Pump it up

I’ve got a gripe about pumps. Cyclists will know what I’m talking about when I say that you need to have a good pump. Use a bad pump and you’ll never quite get your tyres full of air. Slightly flat tyres will give you a bumpy ride and make cycling that much harder.

I cycle to and from work with two panniers on the bike so flat tyres are particularly bad because the rear wheel will hit any bumps or grooves in the path very hard. This can obviously damage the rim but it makes for an unpleasant ride as well.

I’ve recently just attached a compact pump to my bike as I found that my tyres would be a bit flat when I was about to ride home. It does a good job of pumping up the tyres if they’re very flat but once they’re nearly inflated it won’t quite fill them all the way up. It’s handy to have it at my fingertips when I need it but I nearly lost it on one ride when I didn’t secure it with the little rubber catch and I knocked it off when I was hopping on the bike. I didn’t notice until I was about to get back on and ride home and luckily it was right under my foot when I looked for it.

I’ve had a couple of traditional pumps with the long barrel but they just don’t make them like they used to. They come loose very easily and the metal spiral falls out and the tube doesn’t hold in place so it’s easily lost. I’ve gone through three or four of these in the last year.

When I was growing up, I used these types of pumps and they seemed to last forever but not so now. I actually reckon that lots of things made these days are of inferior quality and don’t last long. Cheap plastic, not metal and not well manufactured, they’re just not what they once were.

If this pump fails, I might try a floor pump or ditch the pump all together. I often just stop in at the servo when the tyres need pumping up and grab the air pump and do it there. This high-pressure pump is the goods and it’ll fill the tyres so they’re hard and full. I can check the exact pressure in wheels and be sure they’re not over- or under-filled.

How do you pump your tyres? Home pump or pump at the garage? Old fashioned pump or new, compact-style pump?

Small and mostly efficient pump.

This is my new compact pump.

 

Old or new?

The old school pump vs the fancy new pump.

 

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2 thoughts on “Pump it up

  1. Floor pumps (track pumps) are the shizz. I use my botranger each morning to top up. I use to get a lot of flats when I first started cycling, and I believe they were due to pinch flats. I hardly get any now … As much as 12 months between flats. For the few seconds it takes to check the pressure it saves a lot of grief on the road. Portable pumps are ok in an emergency, and they help you limp home, but I can never get proper pressure from a hand pump. Those newer, automated pumps they now have in service stations scare the crap out of me!

    • Yes, you just can’t get full pressure from hand pumps. I’ve come to realise that now. I must invest in a floor pump as I think it’ll save a lot of frustration and the detour to go to the service station to pump them up. I am slightly worried that I’ll blow the inner-tube with the service station pump too as it’s so fast filling small bike tubes.

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