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I've grown tired of spending 1 to 3 hours trying to seat tires before giving up and heading the LBS. So looking at some of the compressors over at Harbor Freight.

So any suggestions as what I need to look for or avoid?

I was looking at the 3 gallon ones. Small and I can store easily

Use would the bike tires and that's about it.

 

 

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I had a 9 gallon HF compressor, it lasted for about 10 years.  The motor tank and compressor were still good, but I had to replace a plumbing piece early on, and more plumbing pieces toward the end.  I recommend getting an oil bath compressor, not the oil-less.  The intake muffler was very cheap.  The thing was super loud.

You'll find more uses for the compressor eventually. 

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I have a small portable compressor, probably three gallon or less, and it has worked well for seating tubeless tires. Also have a larger hand-me-down that was my dad's, maybe ten or more gallon with old school belt and pulley between the motor and the pump. That one is the bomb. I've used it for sand blasting, painting, and most often for blowing grass off the riding mower after each use. So, yes, you'll find plenty of uses.

Go for it!

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Currently have this one... It's okay for limited needs but runs out of air pretty quickly. Had the larger one in my Miami workshop and it was really good.

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-compressors/3-gal-13-hp-100-psi-oil-free-pancake-air-compressor-61615.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/21-gal-25-HP-125-PSI-Cast-Iron-Vertical-Air-Compressor-61454.html

Edited by RidingAgain

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I got a 6 gallon pancake compressor for the same reason. But then I started using it for all kinds of other stuff. Oilless compressors are often louder than the the oiled ones and the motor can’t run for as long before getting too hot. My next one will be oiled with a bigger tank so I can use air tools with it. Which I never would have imagined wanting before getting my little compressor.


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If you run air tools, look into putting a water trap inline to protect them from condensation leading to corrosion and other issues.

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I've got one of these. Super quiet dual piston. Works great. Fast recharge. A little pricey but I use it for other things like painting and air tools. Had a Lowes upright that blew a piston ring, only way to fix was new piston head assembly which would have cost more than I originally paid for the compressor.

 

CAT-10020CAD_70277_600.jpg

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I have a compressor, but ended up with one of those floor pumps with the air tank instead.  

I can use it when my kid is asleep, and I can take it with me to various tire destroying ride locations.

If it had been available in the first place I'd have just skipped the compressor.  Unless you're going to become a carpenter also or something.

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24 minutes ago, Kyle said:

I have a compressor, but ended up with one of those floor pumps with the air tank instead.  

Same here. My 3 gallon 100psi compressor is no more effective than my air blasting floor pump. If I can't seat it with the pump, I'm not going to get it seated with the compressor. 

Edit: this one, https://www.jensonusa.com/Foundation-Airblast-Tubeless-Floor-Pump-Alloy-Barrel-Twin-Valve-260-PSI?pt_source=googleads&pt_medium=cpc&pt_campaign=shopping_us&pt_keyword=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAnY_jBRDdARIsAIEqpJ1x07s2rcEsfR3Qdj8zQefQKfe3sqx_5ts4JTc8YUCb0JGmMTQdMBQaAipjEALw_wcB

 

Edited by Barry
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11 hours ago, Cafeend said:

 

I've grown tired of spending 1 to 3 hours trying to seat tires before giving up and heading the LBS. So looking at some of the compressors over at Harbor Freight.

So any suggestions as what I need to look for or avoid?

I was looking at the 3 gallon ones. Small and I can store easily

Use would the bike tires and that's about it.

 

 

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

I've got a 33 gallon 110v Sears oiless that you can have. Worked when I left it at a car dealership in round Rock as I had no use for it.

PM if interested

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I have a 2L soda bottle with two valves and a hose on it. Cost me nothing and works as well as one of those blaster pumps.

I have a compressor as well but I need to just buy a presta chuck for it.

Edited by mack_turtle

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Just now, mack_turtle said:

I have a 2L soda bottle with two valves and a hose on it. Cost me nothing and works as well as one of those blaster pumps.

I had one of those as well. It worked on low volume tires only, so I stopped using it about 2 years ago. It was fun to build and use, but it got "lost in the move." I don't miss it.

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4 minutes ago, mack_turtle said:

I have a compressor as well but I need to just buy a presto Chuck for it.

I found a cheap blowgun with a $0.10 piece of plastic tube slid over the presta stem (with valve removed) was way higher flow and worked much better than a real presta chuck for seating tires.  It's not like it needs to hold a ton of pressure or for very long.

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I feel inspired. I recently overhauled my garage so I have more space to work on my bike in there. I'll find a permanent place to put the compressor and rig up a diy presta chuck on it. Should not be too hard to do.

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My experience is a Presta chuck is a waste of time and money. I bought one. It is too restrictive to seat even the friendliest tubeless MTB tire / rim setup. If you want to seat a tubeless tire, pull the presta valve core and use a standard Shrader tire chuck. That is the only way I have put air in fast enough to seat the tire on the rim.

Yes - that means you have to put the presta valve core in with air coming out the valve stem. If you don't keep a good hold on that core, the air will blow it across the garage where it will never be found. If you let all the air out of the tire before trying to put the presta core back in the tire sometimes comes back off the rim.

I have tire pump with the tank. I still have to take the presta valve core out to seat the tire. But this works at least as good as the compressor and usually a little better. But I still use both methods.

YMMV

Edited by cxagent
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Don’t buy the HF 3 Gallon for seating tires! I had one a seated a few tires with it but normally takes a few blasts! The problem is after the first blast you have to wait 5-10 minutes before you can blast again. If it’s a stubborn tire rim combo you will want to put your head thru a wall! Bought a 6 gallon and combo presta/Schrader chuck with digital gage and HF 6 gallon and have had more luck! For normal tire inflation is a nice set up too and doubles for car use.

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9 minutes ago, 4fun said:

Don’t buy the HF 3 Gallon for seating tires! I had one a seated a few tires with it but normally takes a few blasts! The problem is after the first blast you have to wait 5-10 minutes before you can blast again. If it’s a stubborn tire rim combo you will want to put your head thru a wall! Bought a 6 gallon and combo presta/Schrader chuck with digital gage and HF 6 gallon and have had more luck! For normal tire inflation is a nice set up too and doubles for car use.

I've absolutely NEVER had this problem. I've stans'd 4 tires in a single sitting and only on the 4th tire did the compressor cycle on. Even then I flipped it off and finished. 

 

I think the 3gal pancake is all you really need. If mine dies I will probably get the 6gal, but only because I use the thing to air up my truck tires and if they are all 3+psi low it can take the whole thing to get them up to pressure.

 

Do yourself a favor and don't buy a HF hose or chuck, buy those legit. 

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Same here. My 3 gallon 100psi compressor is no more effective than my air blasting floor pump. If I can't seat it with the pump, I'm not going to get it seated with the compressor. 
Edit: this one, https://www.jensonusa.com/Foundation-Airblast-Tubeless-Floor-Pump-Alloy-Barrel-Twin-Valve-260-PSI?pt_source=googleads&pt_medium=cpc&pt_campaign=shopping_us&pt_keyword=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAnY_jBRDdARIsAIEqpJ1x07s2rcEsfR3Qdj8zQefQKfe3sqx_5ts4JTc8YUCb0JGmMTQdMBQaAipjEALw_wcB
 
Man. How did I miss this option? I didn't even know these are a thing. Intriguing
The one you referenced Barry is on sale as well.

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Add me to the list of HF 3Gal pancake compressor users.  I've got the 150PSI version and it works great but there are a couple of things I've learned along the way that make tubeless much easier.  1 using rim tape that runs from bead to bead seals way better than the narrower stuff and adds a bit to the diameter so there's less room for air to escape.  2 E13 tubeless valve stems while expensive flow much more air than the standard ones do again making tubeless setup easier.  in fact using both of the methods I've been able to seat tubeless with just a floor pump on my Stans and WTB rims.  (Maxxis tires in both cases)  It's just not as easy as with the compressor.  YMMV.

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17 hours ago, cxagent said:

My experience is a Presta chuck is a waste of time and money. I bought one. It is too restrictive to seat even the friendliest tubeless MTB tire / rim setup. If you want to seat a tubeless tire, pull the presta valve core and use a standard Shrader tire chuck. That is the only way I have put air in fast enough to seat the tire on the rim.

Yes - that means you have to put the presta valve core in with air coming out the valve stem. If you don't keep a good hold on that core, the air will blow it across the garage where it will never be found. If you let all the air out of the tire before trying to put the presta core back in the tire sometimes comes back off the rim.

I have tire pump with the tank. I still have to take the presta valve core out to seat the tire. But this works at least as good as the compressor and usually a little better. But I still use both methods.

YMMV

I have no issue with a Presta chuck, I made my own:

http://www.austinbike.com/index.php/repairs/109-repair-building-a-low-cost-presta-air-chuck

But I always pull the core before putting Stans into the tire. Never had the core get blown across the garage, but I have a bag of them so losing one is no big deal. I find the best tip is everything time the core is pulled out, clean all the Stans gunk off of the bottom rubber stopper.

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4 hours ago, Chief said:

I use one of these with a regular tire inflator.

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same here, they work great, and it doesn't take a large volume of air to seat.

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Have the Bongtrager Flash Charger floor pump/extra tank thingy and it has seated everything I have tried.  Love scaring the wife with the tubeless seat pop sounds!

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