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Pete's review - Bike pumps

 

 

Things to look for in a bike pump

 

1.Head:

Your bike has either a Presta or a Schrader valve. Choose a bike pump that will fit your valve type or one that can fit both. 

 

2.Pressure:

The best bike pumps can reach higher pressure levels. You can find out what kind of pressures you need by looking at the maximum levels on your tyres. Road bike tyres can have pressures exceeding 100 PSI whereas mountain bikes are around 50 PSI. 

 

 

3.Gauge:

You should keep your bike at the pressure levels indicated on the tyres. A gauge will help you measure the PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Ideally look for a bike pump that includes one.  

 

4.One for on the road, one for at home:

Whilst the small bike pumps are great for carrying around with you at all times, the track bike pumps can reach higher pressure levels with far less effort. I have one in the garage it is used before every ride.

 

Track Pump

 

track pump.jpg

 

 

5.Durability:

Generally speaking the smaller bike pumps wear out faster than the track pumps. 

 

pump.jpg

 

 

 

What to look for

 

Comfort

We are not talking rocket science here, but how easy the pump is to use. As pressure increases it is harder to pump and if the handle of the pump or locking mechanism digs in to the hand or doesn’t offer support, inflating a patched or repaired tube can be a real drag.

 

Locking mechanism

Security of the pump head on the valve makes a big difference. A locking lever that prevents the pump pulling off not only offers security in the sense of preventing blow-offs, it also supports the valve, protecting it from the back-and-forth movement of frantic pumping. You really need a secure way of attaching the pump or isolating the abuse.

One of the compromises of a small pump is obviously the scale. With less room for the handle, there is not always enough room for the hand to grip fully. While this can be merely annoying, you need to look out for flesh pinching areas. Get flesh caught between the handle and barrel while pumping and, at best, you’ll end up with a blood blister. At worst, you slice your thumb or hand.

 

lock leaver.jpg A locking lever prevents the pump pulling off the valve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinching flesh

One of the compromises of a small pump is obviously the scale. With less room for the handle, there is not always enough room for the hand to grip fully. While this can be merely annoying, you need to look out for flesh pinching areas. Get flesh caught between the handle and barrel while pumping and, at best, you’ll end up with a blood blister. At worst, you slice your thumb or hand.

 

Co2 Inflators

Another alternative is the Co2 inflator, these are a super-fast way to inflate your tyre and be on your way. However you are limited to the amount of Co2 capsules you carry with you.

 

 

Co2.jpg

 

 

One capsulate will normally inflate to around 85 psi

 

 

Summary:

 

How do you want to carry your pump?

 

  1. Fixed to your bike, then invest in a good standard tyoe of pump with a pressure gauge fitted. Pop into your local bike shop and try some.
  2. In your jersey pocket, then a small mini pump will be ideal. Again try some out or ask around  

 

Once again it's down to you and what you feel comfortable with. Spend what you can afford and make sure you have the right tool for the job.

What do I have? Well I have a track pump in the garage and a Co2 pump (that can also be used in the normal way to pump air) that I carry in my pocket, Simples

 
 
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