Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)
  • My ghetto tubeless inflator EXPLODED
  • Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    I’m still alive btw.

    I’ve been living in fear of my ghetto 9p tubeless inflator exploding ever since I made it. There’s a lot of stored energy and I always wondered what would happen if it went boom. But it’s seated numerous tyres over the last decade, so it’s had a good life. Anyway, today it started slowly leaking air due to a tiny crack in the cap, so I couldn’t get it above 100psi. I was grateful it hadn’t exploded so I popped to the shop to get a new bottle (for the record, a Co-op sparkling mineral water bottle for 49p).

    Got it home, drilled some holes, pumped it up. On the first attempt, the tyre didn’t seat. Damn. More pressure needed. I was aiming for 120 psi but at 110psi… BANG! It made me jump but it didn’t kill me or anything. I don’t think there’s even any mild tinnitus. Something whipped up and caught me on the hand though, which is kinda sore.


    What I think is kinda interesting is the way the thing broke. I don’t know where the initial rupture was, but the top cap split, the top part of the bottle sheared off, the main body of the bottle split in many directions, and there’s a separate (not connected) hole in the bottom of the bottle.

    So, at least I didn’t die, but I think I may have been a bit lucky. It wasn’t as loud as it could have been, but something hurt my hand and I suspect if I’d been in a different place I could have been hurt. On balance I’m more scared of the same thing happening again so I might invest in an airshot type thing.

    Sidenote: In retrospect, my 2021 bottle was a lot thinner than the one I bought a few years ago. I supposed we should be grateful that less non-reusable plastic is used in today’s bottles but my experience today suggests it’s not as good for ghetto tubeless.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Full Member

    Just need a few wraps of tape.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Interesting, I thought about trying something like this but just bought a pump instead. I wonder which drinks cos use the best bottles.

    Are there other safer vessels you could use? Aluminium water bottle or similar?

    Premier Icon tabletop2
    Free Member

    I use a Robinsons bottle. Nice and thick – works like a dream!

    slightly more than 9p but still less than a quid

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    When I did one, I wrapped it in Gorilla Tape.
    I did this to strengthen it, but also with the thought that if it failed the parts might hold together, rather than be thrown all over the place.

    Might be worth doing if you build a new one.

    If not, I can recommend the Lifeline tubeless pump/inflator.

    https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-airblast-tubeless-tyre-track-pump-1?lang=en&curr=GBP&dest=1&sku=100238366&kpid=100238366&utm_source=google&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Shopping+-+All+Products&utm_medium=base&gclid=Cj0KCQiAv6yCBhCLARIsABqJTjZqAerDMoAiZKlQGY5cUbzOO2vTG8IzlNJ8XfHmVI5Hxi_wS8N5hPwaAt5bEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Slightly gone up from the £50 when I bought it though.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Just need a few wraps of tape.

    Yeah, I did that on my old one. I couldn’t find my duct tape so I didn’t bother this time round 😐

    However, I’m not sure that the tape would actually prevent the plastic from stretching. Duct tape can be stretched a bit – I’d have thought the plastic might split before that amount of stretch.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Are there other safer vessels you could use? Aluminium water bottle or similar?

    You want total volume of air so I think those alu water bottles are mostly too small. I like the fire extinguisher idea someone did. Or an oxygen cylinder or the like.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    I made one from an old ballon helium tank left over from my daughters birthday party.

    Premier Icon RicB
    Full Member

    My ghetto inflator is 9yrs old. I keep it inside the leg from an old pair of jeans and wear safety specs.

    Every time I use it I expect it to be the last but it keeps on going (2L coke bottle)

    Best 9p I’ve ever spent on bike kit!

    Premier Icon Merak
    Free Member

    I once when using a track pump had the misfortune to have a road bike tube explode at around 130psi it was quite the bang.

    Enclosed garage as well, it was like a shotgun

    Brown trousers..

    Premier Icon Merak
    Free Member

    I blouse out at 100 now.😅

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I grab my safety glasses even when using my official Airshot!

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    You need to use a fizzy pop bottle as they are designed to take pressure, wrap in tape and you are off

    Premier Icon lister
    Full Member

    The random joys of whisky cloud generation has the same perils.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Mine is an old expired fire extinguisher that I got for free. It’s too big really, but on the other hand I asked the fire extinguisher tester dude what pressure it was good for and he said something like 3600psi.

    If it does explode it’ll probably kill teh whole street though. And there’s the whole “what if there’s a fire and someone tries to put it out with compressed air” issue.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    There is some great materials science in the double blown pop bottle. I think the new bottle was lower technology

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Works for birthday cakes…

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Something whipped up and caught me on the hand though, which is kinda sore.

    Just superficial injuries then.

    IGMC

    Premier Icon pedlad
    Full Member

    Mine was a 50p garden sprayer from a jumble sale. Could never get away from the thought that if it went they’d be picking bits of me and the yellow plastic out of the garage ceiling for days.

    Since replaced with a compressor which is ace.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    You pumped a PE bottle to 110psi and you’re surprised it failed?

    You want total volume of air so I think those alu water bottles are mostly too small. I like the fire extinguisher idea someone did. Or an oxygen cylinder or the like.

    I made my inflator using a cheap old 500ml Aluminium bottle, it works an absolute treat.
    It’s not so much that you need massive volume as much as it is flow rate really. a rapid blast from a 1/2L at say 60psi might well be enough to just about seat some tyre/rim combos so long as it dumps the volume through the valve fast, you can add more pressure with a track pump once it’s seated.

    I did have a proper compressor with a 5L tank that would go to 10 bar (IIRC) but it didn’t actually deliver as good a flow rate, plus it was getting on and would eventually fail far more catastrophically that your lemonade bottle contraptions, so I chopped off the hose (useful) and binned the rest…

    My little Sigg type bottle will certainly go much higher but TBH I wince at around 100psi, I’m not trying to seat fat tyres, but if that won’t seat a 2.5×29″ tyre, nothing will.

    Premier Icon i_like_food
    Full Member

    I once when using a track pump had the misfortune to have a road bike tube explode at around 130psi it was quite the bang.

    Enclosed garage as well, it was like a shotgun

    Brown trousers..

    I was once in a bike shop when this happened. There was a dog in the shop. There was actual poo on the floor afterwards.

    Premier Icon Matt24k
    Free Member

    Human or canine poo?

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    If you think that gives you a fright try tipping and 1100 bin into the back of a dustcart only to discover someone has dumped a full and charged CO2 fire extinguisher in there. That makes quite a bang and a very big cloud of CO2 and a big cloud of debris flying out of the back of the truck.

    Premier Icon davros
    Full Member

    I’ve never needed to put more than 60psi in mine for all sorts of tyres and rims up to 29×2.5 so I’m surprised people use double that! Mine has served me well for years, definitely my favourite homemade bodge.

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Full Member

    A few years ago I test fired an empty wet chem fire system on a fryer, in a food factory. This was a very expensive custom engineered system from somewhere in Europe.

    Turned out the regulator was made of plastic rather than brass and expired in an exciting manner, with me standing next to it. It was quite loud with 80bar of nitrogen and left a couple of bruises.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Full Member

    Any excuse to post The Frankenflator.

    IMG-0833

    Premier Icon greyspoke
    Free Member

    That must have been a bit scary, glad you are mainly OK @Super. 100 psi is risky, I saw a video on Youtube where a new one exploded at 120psi, so I don’t go above 60. I tape the bottle up to prevent shards as well (given the stiffness of the HDPE or whatever it is they are made of, no tape is going to make them stronger). And I wear safety glasses.

    Premier Icon Andy-R
    Full Member

    I always use a Coke bottle (I read somewhere that they are rated to 10bar) and wrap it in duct tape.
    I’m also careful that it doesn’t get scratched or dented and I replace it maybe once a year. I never pump it up to above 4 bar anyway.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    My first one I tested by filling it with water then adding air (less stored energy since water is incompressible). I tested it up to 150psi so felt justified in using up to 120psi.

    60psi in a 2l bottle is definitely not enough for me to seat difficult tyres. I use a compressor most times so only use the bottle for difficult tyres. I might try a 3l coke bottle if they still exist.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I once when using a track pump had the misfortune to have a road bike tube explode at around 130psi it was quite the bang.

    Ha! On a club ride to Windsor, to the Cinnamon cafe a well known cyclists haunt (pre-Covid, obvs) one of the group got a slow puncture on the outskirts. So we topped up and rode on knowing that Nick the owner has a toolkit to lend out, and we could fix and pump using a track pump while waiting for the coffee.

    It wasn’t me but in hindsight the puncture guy did say that he thought he was putting a lot in, but when the tyre popped off and the tube at by now about 300psi went bang in the confines of the old station concourse (if you know Windsor you know where I mean) it was more than him that shit himself. I swear several hundred tourists hit the deck fearing a terrorist attack, we were under fear of a battalion of Coldstream guardsman deploying, not to say potentially some royal close protection people from the castle.

    Then Nick saunters out, and casually mentions that he thinks the gauge is a bit faulty……

    Premier Icon nixie
    Full Member

    I used cheap 2l water bottles for my ghetto inflator with tape over them. Used to go to 100psi with that. I’m the end the creaking noises got to much and I bought a proper one (beto, only about £30 when I got it).

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    I might try a 3l coke bottle if they still exist.

    I think you have to wait till next christmas

    Premier Icon continuity
    Free Member

    The thought of this happening and then sending plastic shrapnel across the room at light speed has terrified me for years. Even worse, the idea of the valve being fired like a piston out of the top and me having to explain to A&E why I have a presta valve embedded an inch into my abdomen.

    I bought one of the specialised airshots. Frankly, it still scares me when I go above 120psi (which has been necessay, **** vittoria barzos).

    Premier Icon hamishthecat
    Full Member

    I’m also careful that it doesn’t get scratched or dented

    Keep it out of sunlight too.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Mine is an old expired fire extinguisher that I got for free. It’s too big really, but on the other hand I asked the fire extinguisher tester dude what pressure it was good for and he said something like 3600psi.

    If it does explode it’ll probably kill teh whole street though. And there’s the whole “what if there’s a fire and someone tries to put it out with compressed air” issue.

    Same thing here, got it from work when the fire safety inspector was around. He even tested it to 2500psi for me to make sure it was safe!

    I’ve toyed with the idea of polishing it or covering it in stickers so that it doesn’t look like a fire extinguisher though as I have the same worry as you!

    Premier Icon Weasel
    Free Member

    I always used to cover my ghetto lemonade bottle with an old towel, as even with a few strips of duct tape for strengthening I was always wary of it exploding

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Surely tape will just tear in any explosion?

    The idea of wrapping it in towels or old clothing is much more likely too work. Think of it like the turbo/supercharger on race cars, they’re wrapped in loose Kevlar blankets to hold all the bits when they blow up. It lets all the gas and explosion out so doesn’t tear, but holds all the shrapnel.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    This is why I converted a fire extinguisher like bigblackshed.

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Full Member

    Plastic bottles are a terrible idea, but then so is paying £50 or whatever for a proper one.

    Mine is made from an old Firetrace bottle. An extinguisher you might find in an agricultural machine or milling machine.
    I used this one as it has a gauge and a flexible dip tube which can be re-used as the hose.
    IMG_20210313_140433475

    Premier Icon nuke
    Full Member

    Surprised at some of the high pressures being used. Never gone much further than 50psi for my tyres with my 2L bottle. Was well chuffed to ‘upgrade’ to a 3L bottle last year when I found one in the local corner shop….strange how youve more chance of finding a 3L a small shop than the big supermarkets, guess its a cash and carry thing

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.