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Wednesday, December 2

If your air is gone and you wanna ride on, propane.

On to the oh so exciting and long awaited CO2 VS Propane shootout...

When I told Marty at Genuine Innovations that I'd never actually had to use one of the Big Air refill cylinders in the heat of the moment (or out of it) he told me he would get me a couple extra to play with. I hadn't actually used one of the Niner cartridges either, but I've had plenty of experience with their similar CO2 brethren to be comfortable with its usage. He explained the main difference (other than the type of gas in each one) was the amount of "punch" that each one delivered. The CO2 inside the Niner cartridge is under a much higher pressure than the propane in the Big Air.

Since I had to mount up the Kodiak tire, and I don't have an air compressor at the house I decided to experiment with a couple of my new toys. Yes, I do think about the waste involved in blowing a CO2 at home when there is a gas station with an air compressor two miles from my house, but then I start thinking about the gas I use getting there and back, the gas I'll use running home to get something I forgot, the electricity used to produce the air (and the coal burned to make the electricity)... tubeless is such an environmental nightmare. FYI: I always try to use a floor pump to air up my tires, but 50% of the times I've tried it only worked 10% of the time.

First up was the Niner CO2 cartridge. I was also using the new to me Air Chuck SL as I was already familiar with its simpler cousin, the Microflate Nano. After dumping in the large amount of Stan's liquid I thought would be necessary into the Kodiak I put all the pieces together and went at it. The Kodiak (that wouldn't respond to pump to valve resuscitation) plumped right up and the beads went right into place with a resounding POP! Happiness.

Up next...

If you wanna hang out you've got to take her out, propane.

I went ahead and mounted the same Air Chuck SL inflator since it was so much fun to use the first time. Since the Kodiak was already aired up I decided to mount up the not so good for a front tire but maybe it will rock on the rear Continental 2.4 Mountain King. Of course I tried to use a floor pump first, and of course I failed, so in the interest of science I continued with the Big Air. This time when I started the tire did not plump up to life quite so quickly, and the tire beads failed to lock into place. It was a failure, so I tried one more to make sure that the problem wasn't me. Failure number two.

For all intensive purposes I was using the Big Air for a purpose it wasn't intended for by its creator. Funny word, purpose... does a porpoise have a purpose? What purpose does a porpoise serve? Sorry, what was I talking about?

Had the beads already been in place, or if I was inflating a tube after a repair I woulda been fine. At least I got to see what Marty meant by "more punch" when he referred to the Niner cartridge's inflating power. Even though the Niner cartridge weighs more than the Big Air I think I'm gonna stick with it based on the fact that it just seemed to inflate the hell outta the tire in a very quick manner. I realize that my experiment has very little value in the real world of emergent race condition flat repair, but it was enough to base my flimsy opinion on at this time.

As far as which inflator I carry next year I'm still at a loss. The Microflate Nano has no moving parts and is quite easy to use while the Air Chuck SL looks cooler and worked just as well in the extreme conditions in my bike room (68 degrees and 52% humidity). Guess I'll figure that out later using the Eenie Meenie Minie Moe principle.

BTW:

Only 135 spots left for the 2010 Breck Epic. Don't you wanna impress the pants of your neighbors next fall when they see you raking leaves in your ultra manly Breck Epic all-mountain version full-on tech tee?

You know you want one...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Careful those idioms and malapropisms: the expression is "all intents and porpoises".

Stay dry.

Advocat

dicky said...

No, intensive purposes. Like intense racing situations or non no-drop policy (drop policy?) group rides.

Tim said...

I have found when using a floor pump to seal up the tubeless tire on the rim can be made much easier by removing the valve core from the valve. So far I'm batting a thousand when I do it that way.
TimmyD

jkeiffer said...

I'm going to try C02's next time I futz with tubeless mounting. (and maybe Tim's suggestion)

George said...

We used to have some of the Niner cartridges, until someone tried to get on a plane to Durango with them in their carry on....

dicky said...

I do remove the cores.

Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.

When I use CO2 I always let it out after the beads seat. I heard a rabbit tell me that CO2 and Stan's goop don't play well together.

Big Dave said...

Mike Broderick taught me how to "spank the tire" to get it inflated with a tire pump. It's easier to spank the tire with a partner. Have you tried it?

dicky said...

I usually ask my wife to help me with that.