Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eco Tubeless Tire Inflator.. .

More and more mountain bike racing can cause the pursuit lower and lower tire pressures and eventually lead to a condition known as "Tubeless - Gimme NOW!" And as such I have been struck down and afflicted. However, I also suffer from "I don't want a 'ruddy great cumbersome/un-portable compressors" syndrome - where upon I consult 'cube mate' Dr. Dave (the oracle of all things tinkering) for an alternative solution; and in his usual unfaltering nature he prescribes at me like my dirty champion. So cast your mind if you will to a universe where, not only can you inflate/fit your tubeless tires with the required high pressure blast that is akin only to a pro-longed Indian diet (I speak from experience); but also with a system that is portable, field rechargeable, and consumes no electricity. That universe is here for you now.. .and it's name!? We call it quite simply 'The Fire Extinguisher.. .'

Here's the basic 1, 2, 3 principle:
  1. Use bicycle pump pressurize a fire extinguisher.
  2. Use fire extinguisher to inflate/fit tire.
  3. Marvel over lovely tubeless tires.. .

I'm not going to go into details, where's the fun in that!? - bloody work it out yourselves, but here's the basic 'what you'll need':
  1. Old fire extinguisher - get, empty, lacquer, inside & out (oil inside to prevent rust).
  2. Pressurizing system - something to hold down release valve and a schrader or presta valve that attaches to main tube of the extinguisher.
  3. Pressurizing system (alt) - a schrader or presta valve fitted in the extinguisher shoulder itself.
  4. Tire inflating system - Pump head that attaches to main tube of extinguisher.
  5. Fittings - tubes, pressure gauge, fittings, gas tape etc.

Here are some of the variables to consider:
  1. Extinguisher size - smaller is more portable, but you get less inflates per charge and visa versa.
  2. Extinguisher handle - a metal system is stronger if you can find one.
  3. Extinguisher type - some have schrader valve fitted to shoulder already (Pressurizing system sorted), but their usually the big canisters.
  4. Fittings - make sure that they all fit, it's why their called fittings so don't abuse their names (keep receipts).
  5. Pressurizing system on main tube - requires more fittings/money, but doesn't breach (weaken) extinguisher wall.

If you're really interested in making one of these for yourself then all you need do is study the pictures below and get at it. I didn't know what I was doing, but a little bit of research and some planning and it was done.. .worked first time.. .BOSH!

If you're unsure about anything, just post a question and I'll try to answer it the best I can. In the mean time, here's a picture of my now fully XC race ready, light as you like, goo framed, camel free, 30psi gravel gripping trail devastator.. .now go and sit in the corner with your hands on your head and think about all of the bad things that you've done.. .