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Old 01-19-09, 02:35 AM   #1
europa
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Flats and stupid mini-pumps

GAAARRRRRKKKKK

I can't take a trick at the moment. Sheesh.

The car's in the workshop ... again.
The workshop closes at five so I've got to leave work early.
I leap on the treddly and have a good ride ... until about 4km from the workshop when I get that sudden unsteady feeling.
Yup, rapidly deflating rear tyre.

No problem, that happens. I check the time and have about 15 minutes to get to the workshop.

Out with the rear wheel.
Off with the tyre (yes, I cheated and went straight for the tyre levers rather than use my thumbs).
Out with the tube.
Quick check for anything sharp in the tyre. No torn or bloody fingers so in with the spare tube.

This takes about 13.248 nano-seconds so I'm feeling reasonably good about getting to the workshop on time.

Then I reach for that stupid pump.
For starters, I couldn't undo the velcro strap to get it off the frame! The end was between the pump and the frame and the velcro had welded itself together, so I get a tyre lever and dig the end out.
At about this point, I could hear a parrot in the tree above practicing some of the swear words I'd been teaching him.
Pump's off the frame at last, attached to wheel. Pump pump pump pump pump flamin' pump.
Nothing.
Take pump off wheel and check if it's working. It is, so why no air in the tyre?
Pump back on wheel.
Pump pump pump bloody pump flamin' pump.
The parrot looks shocked at the language and flies away.
Still no air in the tyre, it's leaking out as fast as it's going in and this being one of those stupid mini-pumps that are all you can get these days, it's not going in all that fast.
Check for leaks in pump.
Check for leaks around the seal.
Have another go.
Pump pump pump pump pump pump.
I'm now feeling a tad cranky now so that little pump handle was really oscillating.

I stop to check the time. It's now 5. I look at my mobile phone. They've rung me during the day so their number would be recorded, but which number is it? I try two - the first didn't answer which was nice because the second number was the workshop.

I explain my problem, trying to sound calm and genteel because the lovely Kari really is a nice lass, even nicer when she offered to jump in my car and come and get me.

While I waited, I had another shot at that tyre. Nope, can barely get enough into it to hold the rim off the ground.

Bloody pump.
Kari turned up. The car's working nicely. My credit card didn't bounce so I was able to pay my bill and I got home ... about an hour late.

The hole in the tube looks like a roofing nail's gone through it. Added to that, whatever it was went through a tyre liner as well. You'd expect to see some evidence of damage on the tyre wouldn't you? Nope, not even a suggestion of a cut, let alone something resembling a harpoon sticking out of the tyre.

So I've got the tyre pumped up using my floor pump. I'm hoping that it'll either go flat really quickly or still be rock solid in the morning - I'm good at being hopelessly optimistic like that.

But that rotten mini-pump? It's USELESS. And it's a good brand (Wrench Force) that cost quite a bit. It's only been used once before as my flats have either been discovered in the convenience of my own home or been on other bikes. But I can't go riding carrying that heap of rubbish again. It puffs air but all of that seems to escape back through the head mechanism ... I think. It's probably been hanging on a bike for too long (about 2 1/2 years).

So, what new pump do I buy? I've yet to be impressed with any of these little mini-pumps you get these days (though my cheapies at least pump up the tyres). You can't get any with a decent volume any more ... well, not here in the land of the great lycra fairy you can't. It's enough to turn me to CO2 ... which is great until you run out of CO2 ... usually because you haven't found the pointy thing causing the punctures yet.

For the record, the noise in the bike is now gone (change of pedals) ... so I guess that's why the bike felt it could inflict this upon me.

The soap opera continues

Richard
I wonder if that parrot is still practicing those swear words I taught him
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Old 01-19-09, 02:43 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your flat from hell. Gotta say you couldn't pay me to own anything of the Wrench Force brand, just low end stuff. For mini pumps I'd go with the Topeak Mini Morph and it even has a presta valve friendly flexible hose. http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...num=1&ct=title
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Old 01-19-09, 02:52 AM   #3
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Topeak Road Morph G
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Old 01-19-09, 03:59 AM   #4
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I used a borrowed mini-pump once. I'm not sure what their intended purpose might be, but there is no way they ever expect anyone to actually use one to pump up a bicycle tire with one of those tiny things. Walking home would be easier.
I use a frame pump, Mtn Morph or CO2 inflator.
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Old 01-19-09, 05:08 AM   #5
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What ever was squeaking on the bike must have been what held air in the pump!
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Old 01-19-09, 05:50 AM   #6
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What ever was squeaking on the bike must have been what held air in the pump!
I went to use the pump that lived on my horrible hybrid about two years ago and found that the head had disappeared - good thing I was home at the time, not out on a ride.

Richard
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Old 01-19-09, 07:24 AM   #7
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I have the Topeak Mountain Morph. Like the Road Morph, it has a little foot pad that swings out, and it has a hose.

I used it with the schrader valves on my mountain bike for a couple of years. Then when I got the road bike, I reverse the little fitting inside the head and now use it for presta valves.

It will get my road tires to 120 psi without a problem.

The Mountain Morph is a little shorter and a little larger in diameter than the Road Morph.

I've had it for three years or so, and it's held up pretty well. Hasn't failed me yet. It's come to the rescue of several fellow riders who either had no pump or had CO2.

I'm sure that either the Mountain Morph or Road Morph would serve you well.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:10 AM   #8
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I have the Topeak Mountain Morph. Like the Road Morph, it has a little foot pad that swings out, and it has a hose.

I used it with the schrader valves on my mountain bike for a couple of years. Then when I got the road bike, I reverse the little fitting inside the head and now use it for presta valves.

It will get my road tires to 120 psi without a problem.

The Mountain Morph is a little shorter and a little larger in diameter than the Road Morph.

I've had it for three years or so, and it's held up pretty well. Hasn't failed me yet. It's come to the rescue of several fellow riders who either had no pump or had CO2.

I'm sure that either the Mountain Morph or Road Morph would serve you well.
Topeak Mountain and Road Morph pumps are the best!
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Old 01-19-09, 08:22 AM   #9
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I've had sucess with the Topeak Master Blaster frame pump. However, I always carry Co2 with me in case I need to fix the flat in shorter time than usual, e.g., a situation like yours.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:20 AM   #10
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Sorry Richard,

As noted by bikinfool above, Wrench Force is not a very good brand. To the best of my knowledge, Wrench Force pumps are made by Lopin Wang (China). And while Lopin sure is a nice guy, he is building to a price point, so the quality suffers.

Louis Chang, on the other hand, is the founder, head engineer and owner of Topeak (Taiwan). Okay, Louis can be a wild and crazy (can you say Party Animal) kind of guy. That aside, he is an absolute fanatic for quality engineering and performance of his products. I use Topeak pumps on all of my bikes.

Neal Todrys (Todson) is the U.S. agent for Topeak (with an amazing dry sense of humor), and works well with Louis regarding dealer/consumer feedback for improvements in Topeak's products, as does the rest of the crew at Topeak U.S.

Not sure who imports Topeak into Australia, but you can check out this retail link:

http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/Topeak-mid-27.html

Rick / OCRR
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Old 01-19-09, 10:09 AM   #11
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I have always had good luck with today's full-size frame-fit pumps. I have a Blackburn which fits between the downtube pegs on the UO-8 and Zefal HP-Xs along the seat tubes of the Bianchi and Capo #1. I have a Mt. Zefal frame fit pump on the peg on the back of the Schwinn's seat tube, taking advantage of all the tire clearance.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:10 AM   #12
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Out with 2 or 3 mates offroad and we are bound to get punctures. It is a joint effort to repair the puncture- except for one thing. It is always my pump that is used during the repair. Why? Because my pumps always work. Once a month- on servicing the bikes- I also check over the pumps. Sp when I do have to use it- it will work.

As to type- Blackburn Mammoth on the MTB and I also have one of these on the TCR. But have to admit that the topeak Morph pump that I have on Boreas is fantastic. Only problem is that it is the "Mini" morph and does take a lot of strokes to get it up to 120 psi. Next Pump will be a Morph again but probably the "Road" Morph.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:23 AM   #13
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Another vote for full sized frame fit pumps. Over the years I had my share of fun with mini-pumps and CO2's. In fact, I have one parts drawer full of different brands of mini-pumps I've accumulated over the years.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:36 AM   #14
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I hate mini-pumps.

I carry CO2.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:41 AM   #15
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+ on the Top Peak Road Morph and on using any portable every so often in stress free situations.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:14 AM   #16
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Besides my frame pump, I sometimes carry a CO2 cartridge when in long group rides and use it to save time. That's the only plus I see personally with using CO2s.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:20 AM   #17
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Besides my frame pump, I sometimes carry a CO2 cartridge when in long group rides and use it to save time. That's the only plus I see personally with using CO2s.
I agree, but there is this:

After you have a flat tire you're probably already unhappy. At a time like that the convenience of CO2 is priceless.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:32 AM   #18
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I recently got a Crank Bros. Power Pump Pro. I can't tell you how disappointed I am with it. I tested it out on the bike I keep on the training stand and wasn't able to get above 30 lbs on the high volume setting and it takes forever to move the needle on the high pressure setting. I'm talking about 100 strokes and you haven't gone up 10 lbs. It's beautifully made, but I will never take it on a bike ride. Totally useless.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:18 PM   #19
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Zefal HPX.....works fine and looks "normal" on your frame.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:20 PM   #20
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Zefal HPX.....works fine and looks "normal" on your frame.
Actually, I think it looks very cool on my frame...
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Old 01-19-09, 12:43 PM   #21
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If you really want a mini-pump, I'd recomend the Quicker Pro.

In full-size frame pumps, here's another vote for the Topeak Road Morph G.

Best,
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Old 01-19-09, 01:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
I have the Topeak Mountain Morph. Like the Road Morph, it has a little foot pad that swings out, and it has a hose.

I used it with the schrader valves on my mountain bike for a couple of years. Then when I got the road bike, I reverse the little fitting inside the head and now use it for presta valves.

It will get my road tires to 120 psi without a problem.

The Mountain Morph is a little shorter and a little larger in diameter than the Road Morph.

I've had it for three years or so, and it's held up pretty well. Hasn't failed me yet. It's come to the rescue of several fellow riders who either had no pump or had CO2.

I'm sure that either the Mountain Morph or Road Morph would serve you well.

I have a topeak road morph mini (in whatever order those words are supposed to go) but I've had no flats on the road so I've never had to use it. So I decided to try it out while changing out the tires on my daughter's mountain bike, which was when I learned that the pump comes set up for presta, although I know it handles both presta and schrader. So I fiddled with it for an hour or so without solving the puzzle. I searched here--a lot--trying to figure out a search that would produce the language bolded above, to no avail. Checked the Topeak site--evidently people as clueless as me aren't supposed to buy these things. Finally a week ago I was next in line at the Coronado ferry in San Diego after a guy who obviously knew his way around his bike, so I asked him to tell me how to use my pump and he figured it out for me. And now, magically, you casually reveal the secret!

Of course, I suppose I could have called somebody at Topeak. And I still haven't used the thing.
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Old 01-19-09, 01:58 PM   #23
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Topeak Road Morph.... best frame pump I have ever purchased. And the customer service it great.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:15 PM   #24
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Topeak Road Morph w/ gauge. What else is there?
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Old 01-19-09, 03:49 PM   #25
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Functionally, I prefer the Topeak Road Morph, but it just doesn't look as classically "right" as a full frame pump peg mounted under a horizontal top tube like the Zefal HP-X.
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