Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thrifty Thrashing Tip #2: Inflate by Hand

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As Phil mentioned in the comments on last week's post, CO2 canisters are expensive!

Using CO2 every tire you fill a tube out on the trail adds at least 3 extra dollars per tire. Most single-use canisters cost even more than that. If you flat a lot, that can spell big $$ over time.

Of course, CO2 is fast. If you are in a race situation, it definitely makes sense!

But if you're out just riding for fun and are trying to thrash thriftily, inflate your next spare tube using a hand pump. Not only are hand pumps infinitely cheaper, but they are more reliable. CO2 canisters run out, but you have an infinite amount of air from your hand pump if you are just willing to sweat a little bit.

The next time you have to change a flat on the trail, inflate it by hand!

Your Turn: Do you use CO2 or a hand pump?


JB,  July 6, 2011 at 9:50 AM  

Both. It all depends on how tired I am when the flat occurs. If im on my 20th mile CO2 it is. If its relatively early in my ride, hand pump all the way.

Gaylen,  July 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM  

I use both, BTW a good way to get cheaper CO2 cartridges, is to buy an inflator that is threadless, and then go to the local gun / sporting goods store and look into the airsoft areas. and they usually have the small cartridges that you can buy. I think the last time I bought they were about 6 for ~ $1.5. So, not too, shabby for road tires, for MTB it takes a couple of cartridges for each flast.

Matthew,  July 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM  

I had a handpump on my old bike mounted on the bottle brazons but the new bike does not have them. I have not figured out how to add the pump. I might just go with CO2 in the bag.

Greg Heil July 8, 2011 at 7:26 AM  

@JB, sounds like a good plan!

@Gaylen, thanks for the additional tip!

@Matthew, could always just throw the hand pump in the pack... ;)

KenInCa July 19, 2011 at 2:04 AM  

Hi Greg, nice site. I have a mini hand pump, small and never runs out of air ;), but if I am required to pump a mountain bike, it takes up to 50 or 60 pumps of that little thing. grrrr. I just saw the CO2 hand pump combo for about the same price I paid for my pump, around $23 bucks, made by serfas... maybe you can do a product review... hint, hint ;)

Greg Heil July 21, 2011 at 7:01 PM  

Thanks ken! CO2 is so fast, and while it may only cost $23 up front it's $3 or so for every tube you fill. As for a review, I have a small blackburn co2 pump that takes unthreaded canisters that has worked well the one time I used it.

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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