By Jim Langley
Not long ago, when we were discussing frame pumps and CO2 cartridges, RBR Editor John Marsh shared this ride story with me. Perhaps something similar has happened to you:
“I was with a buddy recently who seemed to have never used his CO2 system before (or I guess it had been so long he had totally forgotten how).
“When it came time to inflate his fixed flat, he actually still had an old, used CO2 canister attached to the chuck – and didn’t really know how to use the chuck, either. He actually cut his hand in the process and froze the chuck onto the canister (which might have explained why the old one was there in the first place!). This is a very experienced rider, BTW.
“The result was that I had a full 10 minutes of standing there holding my buddy’s bike up as he fiddled with the wheel and tire, trying to air it! Let’s offer some tips to help roadies choose and use a good CO2 inflator – and emphasize the importance of knowing how it works before they need it!”
Great idea, John. First, I’ll explain what CO2 inflators are and why they’re so popular, and then offer some tips, including yours.
Tiny portable air compressors
Well, a CO2 inflator isn’t really an air compressor, because it doesn’t have a pumping mechanism to compress and store air. But it does inflate tires in a jiffy with a powerful burst of compressed carbon dioxide gas. So no pumping is involved. You just connect the CO2 inflator to the valve, release the CO2 and, almost immediately, the tire is fully inflated.
CO2 inflators depend on small metal canisters (also called cartridges) filled with compressed CO2. You want to be sure to get the right size cartridge for your tire size. Smaller ones will fill a single road tire. The larger ones can fill two tires. When emptied, the cartridges are not refillable. Instead, you recycle them and buy more.
Advantages of CO2 vs. Pumps
Unlike most manual pumps that are carried in holders next to your frame, CO2 inflators with the cartridges are so small you can easily carry them in a seat bag, pocket or pack. So they’re ideal if you’ve got a road bike you can’t fit a pump on – or don’t want to put a pump on for whatever reason.
When you have a good CO2 inflator and know how to use it, you can fix a flat a lot faster than someone with a standard hand pump. So, CO2 is great for events and races where every second counts.
Disadvantages of CO2
For shortcomings, the CO2 cartridges are not free, and every time you run out, you need to buy more. Checking a few sources, it looks like the size to inflate a single road tire runs about $3 each.
Also, as John described, CO2 inflators can be a little trickier to use than simple hand pumps. The freezing issue he mentioned is because as the CO2 gas rushes into the tire, the gas becomes ice cold. This can freeze everything the gas touches, causing the cartridge freezing to the pump head and to metal tube valves, too.
Another issue is that the CO2’s speedy inflation can blow a tire off the rim if the tire or tube wasn’t installed correctly. For example, if you rush to fix a flat you might not quite seat the tire on the rim. A common mistake is to have a section of tube trapped beneath the tire bead.
In that scenario, if you used a CO2 to inflate the tire, the tube would likely lift the bead of the tire, expand past the tire and rim and explode spectacularly. And because the CO2 inflates so fast, it would happen so quickly you wouldn’t be able to stop it. I’ve heard the sound likened to a rifle shot.
CO2 bike tire inflation tips
Now that you know what can go wrong, here are a few tips for avoiding trouble and getting the best performance from a CO2 inflator.
In our conversation, John mentioned that he’s a long-time CO2 user, and he noted that the variety of inflators can cause problems. I’ll turn it over to him to offer a couple of tips:
“All of the inflators work differently,” he said. “I’ve had some that are not nearly as intuitive or easy to use as others. That’s why I finally settled on the easiest possible (and smallest!) chuck.
“It simply screws onto the threads of the CO2 canister. Screw it all the way in to puncture the canister top, then unscrew to let the CO2 flow out and inflate the tire. Screw back in to stop the flow. There’s no valve or anything to understand or operate.
“The key – no matter what you use – is to know exactly how to use it on the road. This takes practice using it while safely at home – even if it costs you a couple CO2 cartridges.”
Here’s an example of the type of CO2 inflator John uses, Genuine Innovations’ Microflate Nano.
I recommend buying spare cartridges so you always have some on hand and never discover you don’t have any on the morning of a big ride. Most riders who use CO2 always carry two cartridges (at least) on most rides.
To ensure that you never blow a tire off the rim with a CO2 inflator, check carefully after you’ve fixed a flat that the tube is fully tucked up inside the tire and that the beads of the tire are seated down inside the rim (the beads are the two rounded edges on both sides of the tire casing).
Freezing CO2 is more problematic when it’s cold outside. If it’s not very cold, it shouldn’t take too long for the metal parts to thaw, then you can separate them. Or wait a bit for the parts to thaw and then douse them with water from your bottle, which should be warm enough to thaw them faster.
Last tip! Since I still see spent CO2 cartridges tossed roadside – please remember after fixing a flat to tuck the empty canister away, bring it home and recycle it.
If you’re a CO2 user please share your best pros, cons and tips in the comments below.
Jeff DH says
I use a bulkier Genuine Innovations Ultraflate with 12g unthreaded BB gun cartridges – about $0.50 each at Walmart in boxes of 15. Needs a washer in the bottom of the inflator for those, but also takes threaded cartridges and has a trigger for controlling the CO2 flow, plus a trigger lock. 12g cartridge gives me enough pressure in a 700×25 tire to finish the ride, and you need to let the CO2 out and pump air back in after using anyway.
And if you lose the washer, a little gravel works as well! And the plastic body makes it easier on your hands.
I buy my 12oz cartridges from Amazon at about the same price.
Jerry Brick says
My favorite co2 inflator is a Pro Bike Tool inflator that I found on Amazon. You just screw it onto the tube,and it has a handy valve on its side that you can control how much air that enters the tube. You don’t have to press down on the priests valve like others usually are.
Kerry Irons says
Not too sound too much like a retro grouch, but man have I seen a lot of “CO2 fail” situations on the road side. Many times I’ve watched the fumbling and bumbling and then had to step in with my pump (Lezyne Road Drivethat attaches alongside the water bottle cage) to save the day. Your advice to PRACTICE could not be more spot on, but it seems to not be the norm. In Michigan we have a $0.10 bottle deposit and no thorns, so flats are a relatively rare thing, and people just don’t have the practice to know how to handle their CO2 systems.
I’ve also seen a lot CO2 fails, and the riders using CO2 don’t carry pumps, so they’re stranded…of course in today’s world they can use a cell phone and call for their mommies to come get them. I have on at least a half dozen times came across a rider who’s CO2 failed and I let them borrow my pump. There are alternatives to CO2 vs pumps and that’s a hybrid pump, these pumps combine the capability of a CO2 along with a standard pump. I think the best hybrid is the Lezyne Pressure Drive CFH, and the reason I suggest that one is because most mini pumps cannot get to 75 psi, I have the Lezyne Road Drive and it will get past 120 psi (I did that to see how far it could go) and do it in less strokes than any mini pump I’ve used trying to get to 75 or so! So I have to assume if the Road Drive can get to over 100 with less strokes than the Pressure Drive CFH should be able to perform similarly.
I have the pressure drive CFH. It’s a great pump. 200 strokes from flat to 100psi – or 10 strokes every few days to top up the pressure before a ride. Also the C02 functions perfectly and just screws into the flex hose. Used it the other day – it is really simple and easy to get right.
The freezing problem gets more serious if you change a tire in the rain. A pal ended up with the cartridge frozen to his wet fingers and palm. When it finally thawed he had large blisters. Make sure to keep your hands dry somehow, or wrap a glove or other insulator around the cartridge.
Charlie Johnson says
To help mitigate the fingers-to-cartridge freezing problem, cut a piece of inner tube and slip it over the cartridge. This also keeps the cartridges from knocking together in your saddle bag or jersey pocket.
Rick Schultz says
^ What he said!
Using a CO2 cartridge should be considered atemporary inflation fix since the CO2 leaches out of the tube within a few hours. Remember to inflate later with an air pump.
John Tonetti says
Very true! And much faster in a latex tube! I always carry a butyl tube as a spare. If I get a flat, I use the butyl tube, then change again when I get the bike home. Also, the Silca CO2 regulator is awesome!
Tom Wojcik says
agree…latex tubes pretty well need to be pumped up daily as it is, I find. Another thing about cartridges – because of the poor design of Presta valves (don’t get me started on why we should be using Schrader valves instead!), unscrewing the adapter from the valve can take the entire valve core out with it – deflating the tire as fast as the CO2 cartridge inflated it!
Ted Meisky says
You can buy cartridges a lot cheaper than the ones marketed for bike tires. I get mine from gas-depot.com. I carry a mini-pump and a cartridge. If I decide to use a cartridge (everyone else is tapping their foot, waiting for me to hurry up) I will still put a little air in the tire with the pump to make sure the tire is seated correctly. That cuts down the likelihood of blowing the tube when using the cartridge. I’ll second Jeff’s comment about letting the CO2 out of the tire and pumping it back up as soon as you can. The CO2 will bleed out much faster than regular air so you want to replace it when you get home.
Roy Halberg says
Right on. Me too. Pump enough to make sure tube is properly seated. Then follow with CO2
Ride with someone who has a pump for backup.
John Mullineaux says
I buy cartridges for paint ball competition at Wall Mart. They are large enough to get me through a 40 mile ride. I buy a box of, I think< 36. The last time I purchased them the cost worked out to about 0.50 each.
I use the Planet Bike “Red Zeppelin” inflator head as it allows me to control the flow from the cartridge.
+1 on the Planet Bike Red Zeppelin. Small, simple and effective. Also uses a foam sleeve on the cartridge to help insulate against freeze.
Genuine Innovations recently designed their co2 cartridges to only fit their co2 inflators (I found out the hard way). I buy cartridges in bulk from various manufactures. I can sometimes find them for as much as 50 cents per cartridge in bulk. If you use other than an Innovations cartridge when you screw on the cartridge to the inflation it won’t puncture the seal. When you go to release the compressed air you will hear a loud bang! (the seal is not punctured) and it most likely will damage the inflator head so it will become unusable. Also the type of co2 inflators that screw onto the presta valve will pull out the valve core when you go to unscrew the inflator (if the tube has a removeable valve core) so you have zero air in your tire. Lezyne makes a couple of co2 inflators that just press onto the presta valve. Lastly, I always pack a mini pump for back-up. Those co2 inflators are not tottally bullet proof and are known to fail. My old Colnago steel rig can accomodate a full length frame pump. As long as you have 2 arms you have air. Otherwise them blasted co2 inflators will get you on your way fast.
Roy Bloomfield says
” if you’ve got a road bike you can’t fit a pump on” … The Lezyne Road Drive attaches to all bikes (which take water bottle cages), and is lighter weight than two CO2 cartridges, AND it gives you and anyone else you come across UNLIMITED AIR! I personally don’t have a problem spending an extra minute pumping up as opposed to a CO2, and of course it eliminates the waste of used CO2 cartridges (recycling has a carbon footprint).
Rick Schultz says
I’ve seen cyclists use those small hand pumps that end up bending or breaking the presta valve.
That’s why you want a pump like the Lezyne which has a hose so the pump rests on the ground and you don’t beat up the valve with every stroke
the reason people bend the valves with those direct connect pumps is because they don’t how to brace the pump against the wheel with their thumb holding the pump and their fingers wrapping around the rim. then as you pump be mindful that you don’t “saw” the pump back and forth which in turn is making the valve move back and forth which will either break or bend the valve or tear the valve off of the tube.
I use both types of pumps (hose and direct connect) and I don’t have any issues with bending or breaking the valves.
I agree with Roy, the weight of CO2 carts is heavier than you think. In addition to all the negatives mentioned I find that a lot of cyclists discard their CO2’s on the side of the road! Isn’t that just a lovely way to recycle them? they don’t want to be bothered hauling extra dead weight I guess.
But CO2 is fast, but limits you to the amount of air as previously discussed, but there was no discussion or comments on a hybrid system like the Lezyne Pressure Drive CFH, this pump is both, CO2 and a hand pump, now you can have your cake and eat it too.
By the way, I personallydon’t use a CO2 device, I’m not racing so if I have to spend a couple of minutes pumping I doesn’t hurt me at all. Also watch out for mini pump PSI max ratings on packaging, they may say they can get to 160 psi but they can’t, in fact 99% of the pumps on the market are lucky if they can get to 75 psi, and none that I know of can get to 160, either we can’t physically do it or the pump isn’t capable. While the Lezyne Road Drive is one of the very few that can get a road tire to proper PSI, only the large version of the three sizes they make can do that. I broke a lot of pumps trying to get them to even go past 75, one (SKS Puro) never made it past 45 before it exploded the ends out! I was glad that one failed because I was already at around 300 strokes when it failed and I was tired, plus SKS replaced it with a much better one. The Lezyne Road Drive large size takes about 250 strokes to get to 110 psi which is the least of any true mini pump I’ve ever owned. There is a neat pump called the Topeak Road Morph G that can get to 110 psi easily in about 140 strokes, but it’s not a true mini, more like a half frame pump, but it’s ungainly looking, and the mounting system is poor allowing it to move on the frame as you ride. The other pump I have that can get to 110 psi but takes about 300 strokes to do so is the Topeak Race Rocket HP, (I have a SKS Wese Raceday Carbon that can reach 110 in about 350 strokes but it’s no longer made, and the newer SKS models are not capable pumps); I have a friend who has a Zefal Air Profil LL Mini pump, and it to can get to 110 but it’s also about 300 strokes to do so. Those stroke counts are based on 700 x 23c tires.
John Tonetti says
… and if you’re using latex tubes, carry a butyl tube for your spare. CO2 is less dense than “air”, so a latex tube will go soft much faster if you use CO2 for inflation.
Kerry Irons says
No, CO2 is not less dense than air. In fact, it is 52% denser. But density has nothing to do with how fast tires go soft with CO2. Both butyl and latex tubes are more permeable to CO2 than to air (nitrogen and oxygen) and this is why tires go soft faster with a CO2 charge compared to those pumped up with air.
tony m says
I only carried a CO2 inflator (and one cartrdige) for years. Then I got two flats on one ride. After dealing with my wife (who had to pick me up), I bought a Lezyne road drive. It’s really small but does a great job. If I’m riding solo, I’ll use the pump. If I’m with a group, I use the CO2 (so that I don’t hold up the group).
As for cartridges, the threadless kinds are always cheaper (and the ones people usually get at Walmart). Threaded cartridges are more expensive. I NEVER buy bicycle-specific CO2 cartrdiges, as they are way over-priced. I usually buy a box of 50 12g cartridges from a kitchen supply website; that usually costs about $30. I try to sell 30 of them to my cycling friends for $1 a piece (which is still way cheaper than anywhere else), so I get 20 cartridges for free. Lasts me at least a few years.
Bill Kennedy says
1. Practice! Practice! Practice! spend time in your warm dry indoors with your inflator so you can do it easily in the cold and rain. Your riding buddies will appreciate it. If you buy cartridges in bulk like others have suggested, it will be less painful on your wallet.
2. CO2 will leak out. Plan to air up your tires before your next ride. If you’re really anal like me, let the CO2 out and refill with air.
I carry a Microflate Nano on all three of my bikes, but fortunately seldom have the need to use it. And like Charlie Johnson, I carry my cartridges inside a piece of old inner tube so that I don’t freeze my fingers during inflation. Everyone should be aware that unlike air, CO2 is permeable in tire tubes so that the next morning a CO2-inflated tube will be pretty soft.
More importantly, today many riders use Stans or some other sealant inside their tube or tubeless tires – I’d like a few comments on compatibility of CO2 cartridge inflation and Stans.
Roy Bloomfield says
Maybe you meant to title this article: “TIPS FOR USING CO2 INFLATORS” ? (CO2 cartridges don’t “pump”)
Steve Sauser says
One mistake I’ve seen is for the rider to attach the cartridge to it’s inflator first and then start removing the tire and tube while the gas is slowly hissing away. Don’t puncture the cartridge until you are to re-inflate the tube.
John Klever says
While ungainly with a poor mounting system, my Topeak Road Morph G has always allowed me to pump my tires to 90 psi in 150 rather painless strokes. CO2 cartridges seem redundant when a pump is always needed for a backup. If I had a flat during a timed ride, I would just subtract the time spent to fix it from my overall time. If my riding partners want to leave me because it takes me too long to fix a flat, I can always find my way home. If I am making money racing, there is aid at hand which obviates the need to fix a flat.
Mark Follmer says
+1 on the Road Morph!
I don’t know. After changing a tube in the dark when its cold, raining and you’ve been riding for 18 hours – being able to use a CO2 cartridge even when you have a pump for backup can be pretty appealing.
A little trick I was taught when I first started using a CO2 inflator deals with getting a small bit of air into the tube so it will hold some shape before putting it inside the tire on the rim. In the past, that could be easily done with one’s manual pump. Because of the high pressure of a CO2 pump, just putting a little air in a tube is nearly impossible. And trying to install a completely flat tube into a tire is also nearly impossible and also begs for the tube to be improperly seated inside the tire. The solution is very simple. Open the tube’s valve, stick it in your mouth and blow, then take it out and close the valve. There will be enough air in it to hold shape so that you can then properly insert it into the tire before inflating.
Jim K. says
That’s not being anal; it is being sensible. I deflate and then inflate with my floor pump as soon as I get home.
Dog Bait Doug says
I also use a Genuine Innovations Ultraflate since it insulates your hand from the cold cartridge and the valve is nice in that you can “pulse” a little CO2 in at a time to inflate the tire in a more controlled manner. Also, I learned to hold the nozzle pointing up (tire valve down) so that you are filling the tire with the CO2 gas and not the liquid. Less freezing!
The fact that a CO2 filled tire will go flat quickly always puzzled me. I knew enough about chemistry to know that CO2 is about 1.67 times denser than air so it is not “leaking” out of the tube. So I asked a chemist friend who happens to work at Michelin what was at work with the CO2 tire going flat so fast. They said that the rubber compounds in the tubes have an affinity for CO2 so that the rubber is actually absorbing the CO2. Interestingly Nitrogen is about 3% lighter than air but is the ideal tire gas. It is inert with the rubber, changes density less with temperature changes, and because no Oxygen is present, the rubber will not oxidize and break down as quickly. And rubber does not absorb it so there is less need to check tire pressure. That’s why I use Nitrogen in my car tires. 🙂
Brian Nystrom says
After seeing many instances of people exploding their new tubes and/or running out of cartridges when using CO2 inflators, I’m glad that I was never tempted to stray from carrying a pump. I haven’t raced in a long time and simply can’t see any point in using a disposable product with limited capability for non-competitive riding. Although I rarely flat (I use sealant in all of my bike tires), I’m called upon to fix flats for others periodically (I can typically do it faster than most riders, due to my bike shop experience). The pump never fails to get the job done.
I use a couple of different pumps, depending on the size of the tires involved. For road bikes, I generally carry a Lezyne Road Drive. For Cross/Gravel and MTB tires, I carry a crank Brothers Power Pump that fills the higher volume, lower pressure tires quicker. It works well on the road too, if you start with the high volume mode, then switch to the high pressure mode as necessary. I don’t run high pressures in my road tires, but if you’re the 110-120 psi type, you may need to try a few pumps to find one that will provide that kind of pressure.
David Wissmar says
Aloha. I live above the Ironman course, I volunteered, as I was hiking picking up trash, they had put up porta potties, and old fashioned garage air pumps. The next year I took a original steel Trek, to cape cod, it had two Ironman water bottles on it and a frame mounted pump. I wore my old dog tags, outside my American flag jersey. I have my blood type and NKA written on my helmet. I found a small crowd looking at my bike but when I went to unlock, everyone got out of my way.
I realize this is a old article but reviewing some of the comments I’m amazed that many are buying CO2 cartridges in bulk. Where do they ride to get so many flats? I may get one flat a year riding around 5000 miles. CO2 makes little sense since some of the newer pumps work very well and only add around 3 minutes to a flat repair.
Jim K says
I didn’t get very many flats in New England (in a couple decades), but when I moved to the desert Southwest (SoCal), it was a different story. The primary culprit is thorns. What’s even worse, is that they are really tiny and hard to see (in New England it was nails or glass). It’s very common for people to change a flat, not see anything in the tire, and then get another flat… ad infinitum. On the other hand, I don’t have to worry about snow, ice, and cold!
If I could wave a magic wand to fix any flats I’d have I’d use that instead of the CO2 and/or pump I carry. Anything to avoid doing what needs to be done to fix flats, 3 minutes or whatever. As it is, now I have tubeless with the tire sealant and a few DART units (the BEST way to seal a tubeless with a large hole), though I’m still trying to psych myself up to leave the emergency tube home. Anything to get back on the road again, the sooner and easier/the better.
Bob Myers says
I was having problems with too many flats riding around Chicago on city streets. More tires tended to pickup the little steel wires left from the truck tire recaps. Went tubeless with latex sealant and problem solved!
Brandon Bilyeu says
The only use I have for CO2 is force carbonating home brew beer. For the bike I use a pump . . . manual pumping to inflate is more calories burned and this means more beer!
Rick Schultz says
John Marsh, 2 solutions for your friend,
1) If your rider is really experienced, why does he not have a team mechanic following him in a car? haha
2) Go tubeless!
Seth Shaw says
David K says
I wrap one of my spare CO2 cartridges in duct tape and it has two benefits: 1) It won’t clink against the 2nd CO2 cartridge. 2) The duct tape comes in handy for numerous quick repairs (temporary tire boot, tying off broken spoke, etc.).
Amen to comments regarding the slow release of the CO2 into the tire. It will keep the temperature down and avoid freezing issues. Most ‘gravel tires’ are now over 40mm and would require enough time for a good movie when using the little pumps typically carried these days. I get them up to size with a canister quickly and let them finish with a pump if needed so we can actually make it home at a decent hour… That said, when we go into the hills for a big ride there’s always at least one full size frame pump to insure our return! Thank goodness for tubeless and the few issues that ever occur.
I did a cross country tour several years ago (L.A. to Boston). We rode the Interstate shoulders out West which resulted in many flat tires from the blown truck tire radial wires. My, now 50 year-old, Silca frame pump was very popular.
Dan Waiswilos says
I don’t flat often, but when I do, I have a Silca Tacatta mini pump that, while expensive, works very well due in part to it’s flexible hose . The hose stores inside the barrel of the pump when not in use, so it can’t be lost as I had done on the last pump I owned. I find it takes about 160-180 strokes to get 100 psi in a700x28 road tire, however it’s far easier with less contortion than a mini rigid pump. IMO Silca products I have owned and used are worth the extra money because they are made to last and work as advertised . The Silca track floor pump I have is about forty years old and better than the brand. new floor pumps with the high zoom names. The customer service at Silca is amazing . I called to replace the chuck
on said track pump and the rep told me “no need, I’ll send you a new gasket /seal for a couple of bucks”. Wow, that would not have happened at the big name companies!
I think your comments are wrong about the Silca Tattico pump, which you misspelled! First off according to reviews it took 246 strokes to get to only 40 psi! The Lezyne Road Drive (in the large size) only takes 200 strokes to get to 100 psi, and it also uses a hose connection which a lot of pumps are moving to. Here is a forum discussing the Lezyne, see post #2: https://forums.roadbikereview.com/general-cycling-discussion/lezyne-road-drive-pump-191734.html His post echos my experience with my Road Drive large which I’ve had for about 6 or 7 years. And this is a review on the Silca Tattico: https://ridinggravel.com/accessories/silca-tattico-bluetooth-mini-pump-quick-review/
The Silca Tattico is substantially heavier than the Lezyne Road Drive as well. The Road Drive’s only drawback it that there is no built in psi gauge UNLESS you get the Road Drive Digital…OR…you buy another air hose that come with a inline PSI gauge called the ABS Pen gauge from Lezyne and replace the one in the standard Road Drive; either way it would still be cheaper than paying $120 for the Silca, the Lezyne digital is at $75, the regular Road Drive is at $49 plus $26 for the pen gauge.
I have been cycling for about 12 years and watched fellow cyclists struggle with using a pressure fit type chuck for their cartridges. When I went shopping for mine, I found a chuck that threads onto the tube stem. It has a valve for regulating the CO2 flow and also comes with a foam sleeve for the cartridge to keep your fingers from freezing. The valve allows me to pop a little CO2 into the tube to ensure the tire seats well. While I don’t get many flats, this has never failed me.
This is my newest CO2 gadget. It’s small and bulletproof.
Though I totally agree with you, for me personally I find this issue only kicks in after riding 19 hours so I can see I”m still safe.
One thing not mentioned (unless my failure to read all the comments resulted in a misapplied idea) is that when using CO2 to fill tubeless tires that have tire sealant in them, you should make sure the tire valve is in the 12 o’clock position for a few minutes to allow the sealant time to settle in the 6 o’clock position and apply the CO2 slowly, to reduce the freeze affect. This way you won’t have to worry (as much) about the sealant beading up and losing its functionality.
I’ve had some residual CO2 in the cartridge when removing it from the head, if you remove it fast enough it could shoot the head off so just unscrew it slowly and let the gas release when separating them.
It is very new tools. I love the tools. I will buy a new one. Thank you for the post.
I get free air anytime I want, and as much as I want, without spending time and gas to get more, without paying taxes to use it, and without wasting resources.
Ahmad Diab says
I want to share an experience. I went on a ride in Dubai Summer in August, temperature outside was over 40 degrees. I had a puncture, replaced the tube, and checked the tyre, removed the needle which caused the puncture and was sure there are no more caused for puncture. I used the co2 and the tyre was inflating properly towards the end of the co2 cartridge when the valve froze the tube leaked all air very quickly! We assumed the tube was bad, replaced it with another tube -even different brand- rechecked the tyre if anything was still inside, and the same thing happened again! We took another tube and hand pump from another rider and all went fine. Towards end of ride my friends bike punctured, we used co2 and the same thing exactly happened! Im expecting that the co2 cold air going inside a hot tyre in a very hot weather caused the tube to become fragile and leak air. Anyone experienced something similar?
Yeah, I’m guessing you were using a Schrader valve. In my experience, you need to be careful not to allow liquid CO2 to flow through the valve, otherwise it won’t re-seat properly. That means using the inflator with the cartridge in a roughly upright position and waiting for the CO2 to boil into the tube. If you don’t do this and are lucky the valve will leak slowly for a while and then stop. If you’re not lucky the tire will be flat again before the valve seats. I don’t think temperature matters but FWIW that was in 20-30C.
I’ve been dumping liquid CO2 through presta valves for a couple months now. First into tubes and now the removable core tubeless valves. I dump the liquid through every time cause it’s faster and I have yet to experience any problems.
If you went tubeless you might not even need CO2. Today I went on a road that I knew was covered in goat head vines. I got 30 or 40 thorns in each tire, then turned around and rode back through it again. I was losing pressure badly and right as i stopped to add air the front tire popped off the bead with a soft bang. Surprisingly I re-seated it on the first try with my frame pump. Tired of pumping, I used a CO2 on the back.
The ride continued with more thorns and I used a 2nd CO2 on the back tire right as I got off the bad section and was almost home. Both tires were hard when I released the CO2 to reinflate them later. Note that I never had to remove the wheels!
The bike came with tubes but 22 punctures in the first 210 miles drove me tubeless.
When i lived in Arizona i commuted 2.4 miles on a bike. Summer high temps break 45C and for two or three weeks in July I’d be on the verge of vomiting when I got home. I can’t comprehend how you’re doing that for fun but more importantly being stranded with a flat could be life threatening.
Be safe and have a great ride!