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38

Advantages: Fast - generally these fill up your tire much faster than you could with a pump Less effort - hook up, push button, no pumping Possibly less weight (but I haven't compared weight of smallest pumps to CO2) Lower initial investment - a valve and 2 cartridges generally seems to be cheaper than a good small pump. Disadvantages: Consumable ...


25

I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this. Probably the most legitimate purpose of CO2 inflators for bicycles is for inflating tubeless tires. If you need to replace or repair a tubeless tire, chances are you will have zero luck inflating the tire if you try to use a hand pump. You either need to use an air compressor (good luck carrying that with you on ...


14

This is a debate that gets picked up on every bicycle forum known to man (okay, that might have been exaggerating a bit). Typically you start to ask the question when you notice that the morning after you have used your CO2 cartridge, your tyre is ridiculously low. By no means am I a chemist but, as it has been explained to me, CO2 and butyl are more ...


14

Disadvantage: Environmentally irresponsible. It seems to me that there is a lot of energy contained within, and required to make, that CO2 cartridge for a single tyre inflation. I do carry one for emergencies 'in case of pump failure' but I try my best to never use it out of laziness.


12

Bike shops advertise them because they're consumable items. Every time you use a cartridge the shop is likely to make another sale. Whereas a good pump should last through many, many flats and is less likely to get good placement in the shop. For advantages/disadvantages, see freiheit's answer.


10

Yes, this is no problem, though I would suggest practicing once before you have to use it on a flat. The first couple of times I used an inflator I had trouble inflating my tire fully. No, but I've found that once I start a cartridge it will leak slowly, so it doesn't last forever. In my experience it doesn't last more than a few hours, certainly not more ...


5

The CO2 inflater is, for me, only an emergency option. It lives in my saddle bag to get me home after a flat. I haven't rigorously investigated it, but anecdotally I think that tyres inflated with CO2 deflate by themselves more quickly than air-inflated tyres do. Fortunately I haven't punctured too much recently, but the last couple of roadside fixes with ...


5

Yes. One 16 gram cartridge is enough to fill an average 29" tire. I just tested in my Schwalbe Rocket Ron 29x2.25, and from empty it gets to about 38 psi. I run tubeless, so normal pressure at my 110kg weight is around 35-38psi. With a tubed setup, 38psi might be a touch low, but plenty to get you back in off the trail.


5

I found this chart which lists tyre pressure for various sizes of tyres and cartridges. It doesn't list 29 inch tyres, but with a little bit of maths and physics (and a little bit of hand-waving) I calculate that the pressure in a 29 inch tyre is going to be about 10% lower than a 26 inch tyre. The chart says 40 psi for a 26 inch tyre, so you'd be looking ...


4

The air we breathe is made up of 78% nitrogen (N2) and 21% oxygen (O2), with trace gases making up the rest. So the easiest comparison is between N2 and CO2. N2 is less dense than CO2 but otherwise they're very similar (to your tires) unless you somehow find yourself riding in temperatures near their liquidation points -- in which case you have bigger ...


4

The main benefit that I get from using a CO2 inflater over using a pump is time savings. The CO2 will fill your tire with air faster than a pump. I always carry a pump in addition to a CO2 inflater because the pump provides unlimited air. It's a good idea to be prepared to handle at least 2 flats so the pump is a nice backup. I would consider just ...


3

I really like using the co2 canisters cause the're quick to pump up. Particularly for road bike, you can't get a road bike to 110psi using a hand pump. Most I've got is around 40psi with a hand pump. That pressure will let you limp home but certainly you can't continue on your merry ride with that pressue for fear of a low pressure flat. I've also now ...


2

That depends... I usually carry inflaters AND a pump. I've had problems with both. The CO2 cartridges aren't too crazy expensive, but my most recent flat I used 2 of them and still ended up finishing with the pump. It's really easy to blow the CO2 out without getting it in the tire, and if that happens, you'd better have another cartridge to try, or a ...


2

Yes. No. Threaded and unthreaded.


2

at normal temperatures (human life temperatures) and pressures all gases behave about the same with temperature variation. Check out this article and the pressure tests of air, CO2, and nitrogen at the end: http://www.powertank.com/truth.or.hype/


2

With regard to your question over potential weight savings, I quickly weighed the kit that I normally use to give a comparison. The mini pump that I carry from Lezyne comes in at 83g (has some subtle modifications to stop it rattling); whereas the two unbrnaded 16g CO2 cannisters that I carry come in at 118g and require a chuck to use which is another 21g. ...


1

I have never noticed a significant difference between the two. CO2 is great on a ride because using mini pumps, well, it just isn't fun.


1

CO2 inflators can be a life saver in the winter when you want to spend as little time off the bike as possible or you'll start freezing. That being said, it is a good idea to learn how to use the inflator properly... their operation varies by brand. You wouldn't want to be fumbling on how to operate the inflator in sub zero temps.



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