Hand/frame pumps (page 2) - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Hand/frame pumps (page 2)

Robert EwingTo Jacquie Gaudet

I’ve been through a LOT of frame pumps over the years and most of them left much to be desired. A typical single stage pump that I could inflate tires to say 100 PSI might take 400 to 500 strokes. Multiply that by the above mentioned road to dirt back to road tires swapped out in a single day, and fatigue, repetitive stress syndrome and sheer boredom start to set in.


This is where the 2-stage pumps saved the day for me.  That and what my children refer to as my MacGyver invention, where I fashion an air pump hose to work with my 2-stage pump, thereby making it a “floor” pump. It works for me. I get to pressure fairly quickly with far few pump strokes and get to use more of my stronger lower body muscles and much less of my aging biceps.

A sampling of a few my pneumatic friends top to bottom:Celeste’ Silca Impero racing pump. This pump probably older than most of the members of Cycleblaze. Even in my youth, I was not strong enough to get my tires up to pressure. *** SKS PURO a great pump for modulating racing tires from say 119 PSI to 121 PSI. It’s rated at 150 PSI and would take you into the four digit zone to pump up touring tires.***The previous mentioned Banjo Brothers 2-Stage LS. High quality ($$$) with close to perfect pressure range for me, 40 low and 100 high. *** Blackburn Mammoth 2-stage big volume rated at 40 PSI low and 100 high but all my strength topped out at 70 PSI even with my floor adaptation 80 was about tops. It is well used and still in working order. The biggest design drawback is there is no hand grip at the valve end and I’ve gotten a couple of painful blood blisters using it.*** Blackburn Air Stick 2-stage – The low pressure is almost the same as the useful high pressure of the Mammoth. I used it as part of a three stage inflation strategy when touring. Like its high volume Mammoth brother it bites.*** CO2 inflator – I don’t carry CO2 but MJ does on her tri bike and if we are out riding together and we get a flat it is the go to answer to get back on the road with a smile on my face. I find CO2 has some drawbacks for touring, which I’ll go into in another post.*** And finally several attempts at fashioning an air hose for my frame pumps. The bottom hose started life out on a Blackburn Voyager or Traveler (?). The pump died on tour but the double-headed screw on hose worked great and on goes on tour.
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1 week ago
Graham SmithTo Robert Ewing

Hi Robert,
You have impeccable timing with this post as I begin to cogitate, make lists, overthink and assemble gear for a cross-Australia tour next autumn (April).  

I hadn't quite got to the pump part of The List yet. In my early years of touring, the classic Zefal was infallible. Not only was it great for pumping, but if waved frantically and high enough, it kept dogs at bay.

Then I switched to Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HP pump for touring as Jacqui described above. No complaints. It's great as a pump, except it's useless for waving at dogs.  I've also recently bought the modern version of the class Zefal pump, and I think it pumps faster and easier to high pressures than the micro floor pump. 

I always pack simple pressure gauge on tours. 

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1 week ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Robert Ewing

I am embarrassed to admit I had to go and look at what pump I have attached to my bike (it turns out it's a Topeak Race Rocket, apparently optimized for road and MTB if the small text on the barrel is to be believed).  I have another at the bottom of the the spares pannier (right hand side front) because you never know when your pump will fail.  My wife tells me I carry too many spares but I'm not giving up on a second pump.  With us spending at least half the year living on the bikes weight is an issue so CO2 bombs are an unnecessary luxury (I'm a small fella so when my bike is loaded it weighs about 80% of my body weight).  Running 2" Duremes (about to be replaced with Mondials) we have had (mostly) very few punctures so worrying about an efficient pump has never been high on my list of priorities. I don't have a gauge - I just pump until it feels "right".

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1 week ago
Robert EwingTo Graham Smith


You have chosen wisely young padawan. I used a Zefal long tube frame pump in my youth. Because of its narrower cylinder, I was able to pump up my tubular tires to proper pressure back in the days of “steel bikes, iron knees and glued on tires. I have the new version of the Zefal frame pump lurking around somewhere in my garage. When my second Blackburn Airstick 2 failed on tour I went for the simplicity and durability of the Zefal. But then a shiny metal bit of bling caught my eye at the LBS and I had to have the above reviewed Banjo Bros 2-stage pump.

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5 days ago