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Bicycle pump for freezing conditions

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Bicycle pump for freezing conditions

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Old 08-12-12, 01:08 AM
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LivandRob
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Bicycle pump for freezing conditions

Hello all,

We're currently on a bike tour through Asia. We're in hot Cambodia at the moment and have been struggling through tropical weather for the last 8 months but now we're kitting ourselves out ready to face the Chinese winter.

I read on Rob Lilwall's blog that when he cycled through Siberia his bicycle pumps froze causing the plastic to snap off. Our bike pumps are pretty knackered now so I'm going to invest in a hardy metal one. Can anybody recommend anything? We don't bother with CO2 cannisters as they're too bulky, heavy and probably be difficult to replace in the Himalayan villages.

Any advice from tourers or cyclists who've had to deal with this problem?

Cheers,
Liv

Here's our blog by the way WeCycleTour
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Old 08-12-12, 06:10 AM
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On the commuter forum you might find some people that have changed tires in subfreezing weather, you might find some good comments there. I do not ride in sub-freezing weather, my comments are not based on biking experience, they are only guesses. If it was me, I would carry two pumps, those two are described below.

You have probably read on this forum that a favorite for touring is the Topeak Road Morph G, however that has many plastic parts. A pump of similar design is the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive which comes with or without plastic gauge. There is a plastic hose and a plastic part at the end of the hose, but most other critical parts are metal. Comes in a high volume or high pressure version, the link below is for the high pressure type without gauge. This pump has a part that threads onto your valve stem instead of clamping on, thus it would be quite inconvenient to use with insulated gloves and likely impossible to use with mittens.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-micro...without-gauge/

Some of the parts on older Zefal HPX pumps were plastic, but most of the important parts were metal. These pumps have been a favorite for decades.
http://www.zefal.com/en/traditional-...x-classic.html

You will want to take care to avoid getting moisture into your pump where it can accumulate and freeze. If you get a pump that will fit in your panniers, you may want to consider carrying it there instead of outside where freezing rain and sleet could make it inoperable. If you do accumulate some ice in the pump, you may need to thaw it out overnight in your sleeping bag and remove as much moisture as possible in the morning before it re-freezes.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:04 AM
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I haven't used bike pumps in those conditions, but I am a cell phone tower climber, and I've worked at heights in subfreezing conditions. When we have items that need to be warmed up before use, or can be damaged by freezing, we put them inside our clothing, next to our base layer. Whatever pump you get, I would recommend that if you get a flat, the first thing you should do is put the pump, tube, and any other tools inside your clothes to warm them up. Take each out as you need it, and replace as soon as possible.
It's not comfy, but it works.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:17 AM
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Lezyne makes an all aluminum pump and a number of other pumps that are nearly 100% aluminum. All of there stuff seems to be of fantastic quality from what I have seen.

http://www.lezyne.com/products/hand-pumps/high-pressure#!Micro-Floor-Drive-HP/HPG
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Old 08-12-12, 10:06 AM
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LivandRob
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Hi,
Thanks for the advice, and all the tips! I I'll check out the Lezyne pumps. They seem popular and everybody speaks highly of them. Thanks for the advice on keeping equipment warm and drying out the pump if there's too much moisture. I wouldn't have thought of that!
Got new Schwalbe tyres today maybe they'll perform as people claim they do and be puncture proof... hmm.

Cheers everybody

Last edited by LivandRob; 08-12-12 at 10:16 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 08-12-12, 07:33 PM
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i commute year around, including well below freezing weather - carry a lezyne alloy drive hand pump - it easily gets 60 psi and has worked fine in cold weather, keep it in a plastic bag. changing a tire when it is -10 C isn't fun, i've broken a couple of brittle plastic tire levers - a "Quickstik" has worked well.

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Old 08-13-12, 05:37 AM
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Not only can the plastic on pumps break but also the stem on a inner tube. I've had stems separate from the tube body because of the cold. In fact, I now carry two forms of air means inside my panniers and always an extra tube. I don't know if true or not, it could be a Schrader valve weakness as the way it is bonded to the tube.
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Old 08-13-12, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by LivandRob View Post
Got new Schwalbe tyres today maybe they'll perform as people claim they do and be puncture proof... hmm.
I have just returned from a 2600 mile tour of which about 700 miles were on dirt, using Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires, no punctures at all, others were not so fortunate.
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