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Expensive bike floor-standing pumps vs cheap ones. What's the difference?

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Expensive bike floor-standing pumps vs cheap ones. What's the difference?

Old 06-21-15, 03:51 PM
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Kertrek
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Expensive bike floor-standing pumps vs cheap ones. What's the difference?

How much difference does it make buying a $30 compared to spending $60 or more? A $30 pump seems fine for my home repairs, but what difference does it make when you spend $60, and sometimes over $100 on a pump?
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Old 06-21-15, 03:57 PM
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Read reviews. I don't know if cost and quality have a direct correlation, but quality matters. In my experience, the lower quality ones have less accurate gauges from the start, and don't last as long.
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Old 06-21-15, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
How much difference does it make buying a $30 compared to spending $60 or more? A $30 pump seems fine for my home repairs, but what difference does it make when you spend $60, and sometimes over $100 on a pump?
You're right, the $30 one will probably work. But the question is which $30 pump because most of them are going to be duds. Spending a bit more almost ensures a better quality pump so a lot of folks spend more. Spending over $100 would not be appropriate for me but might be for a team mechanic, don't even know about that.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:17 PM
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At my shop we sell two serfas pumps, one for $30 and one for $45. The difference is air volume, and a larger pressure gauge. Both full tires reliably. I'd say above this range is pro-level pumps designed for heavy use every day, with parts available for repair. Below this price point, pumps won't stand up to daily use at all.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:34 PM
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I have a real cheap one - a Wal-Mart Genesis pump that was about 15 dollars.

I hate it.

The pump head leaks like crazy. It'll inflate, yes, but very slowly most of the time. I've resorted to using my 7 inch mini pump instead of the Genesis pumpat home on several occasions because my 10 dollar mini pump doesn't leak and can actually achieve acceptable pressures.

At ~30, try checking out the Nashbar Earl Gray pump.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:39 PM
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Plus more expensive pumps generally are heavier, sturdier, and put out quite a bit more air volume per pump stroke. I've got an inexpensive Specislized that works okay. But when I need to get up to 115 lbs, the last couple strokes are difficult and the pump shakes a little bit. On the other hand I've also got a high end Giant. It easily goes to goes much higher for tubulars and it's constantly easy getting there. The guage is much easier to see as well.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CafeVelo View Post
At my shop we sell two serfas pumps, one for $30 and one for $45. The difference is air volume, and a larger pressure gauge. Both full tires reliably. I'd say above this range is pro-level pumps designed for heavy use every day, with parts available for repair. Below this price point, pumps won't stand up to daily use at all.

In my experience, three things:

1) higher quality fittings, hoses, and valve chucks - often expensive pumps have a dual chuck that can serve both Schrader and Presta valves.

2) More accurate pressure gauges (many cheap pumps don't even have one).

3) Much easier with higher end pumps to deliver pressures well above 100 PSI. Most narrow road tires are best used at 115-140 PSI.

If you are just using a mountain bike, that probably implies maximum pressures from 60-80 PSI tops, and Schrader valves, a cheap pump will probably be fine. But if you ride a road bike with tires that have recommended pressures above 100 PSI, you'll appreciate how much easier a good pump can get them there.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:56 PM
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Any feedback on the Park Tool PFP-7 floor pump? It seems that Lezyne makes an excellent floor pump.

Last edited by tjkoko; 06-21-15 at 06:06 PM. Reason: More info to offer.
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Old 06-21-15, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
Any feedback on the Park Tool PFP-7 floor pump?
The Best Bike Pump (Floor Standing) | The Sweethome
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Old 06-21-15, 06:29 PM
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I once worked in a shop that had several cheap floor pumps that I eventually simply refused to use because they were iffy in operation. I can't remember what brand they were. I have a Specialized floor pump at home that's 20 years old and still going strong.
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Old 06-21-15, 06:38 PM
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Joe Blow
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Old 06-21-15, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Deontologist View Post
I haven't bought a pump in 40 years. My old Silca Pista just keeps on going. They sell used nowadays for more than I paid for mine new back in the day, invariably, they sell used for at least $50 including shipping on ebay.

I did just buy a new silicon gasket for the chuck ($8), but I haven't needed to install it yet, as the original rubber gasket is still good.

Last edited by D1andonlyDman; 06-21-15 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-15, 06:59 PM
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My Zefel "HUSKY" HP has survived 20 plus years of service, and I still have a supply of extra rubber Presta & Schrader Gramets. Buy a quality pump and it should last. But if you are on a budget go to Wal-Mart, and expect to replace your cheap pump in a few years.
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Old 06-21-15, 07:51 PM
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Joe Blow, but recently got a Specialized 'air tool pro' on impulse.

It has a nice sturdy feel, & puts the air out, but haven't all the way got used to the chuck,

& since the gauge and hose are at the floor level, the chuck won't reach the top of the wheel when the bike is in the stand.

While this is common, the Joe Blow has the gauge & hose near the top of the pump, so it reaches easily.


I have another pump that has a lever on the chuck that snaps back on your thumb nail when you release it. I hate that pump.
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Old 06-21-15, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
Joe Blow
I used a Joe Blow for years...but the chuck hates American Classic tubeless valves.
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Old 06-21-15, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
Any feedback on the Park Tool PFP-7 floor pump? It seems that Lezyne makes an excellent floor pump.
The problem is the head screws on presta valves. Sometimes you can pull the fire out when you remove the head. Plus it's a pain screwing the head on and off as opposed to flipping a lever or simply sliding the head on the stem.

I had one and quit using it.
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Old 06-21-15, 08:50 PM
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Cheaper pumps just cannot get tire pressures up into the 150 range. There are exceptions but its probably a better idea to spend once.
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Old 06-21-15, 09:09 PM
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I had a blackburn something or other {approx $50) that lasted about 10 years, pretty decent. I replaced it w\ a lezyne alloy floor drive. You can feel the quality construction the first time and every time you use it.
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Old 06-21-15, 10:44 PM
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I have to agree with Dman. I have a Silca Pista that's headed to it's 50th birthday. It's reliable, accurate and pumps quickly. Parts are still available. It's on its second set of seals and gaskets plus I have a spare set. It will probably out last me. It's proof that quality lasts. Buy a quality pump and avoid a lot of frustration.
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Old 06-22-15, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
The problem is the head screws on presta valves. Sometimes you can pull the fire out when you remove the head. Plus it's a pain screwing the head on and off as opposed to flipping a lever or simply sliding the head on the stem.

I had one and quit using it.
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Old 06-22-15, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
It has a nice sturdy feel, & puts the air out, but haven't all the way got used to the chuck,
I forgot to mention that. I used to do a bit of tech support for big rides so, when it was still new, I cut off the Specialized chuck and installed a Topeak Smart Head chuck. Still have it.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
3) Much easier with higher end pumps to deliver pressures well above 100 PSI. Most narrow road tires are best used at 115-140 PSI.
Isn't 115-140 a bit... high for a normal person? My 25s are run at 85 and 90 psi front and rear respectively.

I have a cheap wal-mart pump that has worked just fine for ~3 years. It's accurate to within a few PSI (I have a nice tire pressure gauge that was as expensive as the pump haha), which is fine for me.

My housemate has a "nice" pump that's mostly metal but I prefer using mine. The lever on the head on his tends to snap back when getting removed and often hits me in the fingers (pretty much user error), and it's no more accurate than mine is.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:29 AM
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I have 2 floor pumps. For my road bikes I picked up a Rennkompressor a couple of years ago and and have been quite happy with it. For my mountain bikes, I use a Zefal Air Max pump that I got at Walmart. It works well, but I'm ony going to a max of 40 psi.

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Old 06-22-15, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Isn't 115-140 a bit... high for a normal person? My 25s are run at 85 and 90 psi front and rear respectively.

I have a cheap wal-mart pump that has worked just fine for ~3 years. It's accurate to within a few PSI (I have a nice tire pressure gauge that was as expensive as the pump haha), which is fine for me.

My housemate has a "nice" pump that's mostly metal but I prefer using mine. The lever on the head on his tends to snap back when getting removed and often hits me in the fingers (pretty much user error), and it's no more accurate than mine is.
I'd say that 100-120 PSI is typical for 25s, and 115-140 is typical for 23s. And a larger person would likely want to be near the upper end of those ranges. I think 85 PSI is low for most 25 size tires.
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Old 06-22-15, 09:06 AM
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I wonder how many unique pumps there are and how many are just different graphics for different brands.
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