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CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?(16 posts)

CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?MVN
Sep 22, 2001 3:56 PM
Can someone give me pros and cons concerning CO2 other than the obvious? I've heard that tires lose CO2 faster than they do air (may be a tire problem, don't know). I'm pretty sure CO2 is the way I'll go, but I just want some opinions from experienced users. Thanks for your time and good riding!
re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?Lone Gunman
Sep 22, 2001 4:04 PM
I carry both. Pump to start, CO2 to finish. You need to let out all the CO2 after using CO2 and fill with air, it will dissipate after use.
re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?Kerry Irons
Sep 22, 2001 4:21 PM
Unless you have lots of faith, or always ride with other people, you'll need to carry enough CO2 on every ride to fix at least 2 flats. Therefore, you save no weight with CO2 vs. a "real" frame pump. Many riders (per Lone Gunman's post) use a pump to both check the leaky tube to find where the puncture occurred (then remove the cause of the flat from the tire) and to pre-inflate the tire once it's mounted on the rim. At least a mini pump is required to do this. So, the primary advantages of CO2 are that you don't have to exercise your arms in pumping up the tire, and you save maybe a minute in the total "flat change" experience. If you are out by yourself and either goof a CO2 shot or have multiple flats, you'll be walking to the nearest phone and hoping that somebody can come to your rescue.
re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?Elefantino
Sep 22, 2001 4:29 PM
Weight, to me at least, is not an issue. A pair of 12g or 16g cartridges aren't going to pull me back down the hill. They weigh hardly anything. The issue for me is: What do we carry spare air, either in mini-pump or C02, for? It's to patch us up and get us back on the road to complete the day's (or night's) ride.
That's why I carry only C02. I don't have to mess with 120 or 180 pump strokes to get my tire to 100 psi; one cartridge instantly gets me to 90 (700c tube) and I'm good to go, usually home. Then I've I've got my big, fat floor pump to make it permanent.
90 PSI: a 12 or a 16 gram cartridge goes that far? -NMTig
Sep 22, 2001 5:19 PM
Re: 90 PSI: a 12 or a 16 gram cartridge goes that far?Elefantino
Sep 22, 2001 5:45 PM
Yep. A 12g will get you there. I've flatted with about 25-30 miles to go on some rides, C02'd my tube with a 12g and gotten home with about 80-85 pounds, which means that it pumps to about 90 at the time of use (considering C02 loss and the time it takes to get home.)
However, I prefer carrying 16s because they don't weigh that much more and will get you to 100 easily. And there's usually a lot left over if, for example, you flat at the beginning of a century or other long ride and need air in the same tube later on during the day. (The manufacturers say that a 16g will get two tires to 90, but that's not true in my experience.)
The drawback, of course, is that C02 doesn't last. (It bleeds badly; you'll be flat overnight.) No big deal, though: That's what the megapump back in the garage is for.
Innovations UltraFlate w/6 Cartridges for $17.99Tig
Sep 22, 2001 6:42 PM
A good deal from Performance. I have't used CO2 in a while, but this type of controllable inflator looks good to me. Anyone have any problems with these? The old ones were easy to mess up with or freeze your fingers on.
Innovations UltraFlate w/6 Cartridges for $17.99Elefantino
Sep 22, 2001 8:20 PM
They're nice and all, but a) they're too expensive compared to the screw-on valve only, and b) in my skinny little seat pack it takes up way more room than a simple 16g cart with the valve.
In Florida, frozen fingers are a relief.
Innovations UltraFlate w/6 Cartridges for $17.99NewRoadBiker
Sep 22, 2001 9:22 PM
I use the Ultraflate and I find it works very well. I keep one 12g cartridge in the holder (not tightened all the way down to puncture the top), and then three separate ones duct taped together in my seat pack. I also keep one of those small brass presta-schrader convertors in there as well in case I blow through all four co2 cartridges and still need air (assuming I could find a gas station along the route). Someone else mentioned that the Ultraflate was more expensive than the screw on top co2 inflator alone. This is true, however, the savings in being able to use the cheaper non-threaded co2 cartridges will more than make up for this initial cost difference.

re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?Gregg535
Sep 22, 2001 6:44 PM
I only carry a pump as there could be a lot of reasons why you might need more then the one or two CO2 cartridges you would likely carry (especially if you often ride alone). Also, it is less to buy and less to throw away. A pump just seems to make more sense; unless you are in a triathlon or something where speed is more important.

changed my mindLuis
Sep 23, 2001 10:32 AM
I've switched from a couple of CO2 carts and a tube or two for long solo rides to a couple of tubes, the smallest folding tire I could find and a Blackburn frame pump after running out of options and ruining a great ride. If I'm out by myself the little bit of extra weight is worth increasing the odds. I've also switched to 25mm Axiel Pros and have been lucky so far--and like the improvement in the ride.
what timing !carbonman
Sep 23, 2001 1:42 PM
I was out for a club ride today....I had 4 freakin flats ! Haven't had one all damn year. I carry the innovations that also doubles as a mini pump. I used a buddies frame pump the for the first one. Then co2 for the next two...I headed for co2 left. I could only pump the tire up to about 35 psi with the minipump. The patches just wouldn't hold (the glueless ones) with the co2. I'll be headed to the shop tomorrow for a new frame pump. Altough I like the clean look of a frame without a pump, it just isn't worth it. Bad, bad, bad day.
Four flats on one ride?nee Spoke Wrench
Sep 24, 2001 5:27 AM
Did you figure out what caused them? Thinking back, the only times I can remember having more than one flat on a ride, the second flat was due to not doing something right the first time: Not booting a too big hole in my tire, not using enough air pressure and pinch flatting, snugging down those little valve stem nuts too tight and tearing the base of my valve stem.

I carry only CO2 on my go-fast bike, only a frame pump on my retro-grouch bike and both on my tandem. I guess that would qualify as a "no opinion."
Four flats on one ride?QUADZILLA
Sep 24, 2001 9:35 AM
Yeah, I learned that glueless patches are good only on low pressure MTB tubes. I found the hole okay, but I believe the co2 does something to those glueless patches & the high pressure just blew them off. I also didn't get all the glass out the first time.
re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?DINOSAUR
Sep 23, 2001 3:36 PM
Co2 takes a little hassle out of changing a flat. Although a full length frame pump works well.

I finally changed over to CO2 because I became tired of the sound of my pump banging against the frame of my Klein. Also if your bike doesn't have a pump peg you can rig one using a zip lock tie, although I discovered that it will marr your frame, and it's near impossible to get off without causing a scratch.

I couldn't get close to max psi with a frame pump as it would snap the stems off my long valve tubes. I packed a double action mini pump that worked better, but the plastic pump holder scratched my frame, and they don't last forever. Mine came apart and flew back into my rear wheel, luckily I wasn't going that fast when it happened.

To be truthful, I think it's just a cosmetic thing. I just like the clean lines of my bike with no pump.

I carry an Innovations Ultraflate, 1 12g cannister inserted, and two extra cartridges. I went with the Ultraflate as it works with either 12g/16g. The 12g cartridges are cheap, you can buy them in bulk for about $.50 a piece, or in a pinch, a sporting good store that carries air rifles/pistols will stock the 12g.

Now for the kicker, since switching over to CO2 I've yet to experience a flat. Perhaps I released my demon of flats onto someone else. Sorry.......
re: CO2 vs. frame pump... Opinions?pmf1
Sep 24, 2001 4:18 AM
In my opinion, a full size frame pump such as a Zefal is the way to go. It'll never fail you, fix an unlimited number of flats and is useful to swing at a chasing dog if need be. As Kerry Irons says, its also nice to be able to put a little air in a tube before installing it.

However, compared to a mini-pump, I prefer CO2. None of my bike have pump pegs so I used to carry a mini-pump. It worked, but took 300 strokes to fill a tire. CO2 is lots faster and I can fill a tire firmer (~ 90 psi) with CO2 than with a mini-pump. It does leak out quickly and will be flat the next day, but you'll certianly get home. Get the kind that takes the smaller (12 gram) unthreaded cartridges. You can buy boxes of 25 for around $10 at K-Mart or anyplace that sells airgun accessories.