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CO2 inflators

mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
edited May 2008 in Workshop
is there any advantage to using a CO2 inflator as opposed to a frame pump. Any particular model of inflator that is better than the others?
M.Rushton

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Yes, they're a great way of freezing your fingers to the cannister and enjoying a long walk home....they are OK for emergencies or race situations but IME they are not reliable enough to be trusted for training, particularly on their own. I've learnt from experience to carry a frame-fit pump and the number of times I've leant it to people on group rides when we've had the 10th puncture and run out of gas..
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,372
    mrushton wrote:
    is there any advantage to using a CO2 inflator as opposed to a frame pump. Any particular model of inflator that is better than the others?

    If you're in a big hurry(racing) they are faster. Some of the people I ride with carry
    CO2 AND a small pump just in case the CO2 doesn't work as planned, which can happen.
    Me, I don't race so I carry a pump. One hint if you carry CO2 - carry, at the very least,
    two cartridges. Like I said, some things don't always work as perfectly as we would like them to.

    Dennis Noward
  • shmoshmo Posts: 321
    I only carry CO2 now after going through a period of snapping off valves with my mini pump. I got one with a trigger which is handy as it gives a chance to check for bulges before it blows the tube off the rim. Have to check the seal is good before using it though otherwise most of the gas ends up blasting off into the atmosphere to kill a few more polar bears.

    Also went for one that uses threaded cartridges which is good because you only need to carry the inflator head and not the plastic holder if it comes with one. I use the innovations ultraflate plus but don't know how well it compared to others. First time I used it I only probably got the tyre to 60 psi due to not getting the seal right, don't know if it was my fault or the pump, but still that was about all I could manage from my mini-pump anyway and it was much faster and less effort.
  • magliacelestemagliaceleste Posts: 748
    I also now only carry CO2 and three cartridges (two in pack and one in inflator but not punctured). The inflator is an Innovations job with a trigger. The cylinder is completed encased so no frozen fingers. I use 16g unthreaded carts. The carts are pretty reasonable (around 60-70p) from the UK importer.

    The advantage is that you can get the tyre up to 100psi or more with a 16g cart. The fact you can do it in seconds may help if you are racing. The other advantage is that they are much smaller to carry (will easily fit in jersey pocket for example).

    The downside is that you may come unstuck if you run into severe problems. Although I'd probably run out of tubes before that happened anyway.

    Edit: as a side note, they are also great for mounting tubeless tyres on mountain bikes.
  • RamanujanRamanujan Posts: 352
    I think they're great.
    Never had a problem.
    You can change tubes and be on your way in less than 5 mins with a 100+psi tyre and not have spent half an hour getting your forearms to look like popeye's.
  • andrewgturnbullandrewgturnbull Posts: 3,861
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Yes, they're a great way of freezing your fingers to the cannister and enjoying a long walk home....they are OK for emergencies or race situations but IME they are not reliable enough to be trusted for training, particularly on their own. I've learnt from experience to carry a frame-fit pump and the number of times I've leant it to people on group rides when we've had the 10th puncture and run out of gas..

    Hi there.

    Another way of looking at is that if you're going to rely on them in a race situation, then you need to practice to make sure you don't f**k it up when you're under pressure. So using them in training is a good idea too... If I'm on a long ride I'll probably have a mini-pump in my pocket too though.

    Cheers, Andy
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