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  1. #1
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    Recommendations for cheap hand pump for travel

    Hello all, I need some recommendations for a cheap (keyword being cheap) but effective and portable hand pump for traveling.

    I don't know what the reasonable price range for this sort of thing is.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    As much as $10 for CO2 cartridges plus the inflator thing. In my experience, it works much much better than a hand pump. But I run skinny tires at high pressure.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If Cheap is job 1, might find stuff in thrift/charity shops, 2 buck cheap..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-06-12 at 09:16 PM.

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    Senior Member TwoFourOne's Avatar
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    Senior Member sirtirithon's Avatar
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    Walmart carries the Schwinn mini pumps for around $15 i believe. They look like exact copies of the Topeak pump i have.

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    Maybe it is just because I bought a cheap pump but my hand pump sucks, no pun intended. Would take forever to get a decent pressure. Would wear my arms out. Despite my best efforts to keep the stem straight I drilled a hole in it from the rim bu the repeated back and forth motion from the pump. I said screw this and bout a CO2. Haven't had to use it yet but I feel better knowing I won't have to rely on that hand pump. Gonna throw a few cartridges in my bag and call it good.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckaspar View Post
    Maybe it is just because I bought a cheap pump but my hand pump sucks, no pun intended. Would take forever to get a decent pressure. Would wear my arms out. Despite my best efforts to keep the stem straight I drilled a hole in it from the rim bu the repeated back and forth motion from the pump. I said screw this and bout a CO2. Haven't had to use it yet but I feel better knowing I won't have to rely on that hand pump. Gonna throw a few cartridges in my bag and call it good.
    Was the pump rated to handle the max PSI for your tires? A pump meant for mtb tires generally lacks the oomph to inflate road tires.
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    I am running a mtb. LOL

  9. #9
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    It's a little longer than some compact pumps, but the Topeak Road Morph is excellent. It even has a gauge, though I find it a little hard to read. It's about $30 online.
    Last edited by Spld cyclist; 03-06-12 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Well, I used to have a Topeak Road Morph/G, but the one time I needed it, the guts were missing. Since they were going to charge me for replacement parts (when it seemed like everyone else on these boards was having similar issues and being comp'd), I just bought something that looks like a pump from Wally World. Got no idea if the thing even works- I just make sure I use my floor pump to top off and I'm good..... which means on my next ride I will probably double flat and have a defective spare tube for mocking the Diety of Flats.
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  11. #11
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    I use this one: http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-Mini-Mul...1080960&sr=8-2

    It is cheap enough to be almost disposable, not worth worrying about getting stolen, and very fast for a portable pump. The handle is very comfortable. It is only rated to 50psig, but I find that is more than enough to limp home on, on the rare occasions when I get a flat. Not necessarily what you'd take on a century ride, but more than adequate for commuting, in my book.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tohtruck View Post
    Hello all, I need some recommendations for a cheap (keyword being cheap) but effective and portable hand pump for traveling.

    I don't know what the reasonable price range for this sort of thing is.

    Thanks
    Topeak Road Morph w/Gauge. www.bikeisland.com 35.00USD No shipping. I've got one per bike. Wouldn't go to the end of my driveway w/o one. The advantage is that one uses it like a small floor pump. The endcap on the nozzle unscrews and it can be set for either presta or schrader valve stems.

    I use a floor pump for topping off my tires, but I use the pump that's on the bike if it's been awhile to make sure the pump's fully operational.

    Believe me, they're worth the extra money.

  13. #13
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I use a Zefal HP-X frame pump on the bike. You can get a tire to full pressure without too much trouble. Looks like Niagara cycleworks sells them for about $30. I see some of the older HP's on Ebay for even less.

    I've heard good about the Topeak Morph's that someone else mentioned, but have never used one myself.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  14. #14
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Well, I used to have a Topeak Road Morph/G, but the one time I needed it, the guts were missing. Since they were going to charge me for replacement parts (when it seemed like everyone else on these boards was having similar issues and being comp'd), I just bought something that looks like a pump from Wally World. Got no idea if the thing even works- I just make sure I use my floor pump to top off and I'm good..... which means on my next ride I will probably double flat and have a defective spare tube for mocking the Diety of Flats.
    Maybe you should try the thing at home sometime? Just saying.... : )

  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    Maybe you should try the thing at home sometime? Just saying.... : )
    And if doesn't, I'm planning on investing in a Lezyne.

    I'm lazy, but I'm a bigger cheapskate and get embrace the idea of paying for CO2 catridges when air is free...
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  16. #16
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    My experience with cheap pumps like the Bell Airstrike is that they'd work fine for a while... until they suddenly didn't. The base would crack, or the hose would break, or a leak would develop somewhere else, necessitating the purchase of another one.

    If you're touring somewhere, especially if you're touring somewhere, you ought to have a pump that you know will work. And that's worth a couple extra bucks. So far my Topeak Road Morph G hasn't let me down.
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  17. #17
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I've got one of these. It's no fun to use, but it will get me home in a pinch.

    I've also got a Topeak Turbo Morph which is great, and a Lezyne Micro Floor pump which has seemed great in test runs in the comfort of my garage but which I haven't had a chance to use on the road yet. I got the Lezyne for $4 at an REI Used Gear sale because it had a broken part and Lezyne sent me a replacement part for free, so that's my 'cheap' solution.

  18. #18
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    I'm not looking to tour. I'm just commuting and running errands. I might be riding into other boroughs (I live in NYC).

    I'm a dude who walks everywhere. So if I did run a flat or something happened while riding that would lead to me not being able to use my bike to get back, I'm somewhat okay with it (probably just get on the subway). But it's going to suck ballz, and I actually don't want to be the guy taking up space on a crowded subway for his bike.

    The CO2 cartridges are appealing. In fact, the dude at my local bicycle co-op suggested them. Would you guys say they are more cost-efficient?

    Do they ever fail? Or run the risk of exploding?

    That Zefal HPX pump looks longer and not as portable as I would have hoped. It kind of looks like something I would stick fight with. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing I suppose.

    Old's'cool
    The Zefal Mini Multi Sort Bicycle Frame Pump looks quite portable, although I did not see any sort of bracket or mounting set up to attach the pump to a bike frame. Does it come with something like that? Or do you just stuff it in a bag?

    Also, you bring up a good point, I don't really want something that I will have to worry about getting stolen. So in that sense as well, cheap is what I am looking for. But not so cheap that it is useless.

    I live in NYC so I am assuming there's a decent chance that it will get stolen if I leave the pump on the frame.

    How many of you guys leave your travel pumps on your frames?

    Although, I suppose, fear of getting the pump stolen would also make it a better idea to go for the little CO2 cartridges.

    The Pocket Rocket and Schwinn Mini Pump also look very ideal.

  19. #19
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    Before I start touring, I'm going to upgrade to one of the Topeak Road Morphs. In my experience, mini pumps are a pain to fill tires with. The Road Morph basically becomes a mini floor pump, and being able to brace it with a foot allows for much more efficient pumping.
    "When I'm on a bike, it's like I'm 14 again, racing off to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters."

  20. #20
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    They look like exact copies of the Topeak pump i have

  21. #21
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    I personally like a pump with a short hose that connects to the stem. Around 8 inches is enough. It lets you turn the tire with stem down and then pump against the ground.
    You didn’t mention the type of bike or the pressure you need to get to and most of the cheap pumps get to 80 PSI fairly easy and then it’s a lot of work to go higher. So just because the built in gage says 130 PSI that doesn’t mean you will get to that. The good news is 80 PSI will get you riding at least and you should have a good floor pump at home to supplement the emergency pump on the bike.

    I have a Walmart Bell pump on my commuter bike that has a mounting bracket and the bracket holds a few patches, stem adapter and 2 tire levers. Handy to have that all attached to the bike. This photo shows it attached to the rack out of the way and it has saved the day a half dozen times already.


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  22. #22
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    the co2 cartridges are definitely the most convenient option, just make sure you know how to use them, cause once they're spent, you're walking if you messed up. I stopped to help a guy on my commute a while back that emptied two cartridges on a brand new tube because he had no idea wtf he was doing.. I was able to get him up and running because I had a pump. Pumps are only spent if they are broken. That being said, I won't ever settle for a "cheap" pump again. I broke down and bought a Lezyne a while back and will not be looking at ANY other brands any time soon.. As my older, plastic bodied pumps wear out (each of my bikes has its own pump) they will all be replaced with Lezyne.
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  23. #23
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    Topeak Road Morph w/Gauge. www.bikeisland.com 35.00USD No shipping. I've got one per bike. Wouldn't go to the end of my driveway w/o one. The advantage is that one uses it like a small floor pump. The endcap on the nozzle unscrews and it can be set for either presta or schrader valve stems.

    I use a floor pump for topping off my tires, but I use the pump that's on the bike if it's been awhile to make sure the pump's fully operational.

    Believe me, they're worth the extra money.
    +1 - I concur wholeheartedly. It is a law of nature that cheap pumps will let you down when you need them the most. C02 cartridge set ups are good as a back up (I have one) but not foolproof. You have to have a full canister with you and the day you don't is the day you'll flat 15 miles from home in the rain.
    Also they are just another ongoing expense so ultimately I find them wasteful as well.

    My road morph is bullet proof, It's in year 7 and it has and still is performing flawlessly. It's well worth $30

  24. #24
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tohtruck View Post
    That Zefal HPX pump looks longer and not as portable as I would have hoped. It kind of looks like something I would stick fight with. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing I suppose.
    Wasn't sure what you meant by "traveling". You could have meant to keep in the car on vacation with the bike. The Zefal HP series fits nicely under the top tube of a traditional steel frame, but would be awkward on some of the other frame styles now made. Probably not convenient to carry around with you either.

    Sounds like a larger mini pump might fit the requirement. I have one of these hurricane mini pumps on my utility bike. $10 on good sale, $20 regular price. haven't had to use it yet, but it's gotten good user reviews over on Performance bike.

    From what others have said, the Topeak Road Morph sounds like a winner. I'm temped to pick one up myself now.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  25. #25
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    I'm definitely in the co2 cartridge camp. Overall it probably costs more than an equivalnet mini-pump, but you can get one for $20 with 2 or 3 cartridges & in my expeirnece, that number has lasted me for 2.5 years of commuting. I had to refill this year, and the refills were $3/10 at my LBS, so I'm now at $30 in, which is the same price as a semi-decent mini-pump, but it's just so much more convenient. The Red Zepplin is a nice co2 pump. It has an on/off adjustments that allows you to secure the cartridge to the 'pump' & also the pump to the tire before releasing the co2, which really limits any opportunity for wasting a cartridge & also allos you to partially inflate a tube with a co2 cartridge.

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