You are out riding and you hear that tell tale hisssssss or maybe you are find it harder to get any distance. You stop, and find you have a flat tire. You make the necessary repair and it is time to re-inflate your tube. You can inflate your inner tube with a CO2 inflator or a tire pump. Frame pumps are smaller and lighter in weight than floor pumps and are designed for emergency repairs. A floor pump is the recommend tool of choice for your regular tire inflation.
The CO2 inflator and frame pump have their pros and cons, and you will find this discussion on several bike forums.
The CO2 inflators we offer use 12g or 16g cartridges. While a 12g cartridge is sufficient for a road tire it will barely get you to the half way point for a mountain tire. You would need a couple of 12g cartridges. The 16g cartridge is better, it would bring your hybrid touring or cross tire to rideable levels. That said, a CO2 inflator offers a fast way to get back on the road-it can take about 30 seconds. The inflators and cartridges are small and lightweight.
However, cartridges are single use, you will need to revisit your favorite bicycle shop, (we stock the 16g threaded cartridges), to replenish your supply. If you have one of those seasons when you get a lot of flats your costs can add up. Also, CO2 dissipates very quickly through the rubber -you will lose about half of your tire pressure by the next day. So, when you get home you will want to let the CO2 out of the tire and re-inflate the tire with regular air.
Frame pumps come in many styles and shapes. The smallest can fit in a jersey pocket or bike bag. They are environmentally friendly-you attach the pump head to the valve on your inner tube to re-inflate the tire. The frame pumps we stock are duo action, so once attached you are putting air in the tire on the up and down strokes. Several pump models have built in gauges so you would be able to inflate the tire to its recommended pressure without guessing. Many frame pumps are designed to be mounted on the bicycle using the water bottle mounts or they are spring loaded to fit along one of the bicycle main tubes.
The main complaint about frame pumps is the amount of strokes required to re-inflate the tire-especially a road tire. It is due to the need of making multiple strokes with the pump that you want to support the valve of the inner tube with your hand or fingers when using the pump or you can risk cutting the stem of the valve.
What ever your inflation decision we have you covered.
Pictured are the Crank Brothers Sterling SG, Park Tool PMP-5, Topeak Mini Duo DXG, and the Planet Bike Micromite