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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 12-26-07, 07:37 PM   #1
shengchieh
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air pump for handicapped?

I need to pump the tires on an adult trike. The problem is I use wheelchair/walker and
there is no way I can manually pump. I can stand on a walker, but then I need to hold
on the walker with two hands. So I'm looking at electric/automatic air pumps. Do
you people have any recommendation or any brand to avoid? Also, for manual
pomp, are there any that requires no hands (also remember it takes time to sit down
and have a hand free.)?

Sheng-Chieh
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Old 12-26-07, 07:44 PM   #2
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I bought a $10 air compressor at canadian tire. Pumps well over 200psi. It's quite loud however.
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Old 12-26-07, 08:49 PM   #3
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Airless compressors work, but make a lot of noise. I have the original B&D Air Station that I changed the hose and air chuck to a standard size when the plastic air chuck finally fell apart (after 5 years...not bad). Wal*Mart sells a Campbell Hausfeld Pancake Compressor, which can go up to 150 psi. You are looking at spending $40-80.00 for a small home/auto air compressor, but it's worth it IMHO.

Foot pumps are available, but you would have to ask/look around for a good one. Hand pumps seem to be superior and take less strokes to pump air into anything.
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Old 12-26-07, 09:51 PM   #4
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One of the guys I ride with has one he plugs into the cigarette lighter in his car. I think it is one of those "emergency" ones but, it works for his road bike tires.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:33 PM   #5
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What about C02 pumps? They're similar to an electric one, except you don't need any power source.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:44 PM   #6
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There are automatic pumps that can be set to a desired pressure. Next there are two and 3 foot long metal pipes to put on the air hose so you do not need to lean over, just push the (probably) schraeder fitting on the end of the pipe onto the tire valve. For extreme cases there are solid tires.
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Old 12-27-07, 06:03 AM   #7
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I ever you need to have your tubes replaced, consider getting "car" valves, you can have them "pumped" at any gas station.
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Old 12-27-07, 06:41 AM   #8
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Sheng-Chieh, have you considered using air free tires? They don't ride the same as a pneumatic tire, but I'm thinking that's not really a major issue for you. There is information to be found at http://www.airfreetires.com/
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Old 12-27-07, 10:29 AM   #9
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There are foot pumps.I should have read more closely to see if you have used or tried them.You would attach the valve to the valve in the usual way,and then use your foot/leg to pump it up.
Luck,
Charlie
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Old 12-28-07, 12:06 PM   #10
shengchieh
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what air pressure should I use?

Thank to all who replied with ideas. I decided to go for an air compressor, namely

Bon-Aire BA121L 120V Air Compressor/Inflator
http://www.amazon.com/Bon-Aire-BA121...8777402&sr=8-2

because it has good review, plug in 120v outlet, and relatively cheap. From the 4th image, it looks like all
the attachment between the bike nozzle and air pump is there. Brake me if this is the wrong item.

-----

My next question is how much psi should I use? The trike wheels say 35-50 psi - no absolute number.
What are the difference between pumping at 35 and 50 psi? Fyi, I only ride leisurely (no racing) and
I barely use 3rd gear on level slope.

Sheng-Chieh
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Old 12-30-07, 09:07 PM   #11
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Lower pressure gives a softer ride, but you have a greater risk of getting a pinch flat if you hit a hard bump. Higher pressure will make the tire roll faster with less effort.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95624 View Post
Lower pressure gives a softer ride, but you have a greater risk of getting a pinch flat if you hit a hard bump. Higher pressure will make the tire roll faster with less effort.
Up to a point. The recommended max spec is a good starting point unless you are unusually heavy or unusually light - try different tire pressures and see how you like it.

If your tires are too low on pressure you'll get pinch flats. Higher tire pressure means it will roll better - up to a point where the ride quality starts to deteriorate. Experiment a little. If you have steel rims, be careful on going to high - tires don't stay on as well as they do on AL rims.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:19 PM   #13
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If you want to pump tires on the road, you might check the Topeak Road Morph. Since it looks like a smallish road pump, you might be able to push with one hand while the other end stays on the ground.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:52 PM   #14
Sheldon Brown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shengchieh View Post
My next question is how much psi should I use? The trike wheels say 35-50 psi - no absolute number.
What are the difference between pumping at 35 and 50 psi? Fyi, I only ride leisurely (no racing) and
I barely use 3rd gear on level slope.
I too can just barely walk (mostly use two canes) and ride a trike, though I can still, just barely, use a floor pump.

The pressure issue is quite different for trikes than it is for bikes, because a trike doesn't lean in the corners...also there's less weight on each of the wheels.

My general article on tires http://sheldonbrown.com/tires has specific info on trikes, and also a general section on pressure. Check it out!

Sheldon "Three For The Road" Brown
http://sheldonbrown.com/ms
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