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A pump is a pump is a pump?

Old 05-26-19, 10:06 PM
  #1  
NoWhammies
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A pump is a pump is a pump?

The air pump I own/use for my bike is basic model I bought at the local co-op. The pump has a pressure gauge and does the job just fine.

But I see different pumps in different price ranges and wonder what I'm missing. Assuming same features, aren't all pumps created equal? Anyone on the boards here have a skookum pump they want to enlighten me about?
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Old 05-26-19, 11:22 PM
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Frame mounted is not equal to a floor positioned; which is not the same as an electric pump, to which is not an electric compressor with tank...

A lot of variations. Some are very limited to their capabilities while others may go the extra distance for use.
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Old 05-26-19, 11:31 PM
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Some more expensive floor pumps have better nozzles and more accurate pressure gauges. They may also be made with more metal parts which can increase durability.

Personally I bought an expensive floor pump because our household has 8 bikes and all require accurate pressure readings. But before that I managed well enough with a cheap floor pump.

In general the differences between the affordable and expensive floor pumps are going to be pretty minor. They fulfill a simple task. However if you want to push 12 bar into a tubular tire you may need some extra oomph, but that's really rare.
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Old 05-26-19, 11:59 PM
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Funny I've always used the top of line floor pump Wally had in stock but obsessive on the pump I carry on my bike. Bell or Zefal floor pumps always worked well for me. I carry a Lezyne travel floor drive with me on truck and probably most quality I've ever owned.
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Old 05-27-19, 12:22 AM
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Ive had the same 30$ blackburn bike pump for well over 20 years. It has a pressure gauge (not accurate but close enough) and every once in a while I will take it apart and clean it up.

Its about 20 pumps give or take 5 to get my 25mm wheels from no air to 100psi. I use a topeak pressure gauge to check psi and let air out to get the tires where I want them.

The valve it pretty beat up but works on both schrader and presta valves and it does what its supposed to. Locks on the valve and stays in place.

I dont see any reason to buy another manual pump for more than 30$. Maybe if you ran tubeless get on of those double chamber pumps but personally, I'd use the air compressor for that.

-Sean
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Old 05-27-19, 02:01 AM
  #6  
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The best mini pump I have only costs 4 pounds, and it's so good I bought a spare. As the handle unfolds open, it's comfortable to use, and with a flat piston and chamber end there's minimal reservoir for squash losses.

Only issue was weak threads, causing it to burst open when used in anger - so I simply superglued them.

Floor pumps seem to be the best, but the hose needs to be kept as short as possible to reduce afore-mentioned losses. I have a 15in old skool pump with the separate hose I vastly improved by replacing the braid-over-rubber section with some 4mm polyurethane tubing.
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Old 05-27-19, 09:00 AM
  #7  
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a hand powered air compressor is your pump..

Presta valve stems have a check valve in them, as do the others ..
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Old 05-27-19, 10:36 AM
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My favorite pump is an SKS Rennkompressor.

We had a nice Planet Bike pump that went with our son when he moved out.

I had some problems with the pump head, the place I bought the pump through was of no help- I contacted SKS, I didn't hear back from them- so I bought a Leszyne pump because I needed a pump. After that, SKS customer service got back to me- took care of the problem on my SKS pump for free- that put me in the position of being able to use one or the other and directly compare the two.

The SKS pump works great, easier to use than the Leszyne- they feel to be similar quality; the Leszyne is a fine pump- I like the SKS more.


As for what makes a pump cost more money- the name, the country of origin (labor cost), materials cost... Some things made with better materials will last longer and be more durable than things that are both inexpensive and cheap.

If memory serves me, the Planet Bike pump was like $35, and the SKS and Leszyne pumps were around $45. I think they all were fairly priced.
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Old 05-27-19, 11:02 AM
  #9  
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I am happy with my Giant floor pump, since I got a free replacement due to the previous chuck wearing out.
If you use a pump a lot, consider the warranty
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Old 05-27-19, 12:30 PM
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I have a Silca Pista track pump I bought in 1986 and it still works. It even has the Columbus decal on it. Silca still makes replacement parts for them. If you can find somebody who's willing to part with one, buy it. The newer model is basically a knock-off.

All of my bikes have Zefal HPX frame pumps. They come in 3 sizes depending on your frame dimensions. Zon sells them for around $35. I bought all of mine in the 1990s and they still work. Just put a few drops of oil into the cylinders once a year. Since your bike probably doesn't have a pump peg, buy the strap, too. If you have a curvy blob of a frame, get this accessory so you can strap it to whatever passes for a top tube on your bike. You can also fit one of these to the seat tube if you are willing to sacrifice your second water bottle (if you have bosses for the cage).

I do not recommend CO2 for the obvious reason of what do you do when you get another flat and the cartridge is empty. If you want to use a mini-pump to shave a few grams, be prepared to ice your triceps when you get home after pumping for half an hour to get your bike back on the road.
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Old 05-27-19, 12:33 PM
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I think the most important factor in getting a floor pump is the barrel material. Plastic (cheapest) is least desireable, aluminum OK, and steel is the best. Beyond that, you’re paying for head quality/ease of use, gauge accuracy, and name. I’m using Lezyne pumps in my garage, workshop, and on my bikes. They work well, but I’d also be comfortable with the Topeak Joe Blow models.
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Old 05-27-19, 12:50 PM
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It has been my experience that cheap pumps fall short in durability and quality of the fixtures. I have a cheapie someone gave me buried somewhere in my garage. It barely delivers a full stroke of air and the filling head is flimsy plastic. I can't recall the brand (Blackburn maybe?) and I don't know why I still have it other than I'm too lazy to toss it.


-Kedosto
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Old 05-27-19, 12:52 PM
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Agree that steel is good. Purchased an Aergun X-1000 four years ago. Very happy with it.
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Old 05-27-19, 02:35 PM
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I have a Serfas floor pump that cost about $50. The pump head automatically adjusts for presta or schrader, it's fiddly and can be a little irritating to attach. I definitely wouldn't buy another one.
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Old 05-27-19, 03:34 PM
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My recent progression (floor pumps only):

- ? inexpensive from Performance. Works OK, pump rod is plastic & flexes. Keep it in the truck for wheelbarrow tires, etc.

- Joe Blow. Works fine. Hose kind of short, but the gauge is up high & easy to read. Keep it in the car.

- Specialized Air Tool, top of the line. Expensive but on sale. Works great, big gauge very sturdy. Use it sometimes.

- Velowurks. Bought on a whim from Amazon after one of these discussions. Has become the go-to. Tall, long stroke, long hose, no bending over, few strokes to fill a tire.
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