Author Topic: Free Air  (Read 3112 times)

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Offline johnsondasw

Re: Free Air
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2022, 08:53:09 pm »
I always carry a mini-pump.  One advantage is that you get a great upper body workout using them, which helps to balance out all the legwork of cycling.  JK. I bring them but hate using them because I'm at the age (73) where I don't really want that extra workout in a crunched over position. Instant backache!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline canalligators

Re: Free Air
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2022, 09:56:32 pm »
A good quality pump like the Lezyne, or even the venerable Road Morph, is reliable and easy to use.  Probability of failure is pretty close to zero.  I’d take one pricey high quality pump rather than two lesser pumps.  I’d only take a backup if I was away from civilization and traveling alone.  Nix that, not even then.

I did want to rebuild my 20 year old Road Morph G, but the rebuild kits are out of stock everywhere.  I did find the right O-ring for the piston at a home store and replaced that.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Free Air
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2022, 07:30:23 am »
I always carry a mini-pump.  One advantage is that you get a great upper body workout using them, which helps to balance out all the legwork of cycling.  JK. I bring them but hate using them because I'm at the age (73) where I don't really want that extra workout in a crunched over position. Instant backache!
At 70 I am finding this more true than in the past.  I still tolerate the mini pump though.  For topping off it isn't that bad.  For filling from all the way flat it is a bigger deal, but I have been mostly touring on skinny tires.  For fatter tires I might start carrying a bigger pump again if I were to tour in goat head country with tires with tubes.  My tubeless setup has been flat free enough with fat tires that I might still tolerate the mini pump even with them.  I say that, but after a while on the road I may get sick of even topping off fat tires with with the mini pump.  I am kind of spoiled after using the compressor at home these days and haven't been on tour during the pandemic, so I may be kidding myself about what I will tolerate.

Offline froze

Re: Free Air
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2022, 07:24:57 pm »
I always carry a mini-pump.  One advantage is that you get a great upper body workout using them, which helps to balance out all the legwork of cycling.  JK. I bring them but hate using them because I'm at the age (73) where I don't really want that extra workout in a crunched over position. Instant backache!

A great workout? Do you get a flat every day?  That's the only way it would be a "good" workout.  I average one flat every 6 months, so not much of a workout there going on.

Offline froze

Re: Free Air
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2022, 07:31:06 pm »
A good quality pump like the Lezyne, or even the venerable Road Morph, is reliable and easy to use.  Probability of failure is pretty close to zero.  I’d take one pricey high quality pump rather than two lesser pumps.  I’d only take a backup if I was away from civilization and traveling alone.  Nix that, not even then.

I did want to rebuild my 20 year old Road Morph G, but the rebuild kits are out of stock everywhere.  I did find the right O-ring for the piston at a home store and replaced that.

I have a couple of Lezyne's and a couple of Topeak's, and those two are the best over all the rest that's for sure, but I give the very best edge to Lezyne over Topeak, while durability is about the same, the Lezyne is a tad easier to stroke as well as less strokes to use vs the Topeak.  I could also give the nod to Lezyne for looks, but I don't care about looks as much as I do about how well it works.  My oldest Lezyne is about 19 years old, and the oldest Topeak is 16, after using both my next main pump was another Lezyne, but then I wanted are real small pump and the Topeak had that over the Lezyne.

Offline froze

Re: Free Air
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2022, 07:40:48 pm »
I would only use gas station air in an emergency, when I start doing some touring, I will be carrying 2 pumps in case one breaks, one will be the main pump, it's a frame pump, and the other will be the backup and it's a mini pump.  Of course, at home I use a floor pump too. 

I forgot to mention that a Presta to Schrader converter can also be used if your pump converts to either that if the rubber grommet in the Presta mode got worn then all you would have to do is switch the pump to Schrader and use the converter.
FWIW I tend to carry one pump that I trust.  I have never had one fail catastrophically in ~60 years of pumping up bike tires (or at all when on tour).  I have had the rubber grommets wear and get iffy, but that resulted in a slow fail with lots of warning.  Pumps with piston or leather washer failures similarly either failed slowly or just needed a little attention so one pump does it for me.  Most farms or workshops of any sort would have some means of pumping a tire so help is liely available somewhere.  Worst case I'd hitch a ride, but have never resorted to either for a pump failure.

At home I have started using my shop's compressor in recent years.  I find it much more convenient than a floor pump.  Just pull the trigger to go just past the desired pressure and press the bleed button until you get down to the exact pressure you want.  The little screw on chuck puts no stress on the valve stem and I have two inflators one fo presta and one for schrader.  The schrader inflator is almost exclusively used for the cars unless I am working on someone else's bike.

I do carry a Presta to Schrader converter on tour just in case.

Weird, I left a message about this a couple of days ago but it disappeared?

Anyway, I'm on a limb about carrying 2 pumps, so I hear you, but most long distance touring, especially off-road touring people I spoke to said they carry two pumps, most either had a frame pump, a few had mini pumps, but most carried a second smaller pump for backup.   So I have a Zefal HPX4 as my main pump, but then I carry a Topeak Micro Rocket AL which is attached to the side of a water bottle cage.  It hardly weighs anything, at around 65 grams, and since it sets on the side of a cage it isn't taking up any bag space somewhere.

All I know is that I would hate to be without air out in the middle of nowhere.  And the frame pump doubles as a dog thunker, so if I break it doing that, I need a backup till I can buy another frame pump.  Although, I did hit a dog once with that Zefal and it didn't do any damage to the pump, the dog got a bloody nose.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Free Air
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2022, 09:23:58 am »
A good quality pump like the Lezyne, or even the venerable Road Morph, is reliable and easy to use.  Probability of failure is pretty close to zero.  I’d take one pricey high quality pump rather than two lesser pumps.  I’d only take a backup if I was away from civilization and traveling alone.  Nix that, not even then.
+1.  I didn't know what a Road Morph G was until my '99 X-country group tour.  Two people had them.  The other 10 of us borrowed them fairly frequently without any problems. Picked up one for myself before my long tour starting in the winter of the following year.  I have been using one ever since.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Free Air
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2022, 12:13:13 pm »
A good quality pump like the Lezyne, or even the venerable Road Morph, is reliable and easy to use.  Probability of failure is pretty close to zero.

Close, but not quite zero.  Another rider tried to use my Road Morph one chilly day, and the check valve had frozen.  Of course, he asked because his Lezyne check valve was also frozen.  We stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes or so with our pumps under our respective arms to thaw them out -- they both thawed about the same time.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Free Air
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2022, 12:16:36 pm »
....Another rider tried to use my Road Morph one chilly day, and the check valve had frozen.  Of course, he asked because his Lezyne check valve was also frozen.  We stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes or so with our pumps under our respective arms to thaw them out -- they both thawed about the same time.
The obvious solution would be not to ride in such cold weather  ;) !

Offline staehpj1

Re: Free Air
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2022, 12:23:19 pm »
A good quality pump like the Lezyne, or even the venerable Road Morph, is reliable and easy to use.  Probability of failure is pretty close to zero.

Close, but not quite zero.  Another rider tried to use my Road Morph one chilly day, and the check valve had frozen.  Of course, he asked because his Lezyne check valve was also frozen.  We stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes or so with our pumps under our respective arms to thaw them out -- they both thawed about the same time.
I would still say zero if that was the only "failure" since it really isn't a failure.  Of course nothing is absolutely 100% reliable but these things are pretty reliable.  If you carry the rebuild parts even more so, but I wouldn't bother.

Offline froze

Re: Free Air
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2022, 09:19:40 pm »
I have a Road Morph G, but I don't like it!  First problem with the darn thing is that the Velcro straps do not secure it adequately to the frame and the darn pump keeps moving as I rode.  I also don't like the ungainly look of the pump on the bike.  While it works ok, but I found the Zefal HPX-4 pump works even better, which I thought was strange considering that the Road Morph has a foot peg and a L hand grip to pump with, but the Zefal takes less strokes to get to the same PSI and those strokes are easier.

Probably the Silca Impero Ultimate is the best frame pump on the market, but it's also expensive at around $165, but it may be the best one, but compared to the Zefal at only $40 price wise it's no contest.  The Zefal only takes 113 strokes to get to 100 psi whereas the Silca takes 84, however, the Road Morph takes 160 strokes and costs $16 more than the Zefal.  Of course neither the Silca nor the Zefal come with a pressure gauge, but the Road Morph G gauge is not accurate at all so it's useless.

Anyway just food for thought.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Free Air
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2022, 08:58:54 am »
My RMG goes in my left front panier, so no worries about it moving or how it looks.

And since I rarely flat I am not going to sweat strokes.  Three flats during my first tour, which was about 6,000 miles BITD.  IIRC, my last flat on tour was in 2014.  Picked up a tiny wire, probably from a tire, near the end of a wet day.  The hole was so small I didn't know I had a flat until the next morning.  Had to run the tube through a handy puddle leftover from the previous days' heavy rain in order to find the hole.  Ironic since I have been incorporating more and more "gravel" into my trips and have never flatted on an unpaved surface.

Offline Ty0604

Re: Free Air
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2022, 08:47:37 pm »
I would only use gas station air in an emergency, when I start doing some touring, I will be carrying 2 pumps in case one breaks, one will be the main pump, it's a frame pump, and the other will be the backup and it's a mini pump.

I wouldn’t worry about a pump failing. I’ve had the same one since I started touring and it’s been great. It’s a Topeak Mini Morph with a little foot step.

Flats are interesting…. On my first cross country tour, covering 5,200 miles, I had exactly 0 flats. On my second cross country tour, covering 2,300 miles, I had 8.

The first, and only time, I ever used gas station air I blew my tire all to shreds  :'( Oops
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Offline John Nettles

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Re: Free Air
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2022, 12:32:36 am »
The first, and only time, I ever used gas station air I blew my tire all to shreds  :'( Oops
Wow, I don't know how you did it if you were paying attention unless there was an existing issue with the tube you did not know about.  Not trying to sound rude (seriously, I am not) but I have used a mechanic, muffler, tire, etc. shop's air compressor for 45 years of touring and typically do not use a gauge and have never had an issue.  In fact, about 20 years ago, I intentionally pumped a 26" tire to the point of blowing and it was at around 115-120 psi when it blew.  Yep, it did fatally rip the sidewalls of the old worn out tire but I was 50% over stated recommended pressure. 

When I add air, I add it in 1 second or less increments and use the old thumb test unless I am wanting a specific PSI for gravel or something and again, have never had an issue.  Of course, I probably just seriously jinxed myself  ::) .
Anyway, your tires, your choice.  Happy Trails, John

Offline staehpj1

Re: Free Air
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2022, 08:12:00 am »
The first, and only time, I ever used gas station air I blew my tire all to shreds  :'( Oops
Wow, I don't know how you did it if you were paying attention unless there was an existing issue with the tube you did not know about.  Not trying to sound rude (seriously, I am not) but I have used a mechanic, muffler, tire, etc. shop's air compressor for 45 years of touring and typically do not use a gauge and have never had an issue.  In fact, about 20 years ago, I intentionally pumped a 26" tire to the point of blowing and it was at around 115-120 psi when it blew.  Yep, it did fatally rip the sidewalls of the old worn out tire but I was 50% over stated recommended pressure. 

When I add air, I add it in 1 second or less increments and use the old thumb test unless I am wanting a specific PSI for gravel or something and again, have never had an issue.  Of course, I probably just seriously jinxed myself  ::) .
Anyway, your tires, your choice.  Happy Trails, John
I remember way back in the day when "ten speeds" were first popular in the US, my brother ruined a tire that way.  I don't recall the exact failure mode.  I do recall that we used to avoid the gas station pump like the plague (the most local one had very high pressure).  I think the rationale was that with the low volume of the tire the sudden surge was just too quick.  I don't know that our worry was rational or not, but it seemed to be conventional wisdom.  I may be wrong, but I think it may have even been spread in print by the likes of Sheldon Brown (if not some other luminary).  If so we would have treated it as if Moses had brought it down from the mountain on stone tablets.

Maybe our conventional wisdom of that time was BS, I wouldn't be too surprised and brother's tire failure was probably over 50 years ago so details are lost in the fog of time.  Maybe he just blew it off the rim.  That isn't how the story survived though. 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2022, 08:21:03 am by staehpj1 »