C02 Inflators

by dunnoh   September 10, 2013  

I had a puncture the other day - first in a years. Used my Co2 inflator and managed to get home. Since then I have had 4 punctures one after the other. I suppose the question is do you inflate the tyre with the CO2 and get home and then redo it properly with a pump? Ive done this tonight but I just wondered if this was standard practice to make sure pinch flats are alleviated. Failing that should I ditch the C02 and carry a pump. Ta

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Does your inflator have a gauge? You'll want to check that your tyre is at the right pressure as soon as you can.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [309 posts]
10th September 2013 - 21:55

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Yes its a track pump. And yes thats a good idea. Kicking myself - pretty obvious really

posted by dunnoh [172 posts]
10th September 2013 - 22:01

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I'm no physicist but CO2 does not have the same properties as air and is able to seep through innertubes.
CO2 will get you home but you need to let it all out and replace it with good honest proper air which is thicker than CO2 - it has bigger atoms or something.
I find good, northern air is much better than that stuff you get down south.

posted by Some Fella [748 posts]
10th September 2013 - 23:11

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You sure they were punctures and not just air loss? Anything still left in the tyre that is causing the repeat punctures, say a thorn?
Definitely agree with CO2 to get you home then re-inflate tyre properly with track pump to right pressure.

posted by mattyb95 [28 posts]
10th September 2013 - 23:45

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Some Fella wrote:
I'm no physicist but CO2 does not have the same properties as air and is able to seep through innertubes.
CO2 will get you home but you need to let it all out and replace it with good honest proper air which is thicker than CO2 - it has bigger atoms or something.
I find good, northern air is much better than that stuff you get down south.

You are no physicist indeed; CO2 is denser than air, hence dry ice (remember Top of the Pops floor.) Air is mostly N2 and O2 which are smaller molecules than CO2.


Leviathan of Riderstate

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posted by bikeboy76 [1251 posts]
11th September 2013 - 0:10

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CO2 is highly soluble in butyl rubber, so its not so much escaping as being absorbed by the tube. I've always wondered if that means the tube itself is being weakened by use of CO2, deflating when you get home and reinflating with your track pump sounds like good advice that I'll now follow myself.

posted by FMOAB [230 posts]
11th September 2013 - 0:55

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CO2 canisters are great to get you home but they do go down after some time and need to be replaced with air before your next ride. As for punctures, like buses they always come in bunches but thoroughly check your tyres for flints etc and dig them out.

Southern air is fine but not as hot as northern.

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posted by Barnes Badger [4 posts]
11th September 2013 - 7:01

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I carry a mini pump, either a Lezyne Pressure Drive or Blackburn Airstik SL (16cm long, 60g). Don't feel the need to try CO2.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:03

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Does anyone subscribe to nitrogen tyre inflation, as is often used for cars nowadays? They claim lower rolling resistance and less deflation on cars and I wonder if any advantage could be gained on the bike.

I know that helium has been used in a few select cases 'for lightweight' but I know that rapid deflation is a problem.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:16

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why do people buy co2 canisters? not trolling, genuinely interested.

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posted by PJ McNally [586 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:21

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PJ McNally wrote:
why do people buy co2 canisters? not trolling, genuinely interested.

I think that it's because bike shops sell them, rather than any real need for them.

Decent mini-pump gets my vote every time. CO2 is a little more compact I suppose.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:25

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PJ McNally wrote:
why do people buy co2 canisters? not trolling, genuinely interested.

I have two tubes, a chain tool, patches, two co2, couple of quid, levers and gloves in a arundel pack that fits under the seat. Its always there and I would probably forget a pump!

posted by dunnoh [172 posts]
11th September 2013 - 11:26

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I carry and have used CO2 for speed and ease more than anything. Inflation takes about 10 seconds as to pumping away for what seems minutes. Like others say, they are a "get me home quick" rather than a long term solution.

I buy them because I've used a couple over the years.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [290 posts]
11th September 2013 - 11:28

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Surely a really tiny pump is a better bet?

(I'm also a bit unhappy to use something disposable when there's a good reusable option).

I use a Phaart mini pump from Planet X, cost me £3, works well. It even fits in my tool bottle. Don't see the need for anything else.

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posted by PJ McNally [586 posts]
11th September 2013 - 11:57

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I carry a co2 if I know I'm going to be in a hurry, or if the weather is bad (standing in the rain pumping up a tyre is a pretty dismal feeling).

Other than that I carry a mini top peak pump that has a small hose so you don't break off the valve (have lost a couple of good tubes that way with cheaper mini pumps that attach straight on). Either cable clips to frame or it also actually slips in back jersey pocket fairly unnoticeably.

posted by gthornton101 [54 posts]
11th September 2013 - 12:05

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mattyb95 wrote:
Anything still left in the tyre that is causing the repeat punctures, say a thorn?

In addition to checking this, it's also worth checking that rim tape is still on properly. Mrs Biggins had repeat punctures one day and when I checked it turned out that the rim tape had moved slightly to one side in one place exposing the spoke holes. I straightened the tape out and no p*******s since (touch wood).

posted by Sadly Biggins [264 posts]
11th September 2013 - 13:00

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PJ McNally wrote:
why do people buy co2 canisters? not trolling, genuinely interested.

I always thought they were a gimmick, until recently. I invest in good tyres with puncture resistance, so they're a rare occurrence. But when you're out in the middle of no-where in the rain and cold or at night (or even just riding with other people), the ability to inflate a tyre in a matter of seconds without faffing around screwing on valve heads, spending ages pumping up a tube etc, is unrivalled.

Also, many presta valves (Conti I'm looking at YOU) have unscrewable cores which are a nightmare with mini pumps. Got so hacked off having reinflated the same tube 3 times and losing the core every time that it actually catalysed my CO2 investment.

I always carry 2 cartridges and a tiny spring tensioned valve head. Compact, light, quick and easy Cool

@oddbydefault

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posted by oddbydefault [92 posts]
11th September 2013 - 17:42

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bikeboy76 wrote:
Some Fella wrote:
I'm no physicist but CO2 does not have the same properties as air and is able to seep through innertubes.
CO2 will get you home but you need to let it all out and replace it with good honest proper air which is thicker than CO2 - it has bigger atoms or something.
I find good, northern air is much better than that stuff you get down south.

You are no physicist indeed; CO2 is denser than air, hence dry ice (remember Top of the Pops floor.) Air is mostly N2 and O2 which are smaller molecules than CO2.

Nerd

posted by Some Fella [748 posts]
11th September 2013 - 20:30

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Why do I carry CO2? I remember the blisters I got when using an inefficient fame pump as a youngster - and I'm a lazy git.

posted by FMOAB [230 posts]
11th September 2013 - 23:44

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I have a small pump on my bike frame but I also carry a co2 rig in a plastic dispenser. My CO2 rig inflates my tyre to over 90psi in 1.5 secs. It gets me home and its just so convenient I would not be without it. My small hand pump won't take my tyre to 90psi, its gets hot and fails at around 75psi according to the pressure gauge on it and it would take several minutes of pumping like a maniac to get it to that. When you're on the road side without track pump available, CO2 all the way. It does the job providing you have a the right size cannister. Im my experience anyway.

posted by Critchio [106 posts]
12th September 2013 - 8:00

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Critchio wrote:
I have a small pump on my bike frame but I also carry a co2 rig in a plastic dispenser. My CO2 rig inflates my tyre to over 90psi in 1.5 secs. It gets me home and its just so convenient I would not be without it. My small hand pump won't take my tyre to 90psi, its gets hot and fails at around 75psi according to the pressure gauge on it and it would take several minutes of pumping like a maniac to get it to that. When you're on the road side without track pump available, CO2 all the way. It does the job providing you have a the right size cannister. Im my experience anyway.

What he said. Less time spent faffing, and unless you've spent a lot on your mini pump you're not likely to be able to reach the right pressure anyway....and track pumps just don't fit on my frame or in my pocket.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1120 posts]
12th September 2013 - 8:15

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CO2 can achieve 90psi? Maybe i need to reconsider it, after all. My mini pump will get me home, but i have to ride 50 psi on the way Sad

Though thankfully no p*nct*res all summer! Good tyres paid off.

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posted by PJ McNally [586 posts]
12th September 2013 - 8:50

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I switched to CO2 for ease, ability to get to a decent pressure and size of the pump as others have said. Perhaps it was my cack-handedness but I always seemed to bend the valve when trying to inflate with a mini-pump.

posted by Sadly Biggins [264 posts]
12th September 2013 - 11:36

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Some mini pumps rated to 120 psi...I have an Alu bontrager one which fits in saddle bag and has managed 100 before, with some effort.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
12th September 2013 - 11:52

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PJ McNally wrote:
CO2 can achieve 90psi? Maybe i need to reconsider it, after all. My mini pump will get me home, but i have to ride 50 psi on the way Sad

Though thankfully no p*nct*res all summer! Good tyres paid off.

I've been running the Blizzards (£8 each) for over a year and none of those p-things so far. I think that riding on the part of the road where car tyres run instead of the gutter (where the sweepings end up), or glass-strewn shared paths, makes a big difference to the deflation frequency. It's safer too.

A decent mini pump should get you to 70 psi or so without your arms dropping off.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
12th September 2013 - 12:19

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