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Old 12-06-11, 04:07 PM   #1
optimizer
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Foot pump mechanics.

This is regarding bicycle foot pump mechanics.
I've always used a foot pump for blowing up bike and auto tires. 20 years ago and before I never had a problem. More recently, the last 5 to 6 pumps have been of low quality and all returned for another one that appears to fail.
Most of them have been Bell. The second off last was a Schwinn double barrel foot pump. All of these have failed because the shaft that compresses the air saws its way through the metal that holds it in the center of the barrel. The single barrel Bells tended to be of very weak construction/components and my young kid simply being pumping a little off center totally bent the entire metal pumping system.
The Europeans had good plastic ones 20 years ago, so I was excited to finally see a Bell plastic one with a large diameter shaft that didn't look likely to destroy the cylinder base.
The Bell AirStomper. The more expensive Wal Mart pump, around $17. I purchased one. It was the only one on the shelf and it wasn't apparent parts were missing/broken, but the pump parts appeared to be in working order regardless of missing parts. I tried it. It seemed to pump easily. I tried it in the cold on a car tire. The pump didn't appear to pump air and the plastic valve lock mechanism seemed to glue itself to the valve stem and very hard to attach/remove. The thin plastic lever felt like it might snap.
I took this back and exchanged it for another.

My initial reason fo writing is that the mechanics of this pump seem different. It says: Longer barrel, longer strokes, up to 125 psi max.

Other pumps blow air when I press the pump. This one doesn't - so I couldn't use it to blow moisture off small parts/tubes/things like I often do. But when I attach it to a ball, it blows it up. Strange. Does it only blow when it's under high pressure - only a high pressure bike tire pump? It doesn't apear to pump very quickly. I wonder if it's leaking out of its attachment to the top of the pump - there are a slew of bad reports on Amazon.

Is this pump only for bicycle use, v's Auto/Bicycle?

My other reason for posting is - the old foot pumps were solid and used to work for years, but I can't find a place that sells anything but the basic lowest $8 models (other than this higher priced air stomper). Doing internet searches I see likely looking candidates, Auto pumps etc at a few Chinese distributors and Australia and UK, but that's the only places I find them. Can't find them in US stores or even on the internet.
I'd really like a single barrel one that's oversized air capacity (versus double barrel) for better auto tire pumping too, and one with a solid metal easy to use valve stem lock - these plastic ones seem to glue themselves to the valve and wear out?

Are there any manufacturers that make/stores that carry good quality foot pumps - not luxury - just a good one that'll hold up?

Thanks

Here's the Bell Air Stomper: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Air-Stomp...3210600&sr=8-1

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg

Last edited by optimizer; 12-06-11 at 04:43 PM. Reason: add links to air stomper pum and photo
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Old 12-06-11, 04:46 PM   #2
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The Silca is a good quality floor pump that can be rebuilt when necessary. I have had mine since 1994. I wouldn't try to inflate car tires with it.

Last edited by davidad; 12-07-11 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-07-11, 02:47 AM   #3
optimizer
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Foot pump reviews, foot pumps, foot pump repair, foot pump customization.

Here's a place you can see somewhat of a review of different foot pumps available in the UK and some in Australia,

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product...oot_pumps.html

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product...ps_tested.html

A Michelin one in single and a double barrel version seemed to always top reviews - I haven't seen it in the US.
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product..._footpump.html

and here's a similar one by their AA (which is like AAA in the US).
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product...ty_double.html

On images.google.com just search on "foot pump" or "foot tire pump" etc and you'll see various types.

This Alibaba.com wholesaler for Chinese pumps seems to have information on many:

These thick cylinder types looked interesting, and I almost purchased one on Ebay from England.

http://beepump.en.alibaba.com/produc...foot_pump.html

http://beepump.en.alibaba.com/produc..._Inflator.html


http://pilot-sports.en.alibaba.com/p...FOOT_PUMP.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/38...oot_pump_.html

Again, I was almost going to buy one of these thick cylinder double barrel ones, but the more I looked at the expanded picture the more I saw the junk manufacturing I'd seen on the last 6 I've purchased. I looked at the Plastic Bell AirStomper I have and returned to my thinking that it should be a better product than most of these (although the Michelin and Sealey ones look OK, but even the Michelin didn't have a perfect review).
I decided to try to find out what was wrong with the Bell Air Stomper
I checked the pump, and it blew air when the hose was off. I checked the hose by using another pump to blow air through it. No problems. So I checked the hose to pump seal, and there didn't seem to be a real problem (it didn't look very good though). What I noticed was that there was some debris sticking up into the inside of the tube where the pressure meter screws in. This could have blocked the valve operation right at that poing. I filed off the debris. I reassembled it.
Another thing with it is that it's unclear how far you should push the hose into the tube at the top of the pump.
****Don't push it in too far as it may be stopping the pumps valve from operating and allowing air to flow through the tube to the tire.

This plastic pump cylinder seems good. Additionally, you can gain access to the inside of it, so it may be possible to replace parts if you can come up with similar replacements. The air hose isn't very nice nor the clamp at the end. I understand this, and I might cut the hose and put a join in and attach a real hose, longer, and a quality locking attachment at the end.

It's a shame you have to build these pumps yourself or buy from overseas. I'd have paid the shop and pump makers a few more dollars if they'd simply sell/build a half decent one.

Last edited by optimizer; 12-07-11 at 07:43 PM. Reason: a small change
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Old 12-07-11, 04:58 PM   #4
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Look for one by a company called Air Revolution.It's not a clamshell style but they work well and you use you foot to operate it.It look alot like a BMW motorcycle tire pump.Works on schrader,presta and basketball (needle)type valves.
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Old 12-07-11, 06:47 PM   #5
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Yeah, they looked interesting when I first spotted them - Here's a review:
http://www.gearreview.com/miniFootPump.php
The more I looked at it the more I figured it was more a bicycle pump only, with no capacity to blow up car tires in a hurry too.

But this review brings up a question. It mentions quote "Inflating a tire is by no means quick, one of the prices paid for high pressure."

This Bell AirStomper that I have, it's a 125psi pump they say. The one or 2 times I've attached it to a car tire it seems to take ages to pump the tire up compared to a regular old $10 "disposable (ha ha)" cheap pump - you may as well toss them these days after blowing up a couple of car tires.
So that's a question - Is this Bell AirStomper supposed to inflate tires slowly (and is really a bike pump only), or is there something wrong with the pump?

Also, has anyone seen one of those pumps with the (the Auto Pump) in the links in the previous message. What is the wide diameter chrome rod. Is it just a rod, so it doesn't saw it's way through the base of the cylinder like on cheapies, or is this a radical new design, and it contains air that's pumped into the tire? If so, what seals does this pump have - presumably big ones that could wear? I'd love to know how this one works - what it looks like taken to pieces.

http://beepump.en.alibaba.com/produc...foot_pump.html
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Old 12-07-11, 07:29 PM   #6
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Schrader valve differences........

Here's an interesting line from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_pump
"There is also a slight difference between the modern standard for Schrader valves on an automobile and that on a bicycle which makes some more recent valves on gas station pumps a poor fit."

This might explain why pump fittings are so hard to use on cars these days.

Complications
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