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Old 03-03-09, 06:31 PM   #1
kmart
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I need a floor pump that doesn't suck

Warning: Long monologue on complaints with current pump. Basically I need a new one that actually works.

Every time I try to pump up a Presta valve with my floor pump, it is a bit iffy. Sometimes the valve is tilted or a little bent, or sticky or whatever. Regardless, if the tube has about 80psi or more, the valve sticktion is too much for the pump to handle (it can take 160 psi max) so I will start pumping and the pressure in the gauge/pump hose is above 160, but still not enough to depress the Presta valve, so the pump gauge blows out through a safety valve. The pump is unable to pump after that until I reset the gauge. This is an annoying process where I have to remove the gauge, pop the safety valve back in and reset the indicator needle to the right point (taking into account the slop in the needle), using a digital pressure meter to set it to the right place. Without the digital gauge to use for calibration, there is no way for me to fix the pump gauge reliably.

Usually what I do to avoid this is to depress the Presta valve with my finger and let some air out, so that it is not so sticky and the pump can overcome the pressure. But sometimes it blows anyway. And when it blew again yesterday, I chipped a little piece of the plastic gauge cover, which acts as a seal. So now my pump is dead and I need a new one.

I am looking at some middle grade pumps, something like a Serfas FP50 or FP200, or a Joe Blow Sport. Are these pumps fairly consistent on the gauge pressure reading? Does the valve head work reliably without damaging the delicate Presta valve?
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Old 03-03-09, 06:44 PM   #2
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I have used a cheap ($15) Pricepoint Sette floor pump with tripod base for the last year, and on over 40 bikes (I have been fixing and rebuilding bikes). So far, so good. I had a higher end pump last less than a week (I forget the brand right now).
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Old 03-03-09, 07:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kmart View Post
I am looking at some middle grade pumps, something like a Serfas FP50 or FP200, or a Joe Blow Sport. Are these pumps fairly consistent on the gauge pressure reading? Does the valve head work reliably without damaging the delicate Presta valve?
Just $.02. I've used a Joe Blow Sport for several years on three bikes, all Presta valves, and it's performed fine. No glitches. I've never cross-checked the gauge pressure to see if the pump is inflating at a consistent pressure, but it seems fine.
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Old 03-03-09, 07:32 PM   #4
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if it doesn't suck, it can't blow
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Old 03-03-09, 08:05 PM   #5
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Old 03-03-09, 08:07 PM   #6
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I have been using the same Silca Pista pump for more than 25 years. about 13 years ago I replaced the large brass presta only chuck with one that is convertable to use with either presta or shrader valves by flipping the guts inside the chuck (this coincides with when I got married as my wife at the time had a hybrid with shrader valves). In over 25 years I have never experienced the problem you face regarding your pump not being able to resist the pressure in the tube. The only problem with the Silca Pista pump is that the chuck sometimes pops off the valve when pumping up to high pressures...this was easily fixed by adding a small velcro strap around the base of the chuck that secures the chuck to the valve by strapping up over the tire. I highly recommend this pump if you can still find one...I think 25+ years is a testament to the quality of the pump.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:09 PM   #7
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Unfortunately they don't make Silca pumps like they used to. The new ones have bad reviews on mtbr...
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Old 03-03-09, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
if it doesn't suck, it can't blow
You beat me to it


Quote:
Every time I try to pump up a Presta valve with my floor pump, it is a bit iffy. Sometimes the valve is tilted or a little bent, or sticky or whatever. Regardless, if the tube has about 80psi or more, the valve sticktion is too much for the pump to handle (it can take 160 psi max) so I will start pumping and the pressure in the gauge/pump hose is above 160, but still not enough to depress the Presta valve,
Just curious ... Have you ever heard of a practice called "burping"? Basically all there is to it is to depress the presta valve a little to release a small amount of air. What you are doing is freeing up the valve mechanism before installing the pump head. Unlike Schrader valves, Presta valves rely solely on high pressure vs low pressure (shuttle valve) to move the mechanism. It is not uncommon for the valve mechanism to stick. Schrader valves don't suffer from this because they use both mechanical and air pressure to actuate the mechanism.

If you are not burping, I would suggest trying that first before laying out any dough on a new pump. If you are, and it still is not working, then maybe there is a problem with the pump. In that case anything made by Topeak, Park, Silca, or Specialized is what I recommend.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:11 PM   #9
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I just ordered the Park PFP-3 from Price Point for $32. I'm sure someone has experience with it.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:23 PM   #10
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Joe Blow Pro.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:26 PM   #11
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realistically you can f**k the gauge. Pump your tires up until they are firm...check the firmness by pressing down on the top of the tire with your thumb (i.e., grab the wheel with the tire and rim in your fist with your thumb on top of the tire and press down). Unless you spend a lot of time messing around ensuring your gauge is calibrated your gauge is only giving you a ballpark figure at best. The thumb pressure test should get you in the same ballpark with less hassle. If you find that you need a firmer ride...just add a bit more air until you get the desired ride quality. If the ride is too harsh then drop the pressure a tiny bit at a time until, again, you get the ride quality you want. You can spend lots of time making this stuff a science or you can go out and ride.

-J
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Old 03-03-09, 08:32 PM   #12
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I have a Joe Blow Sport. It pumps fine but is falling apart after 3 years. The plastic top of the barrell cracked on one side so comes free if I am not careful. That said, looking at more recent versions of the same pump, it looks like the cap has been redesigned and is a bit more substantial so perhaps will be less prone to breaking.

So I am in th market for a new pump too. Seen some good prices on Park PFP-4 so will watch this thread for recommendations.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
Warning: Long monologue on complaints with current pump. Basically I need a new one that actually works.

Every time I try to pump up a Presta valve with my floor pump, it is a bit iffy. Sometimes the valve is tilted or a little bent, or sticky or whatever. Regardless, if the tube has about 80psi or more, the valve sticktion is too much for the pump to handle (it can take 160 psi max) so I will start pumping and the pressure in the gauge/pump hose is above 160, but still not enough to depress the Presta valve, so the pump gauge blows out through a safety valve. The pump is unable to pump after that until I reset the gauge. This is an annoying process where I have to remove the gauge, pop the safety valve back in and reset the indicator needle to the right point (taking into account the slop in the needle), using a digital pressure meter to set it to the right place. Without the digital gauge to use for calibration, there is no way for me to fix the pump gauge reliably.

Usually what I do to avoid this is to depress the Presta valve with my finger and let some air out, so that it is not so sticky and the pump can overcome the pressure. But sometimes it blows anyway. And when it blew again yesterday, I chipped a little piece of the plastic gauge cover, which acts as a seal. So now my pump is dead and I need a new one.

I am looking at some middle grade pumps, something like a Serfas FP50 or FP200, or a Joe Blow Sport. Are these pumps fairly consistent on the gauge pressure reading? Does the valve head work reliably without damaging the delicate Presta valve?
I've been using a Silca Pista floor pump for going on 30 years now. Apart from a gasket change every few years and regreasing the plunger, it's worked flawlessly .
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Old 03-03-09, 09:48 PM   #14
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SKS Rennkompressor
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Old 03-03-09, 09:54 PM   #15
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with my pump I have had the issue sometimes where it'll not pop the valve and then it'll just build up an internal pressure in the pump, the gauge quickly jumping past 120, but when this happens I don't keep pumping (and that's probably why I've not blown my gauge.) if I see that happen I'll just wiggle the chuck that's attached to the presta valve, usually I hear a "snik" as the valve pops and the pressures equalize, then I can begin pumping. Otherwise I will remove the chuck and burp the valve as others have described.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 3feetplease View Post
I just ordered the Park PFP-3 from Price Point for $32. I'm sure someone has experience with it.
I own both, the home mechanic model and the pro. Surprisingly the cheaper one is easier to come off the valve. Overall I am pretty satisfied w these.
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Old 03-04-09, 05:36 AM   #17
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Well I own a Joe Blow. Dunno if it is sport or not. Picked it up for about 25.

I haven't inflated anything above 65 psi on presta, but I have had on issues with it.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:24 AM   #18
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SKS Rennkompressor
+1 got one about a year ago. excellent quality. looks like it will last many many years. similiar to the older silca pista pumps.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:27 AM   #19
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I'm surprisingly unhappy with my Pedros pump. I don't know if I just got a bad one, or they all suck. It just doesn't have any volume.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:30 AM   #20
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I like my Park PFP-3 also. I use Michelin Airstop tubes. They are unthreaded, so the pump is easier to pull off. The pump head grips well enough, just pressed on the valve, that I usually don't bother to lock it on.

I still have to tap the tube's valve before attaching the pump.
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Old 03-04-09, 09:07 AM   #21
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Can't imagine someone with a user name of Kmart having trouble with a product they bought!

(Sorry K, couldn't resist!)

Have used old Silcas, Parks, etc, currently have a Blackburn, and all have worked fine. ALL presta valves HAVE to be burped before you start pumping. C'mon, it's only one or two extra pump strokes to recoup the lost air!

The presta valve has a tremendous amount of pressure forcing the valve closed. You've not only got the initial pressure of the tire, but additionally, the weight of the bike and rider, plus whatever bumps you hit all applying some amount of additional force.

So the valve can get stuck tight. Over the years I've even seen two or three that I couldn't burp with my finger, and I actually had to tap with something metal to free them up. If I'd have been relying on pump pressure alone to free those up, I'd have been blowing the pump head off the presta valve or popping the pressure release all day!
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Old 03-04-09, 10:28 AM   #22
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I've got a Blackburn TP-2 that I've been using for at least 12 years, maybe 15. I'm very happy with it. The original air hose cracked about 5 years ago. I called Blackburn to order a replacement and they sent me one free (no copy of sales receipt, just my word over the phone). I was impressed.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:42 AM   #23
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I love my Silca Track pump that I've been using for the last 30 years or whatever. But the Joe Blow I bought for my mom works better.

Last edited by GV27; 03-04-09 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 03-04-09, 11:11 AM   #24
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+1 on burping the valve.

I just replaced the rubber gasket on my 25 year old Silca. Now I'm having problems with those new fangled high profile rims and threaded valve stems. It's taking me an extra 15 seconds to properly seat the pump head!
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Old 03-04-09, 11:24 AM   #25
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Yeah, that's the main problem with my old Silca. We both need this:

http://www.biketiresdirect.com/psnlp...ta_head/pp.htm
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