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  1. #1
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    Bike pump for arthritic hands?

    Looking for an air pump for my mom, she's unable to clamp/unclamp my old one, much less handle the up/down motion. Some mornings she can barely move her thumbs but she loves biking the streets and seeing her neighbors.

    Does anyone here have a suggestion or three for an (automatic?) arthritis friendly pump that she can use to fill her tires. Would make an excellent Christmas present for her

    Thanks in advance
    JKLaud

  2. #2
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I am thinking that one of the electric air compressor pumps -- used with a Schrader valve / adapter (Or however you spell it! -- You know! one of the big fat ones that you just stick the nossle on...) I only have the manual floor pumps -- but I would think Sears or an auto parts store would have some nice electric ones...

    And, by the way, Good Job on choosing your parents! If you are part of the 50+ forum and have a mom who is still riding, you chose your genes well....
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    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  3. #3
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    From your post I'd guess that Mom is having difficulty getting the hose fastened to the tire valve which is really the hard part for injured or older hands. If this is the case I know of no easy solution to help Mom. Sorry...........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Try airless tires - no pumping and should work for neighborhood and no flats.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I use a CO2 inflator. I think they're great.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  6. #6
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I don't have an answer, but this is the kind of engineering question that needs to be asked! My own personal peeve: I think one of the big failings of most frame pumps these days is that the lever that locks the chuck onto the valve is usually so close to the pump shaft that it's impossible to lift it with thick winter gloves (or even wearing any full-finger glove!). I guess the designers never think of stuff like this.

    I think that one of the great product designs in the past 10 or 15 years has been the "rabbit" style wine bottle opener. Just three motions uncorks the wine and drops the cork, and in far less time than using the sommelier's corkscrew.

    Thinking of this corkscrew, a good pump chuck would not press on; it would clamp on and provide a total seal while you pumped, then release with the push of a button. I would imagine the clamp levers being long enough that you could push them in with two hands (so thumbs wouldn't be required).

    As far as the pumping motion, I could see the chuck just being clamped to an air hose attached to a compressor or a pressurized tank. Or even to a foot-operated pump.

    Luis

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Try airless tires - no pumping and should work for neighborhood and no flats.
    Interesting solution, thanks - Any idea on the weight it would add? She can barely lift the front wheel up over her front porch step as it is and she's too stubborn to let me build her a ramp

    Edit - Thanks all for chewing this over, this has been bugging me for awhile now since I have to stop by twice a week just to check her tires
    Last edited by JKLauderdale; 11-17-12 at 06:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKLauderdale View Post
    Interesting solution, thanks - Any idea on the weight it would add? She can barely lift the front wheel up over her front porch step as it is and she's too stubborn to let me build her a ramp

    Edit - Thanks all for chewing this over, this has been bugging me for awhile now since I have to stop by twice a week just to check her tires
    Airless tires are controversial. There are some newer ones filled with foam which are supposed to give more comfort, a major flaw of airless in the past. They are difficult to mount - most likely a bike shop or special tool may be needed. I doubt they would weigh any more than what she is riding now. Do a google and find out for yourself.

    If all she is riding is the neighborhood and to friends, they should do OK. If she is going to take longer rides - then I would not use them.

    But, the 2 x's/wk checking her tires does give one a chance to say "hello!" I would think.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKLauderdale View Post
    I have to stop by twice a week just to check her tires
    That is the gift.
    Not a silly pump.

    All this stuff about tire pressure is hooey.
    My 26 x 2 " tires stay hard enough to ride for several months.
    The 700X38 tires on my other bike stay hard enough almost as long.

    I assume your mom isn't doing any time trials, or competing in the senior games so you really don't need to pump her tires twice a week (If you really do, I'd put in some new quality tubes)

    But continue to touch base with your mom twice a week. She will appreciate that far more than hard tires.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    That is the gift.
    Not a silly pump.

    All this stuff about tire pressure is hooey.
    My 26 x 2 " tires stay hard enough to ride for several months.
    The 700X38 tires on my other bike stay hard enough almost as long.

    I assume your mom isn't doing any time trials, or competing in the senior games so you really don't need to pump her tires twice a week (If you really do, I'd put in some new quality tubes)

    But continue to touch base with your mom twice a week. She will appreciate that far more than hard tires.
    Agreed - We make it a point to watch Grimm and American Horror every week and I swing by there to vacuum and mop her house simply because she's unable to. I have YET to understand her fascination with Fabuloso, stinky stuff IMO

    I don't have an issue with killing an extra 20minto check her tires but I'd like to know that if I'm NOT available on a day that she's low that she can pump it herself without it being an issue to/for her thumbs

  11. #11
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKLauderdale View Post
    Agreed - We make it a point to watch Grimm and American Horror every week and I swing by there to vacuum and mop her house simply because she's unable to. I have YET to understand her fascination with Fabuloso, stinky stuff IMO

    I don't have an issue with killing an extra 20minto check her tires but I'd like to know that if I'm NOT available on a day that she's low that she can pump it herself without it being an issue to/for her thumbs
    Good for you!

    Remember to take care of your mom -- you only get one and she's the one who changed your stinky, dirty diaper... The least you can do is pump up her tires now and again...

    And, it is GREAT that she is still riding. It will help to keep her strong and fit so that you two can spend quality time together instead of that of care-giver and care-taker...

    ... I suspect that there are MANY mom's out there who wish that they had a son like you...
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  12. #12
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Find the pump with the easiest check lever and provide a short pieces of PVC or conduit that fits over the lever.
    Rick T
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  13. #13
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Since you're doing the vacuuming and mopping and whatnot, why not just install some new tubes - maybe ones with the goo stuff already in 'em. They should hold air a lot longer, and you can spend more time with your loved ones.

    I'm starting to have a similar issue with my dual-head older style Joe Blow pump. Starting to get pretty hard to twist - lock it. Dang handle is too small to get a firm grip on it.

  14. #14
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    What about a CO2 inflator for her type of valve stem with the cartridge loaded and ready? She can use a simple guage if she needs to check the pressure. Just a suggestion from an addled mind.

    Bill

  15. #15
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    PVC, I like it. A bit of polyurethane to cement it in place and she'd be all set with an electric pump from the LBS - Give me a large enough lever and I can move the world, (or something to that effect).

    I'm aware that Slime tubes (reportedly) help seal punctures but she's not getting flats. This is just air dribbling out over time as normal, I'm thinking she'd have to deal with that regardless.

    Thanks again for all the replies, much appreciated

  16. #16
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jklauderdale View Post
    some mornings she can barely move her thumbs but she loves biking the streets and seeing her neighbors...
    bravo!!!
    No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)

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