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  1. #1
    swag ho Administrator
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    Do you have a compressor for airing up tires?

    Ok, I inflate a lot of tires. As I've played with tubeless, I found the need to use a compressor. There are a lot of techniques to be learned when inflating tubeless. But the two most valuable ones are: get a compressor, remove the valve core.

    So I got Little boy here from Walmart at $100. It done there did the job. I could carry it around and it could air up here and there. I think Little Boy is a 2 gallon tank with 1/2 HP. It did the job for a while but then I started going all tubeless. I even do tubeless road and tubeless cyclocross. And alas, Little Boy had some weaknesses that were exposed.
    - i did not have a proper valve switch to release air quickly. I just opened up the knob.
    - the hose was too short.
    - the tank was small and it would run out of air before the tubeless seated.
    - the motor was small and could not keep up. I would need to pause and wait for it to refill. Eventually, the motor would overheat and need 10 minutes to cool.
    - I couldn't really air up my car tires easily
    From 11-17-2008 Palo Alto


    So I scanned craigslist for days for 'Craftsman Compressor'. There's a ton out there and you just have to wait for a great deal. I got a hit at $100, 25 gallon, 4 HP and 50 foot hose. Little Boy, meet Fat Man.
    From 11-17-2008 Palo Alto


    Welcome to the big leagues. Yeah, this is thing is large, loud and proud. I just needed a proper valve inflator and a google search turned up the Prestaflator for $40. The compressor and the Prestaflator are incredible. It holds so much air that I can shoot at 100+ psi for a minute.
    From 11-17-2008 Palo Alto


    From 11-17-2008 Palo Alto


    Everything is perfect. Too good in fact that I can air up bad rim and tire combinations easily. But a little common sense can be exercised here. One thing really cool is with tubeless, you really have to get at a high psi sometimes to seat the tire, then bring it back down. With Fat Man here, it's a non-issue.

    So there, I share this so I may save you hours and maybe dollars as well. Use craigslist get those 'used once' compressors from wannabe handymen.

    This compressor gun is cool too for cleaning all the hard to reach places.

    BTW, airing up tubeless with a floor pump is like lighting a fire without a match. It can certainly be done... usually, sometimes, if conditions are right .

    fc

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    nice setup, fc!

    I am still on tubes (change tires too often )..and when I did run tubeless I was lucky enough to have a gas station around the block to mount the tires...

  3. #3
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    I have the same little compressor, rebadged as coleman. I say you're probably spot on with the reviews. I need to upgrade to a bigger compressor.

  4. #4
    Interlectchewal
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    This compressor gun is cool too for cleaning all the hard to reach places.
    fc
    Overshare!

    Seriously, nice suggestion and write-up.

  5. #5
    swag ho Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    Aahah, now that is funny .

    Thank you for setting up my day on the right foot . Now if I can just erase that mental picture...

    fc

  6. #6
    swag ho Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by tina1210
    I have the same little compressor, rebadged as coleman. I say you're probably spot on with the reviews. I need to upgrade to a bigger compressor.
    Yeah, that little blue is rebadged under so many brands.

    For years I said, no I'm not a bikeshop. I don't need a bigger one. But really, this simple upgrade will save me soooo much time.

    The key is to scan craigslist. There's a lot of 'used once' compressors out there from wannabe handymen.

    fc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Aahah, now that is funny .

    Thank you for setting up my day on the right foot . Now if I can just erase that mental picture...

    fc
    Now I've got a mental picture of you standing around on your right foot all day...

    I had a Craftsman like yours until my recent move, gave it away to my next door neighbor (he used it to keep the tires inflated on his old Jag XKE in his garage so it doesn't sink to the floor). I THOUGHT my new roommate had a compressor...oh well, my neighbor was always good to me. I never did use the compressor for tires except on my car, wasn't worth the time and noise not to use a floor pump for the bikes (but no tubeless tires, either). I used it mainly to clean parts with and a bit of power sanding. Once I figure out where I can keep one I'm going to get another...is there a decent sized compressor that is relatively quiet?
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  8. #8
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    Hi,
    Is that gauge accurate?

  9. #9
    swag ho Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kardar2
    Hi,
    Is that gauge accurate?
    Yes, it seems like it. It's got much better detail and construction than normal floor pump guages.

    fc

  10. #10
    rj2
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    I have a 2 gal Coleman compressor similar to yours, but mine has wheels.

    I remove the valve core and use a rubber tipped blower nozzle to seat the beads. After reinstalling the core, I re-inflate with a floor pump.

    I've also had success inflating by hand with my Blackburn Air Tower 5. The high volume setting is enough to get the job done when I can't start up or don't have the compressor.
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  11. #11
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    I'm looking to get a compressor too but big boy wouldn't fit in my space and it would blow the circuit breaker by just plugging it in.

    What is the minimum you need to be effective for seating tubless tires? Tank size? PSI? I will plug it in to a 15 amp circuit too and it's not so easy to rewire.

    Not concerned about a higher PSI for road tires unless it helps me seating mtn bike tubless tires. I have a pump that works fine for skinny tires.

  12. #12
    It's about showing up.
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    I have a Craftsman

    and it is also good for driving water out of my chain and other parts after washing. Where it really comes in handy is changing the tires on the 3 family bikes from slicks to knobbies ans back.

  13. #13
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    I'm also interested in this.

    And I'm wondering if cfm is important (not very many units list it online), or if reservoir capacity is what's really needed for this?

    edited to add: I don't know how my post ended up above FTC Rider's?

  14. #14
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    Based upon the link from the best tubeless brew thread, I checked this thread out. I am looking for a cheap and portable air compressor that I can take with me in my truck to the TH (and plug into my truck for power) and use as needed for camping trips but the primary purpose is to seat tubeless tires at home or at the TH. I don't like the air tanks above - too big and not easily portable.

    Walmart has a couple that seems to fit my needs - small enough to keep in the truck but *hopefully* powerful enough to seat the tubeless beads.

    Anyone have any experience with these air compressors (details copied from Walmart's website)? Are they strong/poweful enough to seat the tubeless tires?

    Slime-Heavy Duty Portable 12 Volt Tire Inflator with Built-in Gauge and Light-Direct Drive Design
    The Slime - Heavy Duty Portable 12 Volt Tire Inflator with Built-in Gauge and Light-Direct Drive Design inflates a standard car tire in 3 minutes. A powerful 12-volt, 150 PSI compressor and a 16-foot hose length with a quick release coupler make this inflator a must for any driver. You will also enjoy a bright LED light for night use and an accurate, easy-to-read gauge.

    •Inflates a standard car tire in 3 minutes (P195/65 R15 to 35 PSI)
    •Powerful 12 Volt, 150 PSI compressor
    •Plugs into 12 Volt accessory outlet
    •16' hose length with quick-release coupler
    •Bright LED light for night use
    •Accurate and easy-to-read gauge
    •Ball and raft inflation adapters included
    •Canvas bag for storage
    •Weight: 5.34 lbs.

    or

    Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator
    The Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator is ideal for home, shop and garage needs. This extremely quiet and efficient inflator can inflate a 14" vehicle tire in under two and a half minutes and plugs into any standard 120 Volt wall outlet. A built-in analog gauge ensures accurate pressure readings. The Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator has a PVC air hose and rubber-protected quick connect valve.

    Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator:
    •Can inflate a 14" vehicle tire in under 2.5 minutes
    •Ideal for home, shop and garage needs
    •Extremely quiet and efficient
    •Plugs into any standard 120 Volt wall outlet
    •Built-in analog gauge for accurate pressure readings
    •PVC air hose and rubber protected quick connect valve
    •6 foot power cord makes it extremely easy and hassle free to reach all vehicle tires

    or

    Masterflow 12v High Volume Air Compressor / Inflator
    The powerful Masterflow MF-1050 air compressor or inflator is perfect for trucks, SUV's, RV's and other full-size vehicles. The 12V portable air compressor is designed for everyday use, from inflating sports gear, to filling up tires. The high volume air compressor can inflate a full size truck tire in about 4 minutes and can inflate the tire of a passenger car in under a minute. The electric tire inflator can be powered directly using a car battery. The inflator comes along with a 10 ft. cord, giving you ample extension from the power supply to the object supposed to be inflated. The inflator comes along with two nozzles which can be used for inflating sports balls and toys. Masterflow high volume air compressor is a handy and useful product that you can use at home for various air inflation purposes. It comes with a nylon bag that allows easy portability.

    Masterflow MF-1050 Air Compressor
    •Inflates a passenger car tire in about 1 minute.
    •Powerful 12-volt motor.
    •Powers directly from a car battery.
    •Quick release 16ft coil air hose
    •E-Z twist brass inflator.
    •10ft power cord.
    •Convenient nylon carrying bag.
    •Includes 2 adapter nozzles for inflating sports balls, rafts and toys.
    •Max Amperage: 30amps; Max PSI: 150psi; Flow Rate: 2.54cfm; Air Volume: 4,389 cu. inches/minute; Voltage: 12-volt only.
    •Model: MF-1050

  15. #15
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    Based upon the link from the best tubeless brew thread, I checked this thread out. I am looking for a cheap and portable air compressor that I can take with me in my truck to the TH (and plug into my truck for power) and use as needed for camping trips but the primary purpose is to seat tubeless tires at home or at the TH. I don't like the air tanks above - too big and not easily portable.

    Walmart has a couple that seems to fit my needs - small enough to keep in the truck but *hopefully* powerful enough to seat the tubeless beads.

    Anyone have any experience with these air compressors (details copied from Walmart's website)? Are they strong/poweful enough to seat the tubeless tires?

    Slime-Heavy Duty Portable 12 Volt Tire Inflator with Built-in Gauge and Light-Direct Drive Design
    The Slime - Heavy Duty Portable 12 Volt Tire Inflator with Built-in Gauge and Light-Direct Drive Design inflates a standard car tire in 3 minutes. A powerful 12-volt, 150 PSI compressor and a 16-foot hose length with a quick release coupler make this inflator a must for any driver. You will also enjoy a bright LED light for night use and an accurate, easy-to-read gauge.

    •Inflates a standard car tire in 3 minutes (P195/65 R15 to 35 PSI)
    •Powerful 12 Volt, 150 PSI compressor
    •Plugs into 12 Volt accessory outlet
    •16' hose length with quick-release coupler
    •Bright LED light for night use
    •Accurate and easy-to-read gauge
    •Ball and raft inflation adapters included
    •Canvas bag for storage
    •Weight: 5.34 lbs.

    or

    Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator
    The Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator is ideal for home, shop and garage needs. This extremely quiet and efficient inflator can inflate a 14" vehicle tire in under two and a half minutes and plugs into any standard 120 Volt wall outlet. A built-in analog gauge ensures accurate pressure readings. The Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator has a PVC air hose and rubber-protected quick connect valve.

    Goodyear Heavy Duty i8000 120 Volt Direct Drive Inflator:
    •Can inflate a 14" vehicle tire in under 2.5 minutes
    •Ideal for home, shop and garage needs
    •Extremely quiet and efficient
    •Plugs into any standard 120 Volt wall outlet
    •Built-in analog gauge for accurate pressure readings
    •PVC air hose and rubber protected quick connect valve
    •6 foot power cord makes it extremely easy and hassle free to reach all vehicle tires

    or

    Masterflow 12v High Volume Air Compressor / Inflator
    The powerful Masterflow MF-1050 air compressor or inflator is perfect for trucks, SUV's, RV's and other full-size vehicles. The 12V portable air compressor is designed for everyday use, from inflating sports gear, to filling up tires. The high volume air compressor can inflate a full size truck tire in about 4 minutes and can inflate the tire of a passenger car in under a minute. The electric tire inflator can be powered directly using a car battery. The inflator comes along with a 10 ft. cord, giving you ample extension from the power supply to the object supposed to be inflated. The inflator comes along with two nozzles which can be used for inflating sports balls and toys. Masterflow high volume air compressor is a handy and useful product that you can use at home for various air inflation purposes. It comes with a nylon bag that allows easy portability.

    Masterflow MF-1050 Air Compressor
    •Inflates a passenger car tire in about 1 minute.
    •Powerful 12-volt motor.
    •Powers directly from a car battery.
    •Quick release 16ft coil air hose
    •E-Z twist brass inflator.
    •10ft power cord.
    •Convenient nylon carrying bag.
    •Includes 2 adapter nozzles for inflating sports balls, rafts and toys.
    •Max Amperage: 30amps; Max PSI: 150psi; Flow Rate: 2.54cfm; Air Volume: 4,389 cu. inches/minute; Voltage: 12-volt only.
    •Model: MF-1050
    If the compressor does not have a pressure tank, it is not going to be much use in seating DIY tubeless setups.

    Just get a pressure tank and fill it at home or a gas station.

    Better yet, use a wheel/tire setup that can be seated with a floor pump. That is all I need with UST spec rims/tires.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  16. #16
    More Torque
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Just get a pressure tank and fill it at home or a gas station....
    OP, scroll down in this post, for some photos of a portable air tank. Plenty of air for seating tubeless tires. I don't keep my compressor aired up 100% of the time; I just keep air in the standalone tank and fill from there until depleted.

    -D

  17. #17
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    I just bought one of those car battery compressors. Claims to put out 300psi, but I'm skeptical. My rims use the BST system, and I generally use TLR tires. I just wanted to see if it worked better than my hand pump.

  18. #18
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    I have a portable Craftsman compressor that works very well for tubeless setups. It will go up to 135 PSI and has a 4 gallon tank. The key to any of these setups is the prestaflator or the lever actuated schrader valve attachment. The standard press to inflate schrader attachment that comes with most compressors is worthless. I don't think you NEED the larger compressor that the OP bought, but if you are going small go high quality.

  19. #19
    M_S
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    When I ran a small shop at my University for students we did fine with a little blue when our big... Black and Decker(?) broke. But it only lasted a year with heavy use.
    - Simon

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