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It's me again, you know the guy that got the flat 3 miles from home with no seat bag, or cell phone. So, I went to the LBS to rectify the situation. Then when I was gearing up, I was faced with the decision? Any opinions on what to do?

BTW, I changed my flat today when I got home from work. Bike s ready to go again! Anxious for a full post surgery ride!
 

· Two scoops of inertia.
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I'll make life easy for you: both.

One's inherrently fast, one's inherrently reliable. There's a time for either. One of the guys at my LBS explained you have to reinflate a tube with air after using CO2 once you get home because it deteriorates the rubber. I can't verify that, but I don't have his experience.

---I'll also say that I rely on a Blackburn frame pump. It may not be the best thing out (even with the carbon trim), but it has served me well. At the same time you should be investing in a good floor pump if you don't have one already.
 

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CO2 experience

kxdub said:
It's me again, you know the guy that got the flat 3 miles from home with no seat bag, or cell phone. So, I went to the LBS to rectify the situation. Then when I was gearing up, I was faced with the decision? Any opinions on what to do?

BTW, I changed my flat today when I got home from work. Bike s ready to go again! Anxious for a full post surgery ride!
I've only used CO2 once, and it seemed to work fine. That said, if I had a dollar for every CO2 user I've seen along side the road who needed help from me and my frame pump, I wouldn't have to be patching tubes :) YMMV
 

· Cat 6 rider
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Mini pump, especially if you're a newbie. There are two many mistakes you can make with CO2, holding it wrong and filling the tube with liquid CO2 instead of gas, bringing the wrong size cartridge (done that), filling fat tires before mounting the wheel that won't fit through even open brakes (done that more than once), getting a 'dud' CO2 cart (had that happen), pinching a tube and having to deflate it and running out of CO2, and probably others I haven't thought of.
A mini pump is hard to get any real pressure out of, and you have to pump it six zillion times, but you can get enough air in the tire to get you home, and if you make a mistake there's lots more where that came from.
 

· I ride in circles..
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Tell you what.. I have the Crank Brothers power pump with guage.. It has the high and low pressure setting. Pumping up with high to start and finishing with the low setting you can really fill your tires up. Sure it takes a while but you can get the same pressure in the tire as you can with a floor pump. I just got one of the new Park mini pumps for the road though.. Curious to see how quickly I can inflate with this one..
 

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Dr. Placebo said:
I'll make life easy for you: both.

One's inherrently fast, one's inherrently reliable. There's a time for either. One of the guys at my LBS explained you have to reinflate a tube with air after using CO2 once you get home because it deteriorates the rubber. I can't verify that, but I don't have his experience.

---I'll also say that I rely on a Blackburn frame pump. It may not be the best thing out (even with the carbon trim), but it has served me well. At the same time you should be investing in a good floor pump if you don't have one already.
Actually, the reason you need to reinflate with air after using CO2 is because the molecules of CO2 are smaller than air and will eventually leak out through the valve.

p.s. I carry a hand pump and CO2 and have used both.
 

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Wrong reasons

Actually, the reason you need to reinflate with air after using CO2 is because the molecules of CO2 are smaller than air and will eventually leak out through the valve.
Actually, CO2 is a bigger molecule than O2 or N2, so that is not the reason, nor is it vavle leakage that is the issue. Butyl rubber is more permeable to CO2, and so a tire filled with CO2 will lose pressure faster than one filled with air because the CO2 diffuses faster through the inner tube.
 

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Mini pump, on a bracket mounted to the bike frame.
Put your spare tube, two tire levers, multi tool and patch kit in a small seat bag.

With the repair tools on the bike, you can not forget them. Make it an iron-clad rule to replace tubes and patches you use from your kit when you get home. Keep a stash of tubes and patches at home with your bike repair tools.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Both. I always carry both. When I flat I'll always use the C02 first. In the past C02 has failed me on more than 1 occassion. I don't feel comfortable relying on it, so I carry a mini pump as well. I can get the tire up to pressure with the mini, although it takes a lot of pumps. At least I know I can get home that way. It's a backup system.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Actually, CO2 is a bigger molecule than O2 or N2, so that is not the reason, nor is it vavle leakage that is the issue. Butyl rubber is more permeable to CO2, and so a tire filled with CO2 will lose pressure faster than one filled with air because the CO2 diffuses faster through the inner tube.
Actually, C-O bonds are much stronger than O-O or N-N bonds, so they may be so short that the N2 (the primary component of air) is actually bigger than the CO2. However, it's not a large difference. Butyl rubber is more permeable to CO2 because the molecules are smaller.
 

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California L33 said:
Mini pump, especially if you're a newbie. There are two many mistakes you can make with CO2, holding it wrong and filling the tube with liquid CO2 instead of gas, bringing the wrong size cartridge (done that), filling fat tires before mounting the wheel that won't fit through even open brakes (done that more than once), getting a 'dud' CO2 cart (had that happen), pinching a tube and having to deflate it and running out of CO2, and probably others I haven't thought of.
If you can't figure out how to use a CO2 inlator you probably shouldn't be riding a bike, or even dressing yourself for that matter.
 

· Shirtcocker
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Kerry Irons said:
I've only used CO2 once, and it seemed to work fine. That said, if I had a dollar for every CO2 user I've seen along side the road who needed help from me and my frame pump, I wouldn't have to be patching tubes :) YMMV
+1...Zefal XPX and forgetaboutit. If you're racing Co2 is probably the better choice, but other than that? Nah. I wish I had a nickel for every person I was riding with that asked to use my Zefal rather than have to use their mini pump.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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I carry a frame pump at all times. It's easily swapped between my bikes, and is just much easier and more efficient than a mini pump. I usually have C02 as well so I don't hold people up on a group ride. But if I have the time I'll use the frame pump. It's never let me down. Unlike C02..
 

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You know there are valid reasons for either and both.
And the correct answer is use what you are comfortable with. For a newish rider, I suppose I would suggest a frame pump, as you really can't mess it up (other than what I mention below). Eventually, I would suggest trying both - as neither constitute a major investment - and then decide for yourself what you like best.

Yes, with CO2 you should empty and refill with home track pump. I certainly won't argue the chemical makeups and molecular size, as I have no clue, other than the tubes do not hold CO2 very well over a couple of days.

For me, I just use CO2 now. I have several frame pumps, but no longer use them on my primary rides.
The reason is simple: A couple of years ago I had a streak where I broke several valve stems with the frame pump's pumping action. Either a bad batch of tube/valves, or valves were just getting cheaper. Almost was stranded on one occasion too, because of it.
But even with CO2, I do carry a backup: a schrader to presta adaptor. So any gas station pump is now in play too.

HTH
zac
 

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On one organized ride I saw a guy blow 2 tubes at the starting area using CO2. With the accompanying gunshot sound I am guessing there is no way those are going to hold a patch. However, there were probably 1,000 rides within spitting distance and another 4,000 nearby. That means there are a few thousand pumps and tubes you could beg off someone. There were also 2 bike shops within a few hundred feet.

I have also personally ripped quite a few stems with my mini pump. Though they now have pumps with a small hose on them to fix that problem (topeak morph I think it is called) I am sure it is heavier and more expensive but is bound to save you a few tubes. I have also ripped stems out with my floor pump so maybe I am not a good example.

My verdict is with a pump and a patch kit you could get home having got as many as 10 or so flats (more with more patches). CO2 is good for about 2 tubes. So if you do 24 hr solo rides I would go with a pump. If you normally ride with others CO2 should be all you need. But expect some flak when you need to borrow your buddies pump.
 

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I prefer CO2, its simple quick fix, it gets the job done. I've never been a fan of frame pumps...I know cyclist with well over 35-40 years of experience (and owner of a LBS) who had his frame pump fall off and get stuck in his rear wheels spokes. Yeah it took many months before he could walk again. For some reason I fret when I see those frame pumps...
 
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