Portable Inflation

Tony S

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When on the MTB I just carry a pump in my Camelbak. All good.

On the road bike, running tubes, I have long carried a couple of CO2 cartridges in my saddle bag along with a tiny widget inflator. Last time I got a flat - which honestly was probably five years ago - this worked pretty well.

Yesterday my tower of confidence came crashing down when I got a flat and ended up on the side of the road twenty miles from home with two empty cartridges and a tire that was still flat. Basically I suspect the widget's seals all dried out.

I don't think I want a pump in my frame, for aesthetic reasons, but I'm open to argument. Tubeless is another option, I suppose - been running my MTB tubeless forever - but until now it has seemed not worth the hassle. Plus you STILL need air in case of an issue.

So, do people have a favorite CO2 inflator widget that is reasonably light and small?
 

Tom K.

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I'm not sure why any other system exists -- other than making things more expensive than necessary.

Twist it on completely. Twist it off a quarter turn and CO2 begins flowing. Not a single moving part.

I've got a green one from GI and a red one (of course!) from SRAM. Neither have ever let me down -- though with tubeless, they sure get a lot less exercise than they used to!
 

luliski

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I went through a phase where I seemed to flat on every ride, sometimes twice a ride. So I’ve changed a lot of tubes. This is my favorite widget (didn’t know that’s what they were called):
2F294F34-E738-4439-8AA3-65DD1F8137BB.jpeg

The thing I really like about it is that threading it further onto the CO2 controls the flow. I always had trouble with the ones where just pressing the two pieces together (after threading) controlled flow.
I used to carry a small pump, but don’t now. Some people just carry a pump in a jersey pocket.
 

princo

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I have a "Genuine Innovations SecondWind Road" Mini CO2 inflator/pump that I tuck next to the bottle cage on multi day rides just in case. It's a 2-in-1 combo of a mini pump and CO2 head. It's barely noticeable (about the length of the cage) and doesn't weight much. Looks like it was discontinued, but you can still find it in Amazon.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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I went through a phase where I seemed to flat on every ride, sometimes twice a ride. So I’ve changed a lot of tubes. This is my favorite widget (didn’t know that’s what they were called): View attachment 103108
The thing I really like about it is that threading it further onto the CO2 controls the flow. I always had trouble with the ones where just pressing the two pieces together (after threading) controlled flow.
I used to carry a small pump, but don’t now. Some people just carry a pump in a jersey pocket.
Appears to be the same one @Tom K. likes.
 

Ski&ride

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I carry a pump on the frame (Topeka road morph). There’re others, equally capable pumps too. But if you don’t want to carry a pump on the frame, I don’t know what to say.

What I should have, is a patch kit. From my double flat of 2 weeks ago, I now carry 2 spare tubes.

I used to bike tour. So I carry the kitchen sink with me on the bike. Surprisingly, most people don’t notice, until they got into a jam and my assorted tools and spare parts came out to get them back on the road again. My bike, back in those days, have several small bags strategically positioned (large saddle bag, tiny handlebar bag, tiny frame triangle bag, jersey pockets of course). Though it’s been a long time I toured. So my spare part/tools stash got left back in the garage. Only the “standard” minimalist tool/parts I carry like everyone else. But with the risk of social distancing during this timeframe, I’m putting a lot of them back onto the bike.
 

coskigirl

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I got stranded 30 miles from home when I burned through 3 CO2 cartridges and still was only partially inflated. I hobbled into the nearest town but the bike shop was closed to watch the Pro Cycling Challenge. Friends didn’t answer their phones. I literally sat on a curb until I saw a guy put a bike in a car and asked him if he had a pump. He did and I made it up to see the Challenge arriving about 30 seconds before they passed. I bought a frame pump before my next ride.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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Well, I've now advanced to breaking chains - something I've never done in five decades, on and off, of cycling - so all good on the inflator topic, if not on Weight Watchers. Sheesh.
 

Ski&ride

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Well, I've now advanced to breaking chains - something I've never done in five decades, on and off, of cycling - so all good on the inflator topic, if not on Weight Watchers. Sheesh.
Mini-tool, make sure it has a chain tool.

If you want to be another step above, carry a spare link like the “power link” (several different names by various chain makers)

That said, some argue broken chain is a sign of bike maintenance, not something that should happen on the road. On the other hand, I counter these days the new fangle 11/12 speed chains are so narrow they’re more likely to break.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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Mini-tool, make sure it has a chain tool.

If you want to be another step above, carry a spare link like the “power link” (several different names by various chain makers)

That said, some argue broken chain is a sign of bike maintenance, not something that should happen on the road.
Yeah, well, like I said, not my first rodeo. I wasn't looking for newbie guidance - though thanks for the thought - just reflecting on life. (I was wrenching in shops as a college kid forty years ago this summer, so I know some basics.)
 

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