When do you retire a pump? - CycleBlaze

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When do you retire a pump?

Kelly Iniguez

A working pump is essential for a touring cyclist. I have a friend who carries two, just in case. It didn't matter that we ride together, and I also have a pump. For peace of mind, he has two.

My new to me bike came with a pump mounted on the frame. It's four years old, and never been used (shop demo). I can't say I have a hard time frame of when I consider a pump to be old. I've retired a couple of pumps based on age, not lack of performance.  I am concerned about having a pump on the outside of the bike, accumulating grit, rain, sun damage, etc. 

What is your criteria?

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1 month ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly Iniguez

I prefer my pump in a bag to keep it clean and secure. I suspect that a frame mounted pump is more likely to get stolen because it's visible and easily removed.

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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly Iniguez

Instinctively, I always thought I'd retire a pump as soon as it exhibited any kind of weakness or deterioration.  Unfortunately for me, the pump (a 10-year-old Topeak Road Morph) I was carrying on my Seattle to Minneapolis tour pretty much blew up on me with no previous hints of failure.  It had worked fine just a couple days earlier.

I had parked my bike in downtown Newport, WA for a break, and when I came back to it my rear tire was flat.  Another unfortunate thing was that there was no bike shop in Newport at the time.  The only good thing was that I was able to walk my bike a few blocks to a gas station, where I paid what I thought was an exorbitant $1.00 for about two seconds worth of air.

After that, I had 30 miles of cycling to the next bike shop in Sandpoint, Idaho.  During every one of those miles, I had a somewhat irrational fear of another flat tire with nothing to pump it up with.  Ever since that incident, I've thought about carrying two pumps but have never pulled the trigger on that idea.  (I seem to remember reading a journal about a guy who carried a floor pump on his tour with him.  I briefly, VERY briefly, considered that idea too.)

On a side note, one of my funniest memories of that tour occurred as a result of that flat tire.  When I enquired about a bike shop at the chamber of commerce, I was told the town didn't have one, but the gal suggested trying the local hardware store because she thought they might have some bike supplies.  I knew it was a long shot, but when I talked to the clerk about a bike pump, she seemed confident and led me to the sporting goods section.  She proudly showed me one of those little pumps with a sharp needle used for pumping up volleyballs, soccer balls, basketballs, etc.      

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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly Iniguez

I like to retire mine when they get bent or damaged - like the time decades ago when a German Shepard was menacing me so I decided to ward him off with my frame-mounted pump, something I’d heard was a good idea.  Instead though I ruined the pump by sticking it through the spokes of my front wheel and going over the handlebars.

It did stop the dog though, so that was good.  

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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Kelly Iniguez

I retire a pump when it no longer works or no longer seems reliable (it’s ancient, the seals look dried out or cracked).   I had a relatively new pump decline to add sufficient air to my tires on my solo Pyrenees trip and, while I got by on my trip (bike shops are plentiful in the French Pyrenees), that pump got replaced as soon as I got home. 

That was when I got my first Lezyne Micro Floor Pump. I now have two, an HP and an HV. They no longer look as shiny as they were when new as both have been on a multiple tours (not at the same time) but I doubt either will be retired unless it gets damaged or lost.  Instead, they get maintained and worn parts get replaced because Lezyne sells spare parts for their pumps!

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1 month ago
John PickettTo Kelly Iniguez

Good question. I have three floor pumps. I bought two and my son gave me a third when he moved overseas. They are all at least 8 years old and two of them work like new. The third had a problem with the chuck and needs to have surgery (I have the replacement part). Long story short, floor pumps stored indoors last a long time.

I had a Zefal frame pump for over 20 years. I'd have happily kept it but its innards finally needed replacing and I didn't think I could get the parts. I tossed it. (Of course, a ten second internet search indicates that parts are readily available.) It was much better at inflating tires than any other non-floor pump I've used.

Nowadays I use a Top Peak Road Morph. I like the design with the hose (hard to break a valve stem) and the foot thingie. However, parts seem to fall off the pump without warning (I now keep it in a bag). My experience is that the effectiveness of these pumps varies a lot from one to another. I don't know if it's an age thing or not. In any case I am considering bringing some spare parts on my next tour.

Now that I think about it, I should probably see which one of my Road Morphs works best and bring it on my 2024 tour.

Good luck.

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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Kelly Iniguez

I have a Zefal HPX  frame pump on each of my bikes. The oldest must be at least 25 years old. A drop of oil down the barrel every now and then and they still work perfectly. I have a Silca floor pump for regular inflation at home and the Zefals are for on the road use. So none have been discarded.

Pity they don't make them any more. 

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1 month ago
Bob KoreisTo Mike Ayling

+1 on all you said, down to the age of the frame pump. When my Rodriguez was delivered I was surprised to not se a pump peg. Apparently in the intervening decades between bike purchases, frame pumps fell out of favor. Hmpf! The mini pumps don't have near the oomph of an HPX. 

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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Mike Ayling

When I neared retirement, I wanted something lighter than my 1990 Trek 520 for touring in Europe. I’d pretty much decided on a Moots titanium gravel bike, but wanted a test ride before I committed. When I found myself in Denver, I headed up to Boulder and Vecchio's Bicicletteria, who partners with Moots and has a few demo bikes. They fixed me right up, even swapping out the stem, and sent me up Boulder Canyon to try things out.

 I was sold on the bike in less than a minute, though I knew I wouldn’t purchase it through Vecchio’s. Instead, I bought a jersey and received a great piece of advice – he showed me a Zefal pump and said to have Moots add a frame pump mount on my bike. I took his advice and use a Zefal HP, which I find is easier, faster, and far less frustrating than the small hand pumps I’d used in the past. I've never considered retiring it, though it is only 7 years old.

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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Susan Carpenter

Pump pegs

My 2007 Surly LHT had one.

Our 2012 Thorn Twin Raven tandem has one.

My 2016 Thorn Mercury does not have one.

My 2022 Merida Speeder 100 which I had converted to e-assist does not.

So I use double sided velcro straps to secure the Zefal HPX pumps beneath the top tube. Not very elegant but it works.

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1 month ago