had a zefal frame pump. I've been eyeballing one of those since both of my road bikes have pump pegs (I currently carry CO2). My question: Will full size Zefal pumps blow 100 psi or so into a tire with a sensible level of effort and time?
since there is no gauge on the zefal,Haiku d'état
Jun 27, 2001 2:30 PM
have no idea, but the tire was pretty firm in a reasonable amount of time and with a realistic bit of effort. not impractical.

when i went to top it off at the house with my floor pump, it was just up there around 100psi. i'm a big dude, and i've used it on the rear and found it to be well inflated and not too squishy, which is a good sign that it's at or near recommended pressure. ymmv.

good luck!
One missed point on C02 benefits...Cima Coppi
Jun 27, 2001 2:03 PM
With CO2, you can inflate your tire back up to recommended pressure (i.e. >100 psi). I have yet to find a frame pump, mini or otherwise that will do this, even in a large amount of time. You are compromised for the rest of a ride if you have to ride on a 60-70psi inflated rear tire. What's the fun of having to leave the group to head home when this happens? Personally I want to ride with the same amount of enthusiasm after a flat as I did prior to it.

My 0.02 Liras worth.

Jun 27, 2001 4:04 PM
I have really given a lot of thought lately about going the CO2 route.
I pack an F1 Blackburn frame pump. When I get one of those dredded "F" things, I can get about 60 strokes with by pump ,if I am lucky. That's probably around 70 lbs of air. If I try to muscle it, I can snap the long valve stem needed for my Rolf wheels.

My question is: I don't patch tubes on the road, I install a new tube then repair the flatened one when I get home. In order to seat the new tube into the tire, so I don't have to worry about rim punctures,I put about 3 lbs of air into my tube before I install it.
This means I have to pack both, CO2 and a pump. If you just pack CO2 how do you seat your tubes?
Like a BalloonKristin
Jun 27, 2001 4:17 PM
Just blow it up. Perhaps 3lbs is a lot more than I'm imagining, but I just blow air into the thing, fold it over twice at the stem and pinch it off. This keeps the air in while I tighten the valve.
That's the ticket!>>>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jun 27, 2001 4:30 PM
I do the same. You can get more than enough air in the tube to get it on the rim by just blowing into the valve. I did it this morning changing a flat for one of the female riders in our early morning group ride. Everyone looked surprised, but saw that it worked just fine. I think I'm switching to CO2. I once knocked off my Zefal while trying to replace my water bottle. Mind you it only happened once, but I was at my threshold of endurance. Not a pretty site with riders in tow. I also lost it once after hitting a hole that the leader didn't call out. It can't happen if it isn't there. I'll use someone elses pump should the need arise.
That's the ticket!>>>>>>>>>>>DINOSAUR
Jun 27, 2001 4:36 PM
Well, I guess I'll have to practice on this a little and just hope that my wife doesn't catch me blowing my tube. LOL! I couldn't pass on this one!!!!
I guess I had it comin'! No pun intended :-) >>>>>>>>>>>>>nmLive Steam
Jun 27, 2001 4:56 PM
AnswerCima Coppi
Jun 27, 2001 4:38 PM
A very valid question, to which I have 1.5 answers. So far I have flatted only in the presence of a group of riders, so I'll use someone elses frame pump to put a bit of air in the tube to seat the tire. Once I've made certain the tube is not pinched anywhere, I'll finish off the job with my CO2 pump. That's one way.

Obviously, if your on the road alone w/ only CO2, you cannot do this. I would most likely compromise a bit of pressure in the cartridge to inflate the tube enough to properly seat the tire, w/o risking pinching it. Once the bead of the tire is entirely set on the rim, then I'd finish inflating the tire with the remaining CO2. On my tires, I can pull >120psi per 12g CO2 cartridge, so there should be enough air left in the cartridge to get me near my 100psi desired pressure. Fortunately, I have not had to try this, so all of the above is purely theory.
Jun 28, 2001 12:04 AM
My CO2 inflator has a regulator so I can regulate how much I put into the tube. If I want to inflate the tube a little I just press on a my thumb lever for a few seconds instead of emptying the whole thing in one swoop.
cheap and easy solution!!!Haiku d'état
Jun 28, 2001 8:41 AM
dino, the innovations second wind at nashbar ($9.99 on sale) is what i'm using. it's an inflator AND mini-pump. you can get a few pounds of pressure in the tube to get it firm enough to seat using the hand-pump feature, seat it, and it has a trigger-type regulator to control co2 inflation, so'z ya can make sure it's seated well on the rim under the tire bead before fully inflating. check it out! hey, it's only ten bucks. get your cartridges for peanuts at wal-mart/k-mart or similar sto's!
re: Questions on C02.Lone Gunman
Jun 27, 2001 2:05 PM
YOU ARE CORRECT SIR!! Some people don't like the frame pumps. I use the mini pump Blackburn Airstik but I also have the CO2 and do not carry it with me. A reason that the mini's are disliked is the movement that occurs while pumping them can cause the valve to wiggle around and may weaken it to the point that it leaks causing a second flat. I also started riding better tires (Continentals, and have greatly reduced the number of flats). Some people don't like the "look" of the frame pump on the bike. I think I check tire pressure every other ride so I don't do the deflate/reinflate routine, but then I have not used the CO2 in years.
get bothmr_spin
Jun 27, 2001 2:06 PM
Unless you are a weight weenie, carry CO2 and a pump. Hopefully you'll never need to use the pump, but you'll have it. And you won't be screwed when you give your CO2 to a buddy and then you get a flat.

CO2 saves time, which is important, because the longer you stop, the more your body thinks you are done, and the harder it is to start again. But more important, you won't waste energy pumping up the tire. And for a road bike, you can get a reasonable amount of pressure in the tire. I used to wear myself out trying to get more than 70psi into a tire. It may be theoretically possible, but in reality, you won't get it with a mini-pump. With CO2, I can get 100psi or more.
C02 4 meMarcy S
Jun 27, 2001 2:13 PM
I usually carry two C02 cartridges, unless I'm doing a ride with friends where I know they always have a pump on their bikes, then I'll just bring one along with a spare tube, two tire levers, and a patch kit.
I just had a flat on my rear tire on Sunday, and within a few minutes, my tire was all pumped up and back on. The only problem was that I didn't let the air out when I got home that night. Instead I just topped it off with my floor pump. When I went for a ride last night, my rear tire was really low. Oops! :(
"Will you pump my tire for me?"Kristin
Jun 27, 2001 2:33 PM
I don't want to be one of these women who must bat her eyes at passing cyclists to get help. The co2 makes me self sufficient. Now, its within the realm of possibilities, that the LBS sold me their cheeziest mini frame pump. And my experience with said pump turned me against the idea all together. But I found it quite impossible to get my tire to even 70psi and ended up walking home that day. I bought the co2 pump and haven't looked back. I'm willing to pay a small fee for the speed and self sufficiency.
"Will you pump my tire for me?"mackgoo
Jun 29, 2001 12:26 AM
Darn; I was ready to pump your tire for you.
re: Questions on C02.LC
Jun 27, 2001 2:38 PM
It is nice to have the pump to put some air in the old tube and find the leak and help find the little piece of wire or glass in your tire, and also put a little air in the new tube to help get in on the rim. If you start with a few psi and then the CO2 you can really get full pressure. Even with a Zefal it is really hard to put in more than 90 psi with my weak cycling arms without breaking the stem off and giving myself a hernia.
What about cost of cartridges?jba
Jun 27, 2001 2:58 PM

How much do these cartridges cost? I think I'd rather save the money and pump the tube myself than pay a few bucks to get a tire filled only once. Hell, if i've got a flat, i'm out a couple bucks as it is. Why pay a couple more dollars just to fill up the new tube? Sometimes, we americans are obnoxiously lazy and wasteful. (i know that cartridges are supposedly recyclable, but why create a demand for a frivilous convenience that only adds to the amount of junk americans produce for convenience's sake?)

I've decided to cut back somewhere. I won't go CO2 despite the clunky appearance of the frame pump. The zefal hpx will last me years, will not produce waste that may or may not be recycled, and will not cost a cent beyond purchase price if I take care of the seals.

My zefal hpx works beautifully.

Not much for 12g cartridgesCima Coppi
Jun 27, 2001 3:20 PM
I have a CO2 pump that uses non-treaded 12g cartridges and threaded 16g cartridges. I found that K-Mart sells the 12g 5-pack for $3.00. I think this is well worth it for the convenience.

I would like to find a way to recycle the spent cartridges, as I feel bad about throwing them into my local landfill, even though they are small. I have been saving my spent cartridges until the day I discover who will recycle them.
What about cost of cartridges?LC
Jun 27, 2001 10:19 PM
I just got a pack of 25 CO2 cartridges for $11.97 at Wallmart. Hopefully a 10 year supply!
Why doesn't CO2 last more than a couple days? (nt)BQ
Jun 27, 2001 4:48 PM
It's only meant to get you home, to your floor pump! (nm)Elefantino
Jun 27, 2001 5:00 PM
because tires are designed for airmr_spin
Jun 27, 2001 5:08 PM
Other gases leak through the rubber too fast. Especially the lightweight butyl tires. You probably lose half of the CO2 in 24 hours. The more you lose, the less pressure there is, and the slower it leaks.
I must have special butyl tires :-)Kristin
Jun 28, 2001 5:34 AM
I emptied a CO2 cartridge (16g) into my tire at 6pm and it hadn't lost more than a couple lbs. by the next evening. I refilled the tire anyway (just before my next ride) because I had heard I was suposed to. Next time, I'm gonna leave it in and see if I have a problem.
Or special CO2mr_spin
Jun 28, 2001 9:21 AM
Maybe I exaggerated by saying half, but mine seem to leak quite a bit in 24 hours.

You don't HAVE to bleed the CO2 out--but it's easier to bleed it and refill it with air once, than to top it off every day as the CO2 leaks out.
Ah...I see the difference nowKristin
Jun 28, 2001 9:38 AM
I'm an everyday top-offer! I never leave the house without 110psi in my tires. :-)
re: Questions on C02.badabill
Jun 27, 2001 6:13 PM
Ive gone strictly to co2 lately. My zephel frame pump works fine but its so easy to keep a tube and a couple of co2 cart. in a seat bag that I cant see the need for a frame pump. I dont want to jinx it but I changed to the new conti ultra 2000 folding tire and have not had a flat in 1000 miles. I used to average about a flat every 250 miles on axial pros. Going to a tougher training tire has made it easier to leave the frame pump at home.
You have just jinxed yourselfDutchy
Jun 28, 2001 1:35 AM
you realise now that you are destined to get a flat on your next ride. Good luck! CHEERS.
How much pressure in a cartidge?Kristin
Jun 28, 2001 5:39 AM
I bought some cartidges that don't say. I think I read somewhere that 12g ones carry 100psi. Are they all the same? Does capacity depend on the cartidge size, or manufacturer?

What is the capacity of a 12g and a 16g (my pump takes 16g)?