Author Topic: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.  (Read 9651 times)

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Offline ray b

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2022, 11:31:48 am »
Agree with all.

Physics still works. You've been buying pumps with poor seals and inefficient valving. Well-engineered and well-made pumps cost money. (See notes on Lezyne and French Zefal products above.)

If you want a recommendation for a pump that is not hit or miss and requires little maintenance, the Lezyne fits the bill. For HP, the quality of the material used in the body is important. Threads need to hold and there should be little or no elasticity. This is why harder metals work well.

As noted, you'll find some good pumps among less expensive brands - just make sure you spend the extra money for the HP designation to get the high pressure valving and remember to follow maintenance instructions.

When travelling, my pump is bagged and out of the dust and oxidizing elements. It usually resides in a bag, but has travelled well wrapped in a plastic bag on a frame mount. (Low res photo with pump and spare tire on a recent high-load trip.)

Any well designed and engineered pump in good mechanical condition can get one to high pressures. As an example, I still carry my 50 year-old Silca frame pump with the Campangola head. I've replaced parts a few times. It has a big volume and good mechanics, and I recently took a tubular tire to 130 PSI before I lost interest.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 08:31:03 am by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2022, 08:37:36 pm »
The Zefal pumps that Walmart sells are the cheapest pieces of crap that China could make, those pumps are only sold by Walmart and a few are on Amazon.  The quality Zefal pumps are made in France.
Physics still works. You've been buying pumps with poor seals and inefficient valving. Well-engineered and well-made pumps cost money. (See notes on Lezyne products above.)



I've been buying pumps with poor seals and inefficient valving??  What the hell are you talking about?  Please tell me which pumps I own that have poor seals and inefficient valving; this should be quite entertaining.

Offline ray b

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2022, 08:26:15 am »
@froze - I'm addressing the original post - not yours. Your notes on quality are on the mark. I'm simply expanding on your notes and adding a little anecdotal info.... will remove your quote for clarity

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« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 08:29:30 am by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2022, 11:58:13 am »
@froze - I'm addressing the original post - not yours. Your notes on quality are on the mark. I'm simply expanding on your notes and adding a little anecdotal info.... will remove your quote for clarity

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Thanks, that's a relief!  I was really confused, LOL!!

Offline ray b

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2022, 12:48:58 pm »
We're all on the same page.

The problem noted in the original post is the false or overly optimistic advertising for pumps of poor or variable quality - perhaps tested by robots with the strength of 10 men.

A cheap pump that claims the performance of a pump that costs twice as much is probably too good to be true.

“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2022, 07:40:47 pm »
We're all on the same page.

The problem noted in the original post is the false or overly optimistic advertising for pumps of poor or variable quality - perhaps tested by robots with the strength of 10 men.

A cheap pump that claims the performance of a pump that costs twice as much is probably too good to be true.

Even some good pumps are overly optimistic with their performance.  Take the Silca Tattico pump that advertises 100 psi range, but people on other forums have said they struggle immensely to get to 80.  80 is fine for today's wider tires, but not for the struggle to get there, not the 193 strokes it took to get there, and not for $70 it's not fine!  The Lezyne Road Drive large, and I'm going by the website not my own personal experience with it, but it is very close, is that it can reach 80psi in just 117 strokes, and due to those lessor strokes it's automatically telling you that it's a lot easier to pump, and it only cost $50 retail.

The most I've ever taken the Lezyne pump to, just to see if it could, was 120 psi, I think I might have been able to get to 130 or so, but it would have been very difficult, I seriously doubt if it could get to the advertised 160 psi, and I know the shorter versions won't make it at all.

I'm not sure how these pump manufactures come up with their ridiculous psi ratings.  I think most pumps, if not all pumps, would blow apart before they got to 160!

Offline ray b

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2022, 09:13:37 pm »
I think most pumps, if not all pumps, would blow apart before they got to 160!
With most plastic pumps with threaded plastic barrels, I agree.

The physics comes down to structure - ability to handle 160 PSI - i.e., wall strength, hose strength, seal strength, and pump valve strength.

Our strength/leverage to push with sufficient force to move air into a tire with 160 PSI also comes into play. And with smaller pump volumes, a certain amount of patience is needed. As noted, I suspect a lot of the testing of pump limits comes from robotic pumping.

The leverage is improved when the pump is engineered to allow a low-resistance side hose and operation as a miniature floor pump.

The number of strokes it takes primarily reflects the volume of the pump body and to a lesser extent, the efficiency of the seal and valve. Fortunately, tires that require 100 PSI are small. Most folks are running lower volume tires at lower pressures. That said - a large frame pump will always test better than a mini-pump if the goal is fewest strokes to reach a pressure goal for a given tire.

The good news is - we can always polish off a high pressure tire with CO2, as we generally don't bother with tire sealants in high pressure road tires.

Larger tires require less pressure, which explains the popularity of larger volume pumps - the difference between MB or MTB designation vs. HP for the higher pressure, low volume pumps.

If you're using a 30mm tire on the road, unless you're loaded, pressures can run less than 80 PSI. If you're loaded up, then higher volume tires and lower pressures make a lot of sense.

Here's a recent post on floor pump maintenance from Bicycling that reviews basic pump components. https://www.bicycling.com/repair/a35473934/how-to-repair-your-bike-floor-pump/

I'm not a big fan of online reviews, but here's two fairly comprehensive reviews of mini-pumps and frame pumps from the now arm-pumped Dave Rome at Cyclingtips.com. The first was already posted by Froze.

If nothing else, these articles will address a lot of the questions about what's out there, how models for larger volume tires differ, and how they differ in construction.

Of course, this is all at the risk of paralyzing information overload. (When in doubt, go with what you have and get out there and ride.)

There is a website that tested a lot of pumps; the site did the test back in 2019, but I think all those pumps tested are still available today; see: https://cyclingtips.com/2019/08/the-best-mini-pumps-for-road-gravel-and-mountain-bike-45-tested/

They only tested pumps they knew would get to 80, the rest they didn't bother with, and even a few of those they did test thinking they could make it failed.

Link for the few remaining frame pumps.
https://cyclingtips.com/2019/11/the-best-bicycle-frame-pumps-reviewed/
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 10:44:08 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2022, 09:56:41 pm »
That first website is the same website I gave earlier, and I think that website's testing protocol was pretty darn close to being correct of what you would find in the real world.

I don't think though, that a pump manufacturer should be using a robotic system to say they can reach 160 psi when the reality is that a human wouldn't be able to pump that high.  Of course, I know that there isn't a soul on earth that is putting in anywhere near that much psi into their tires, but the point is making sure truth in advertising exists.  Heck, even a track bike will only see about 119 psi, but they're not going to be using mini pumps to do that.

Offline ray b

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2022, 10:27:21 pm »
That first website is the same website I gave earlier, and I think that website's testing protocol was pretty darn close to being correct of what you would find in the real world.

I don't think though, that a pump manufacturer should be using a robotic system to say they can reach 160 psi when the reality is that a human wouldn't be able to pump that high.  Of course, I know that there isn't a soul on earth that is putting in anywhere near that much psi into their tires, but the point is making sure truth in advertising exists.  Heck, even a track bike will only see about 119 psi, but they're not going to be using mini pumps to do that.

Right - followed that post in July, and should have remembered. Will acknowledge in edit. Thanks for stimulating the process.

If they don't spend the money on a robot for quality testing of a design, you can bet that when it come to maximal attainable pressure, no manufacturere is going to test their pump with a 90 pound rider with 70% slow twitch fiber. They're going to go to the local gym and make it a contest.   :)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 10:45:49 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2022, 09:14:27 pm »
\. They're going to go to the local gym and make it a contest.   :)
[/quote]

I like to see a YouTube video of pump manufactures marketing reps trying to pump to their company stated max PSI capability, that would be FUN to watch!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2022, 01:05:36 am »
When it comes to advertising, do not believe anything you hear, and half of what you read.

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2022, 12:44:40 pm »
A few years ago I read that frame pump site, and I think it's pretty accurate in its assessments, but I immediately rejected the Silca Impero pump due to its ridiculously high cost, plus it's the heaviest of the 3 by quite a bit; even though I have an original Silca Impero plastic version that was back in the 80's the lightest frame pump made, and still is the lightest frame pump today, but for some reason, they decide to turn the Impero into a tank and charge a lot for it, not worth it in my opinion.  The newer Impero is specially not worth it considering I had a Zefal HPX from the '80s that lasted until the seals dried up about 10 years ago, so due to how long the Zefal lasted I automatically gravitated to the newer Zefal since it's almost identical to the one I got in the '80s.  I didn't consider the Topeak because it was 50 grams heavier. 

The other thing about my use for a frame pump is that my frame pump is only used on my touring bike, I don't use it for my other bikes.  Thus, my tire pressure is lower at around 50 psi, so getting to 90 psi as the article was saying might have been easier with the Topeak I don't use that pressure, so getting to 50 with the Zefal is quite easy.  So now the question becomes which of the two is better for higher volume tires?  That's where their 40 psi rating would come into play, as you can tell, there isn't a lot of difference between the 3.

There is an issue with all three of these pumps that isn't addressed in the article.  None of them have a real secure way of keeping the pump in the frame.  My bike even has a pump peg for a frame pump, and if I hit a hard jolt that pump can come off, or if the handlebar swings and the bar end hits the pump, pop, off goes the pump.  So I use two velcro straps, one toward the front of the pump, and one towards the rear of the pump, to keep the pump in place no matter what I hit or hits it.  A cheap fix.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2022, 06:40:13 pm »
Who would have thought a question about bicycle pumps would produce so many detailed expert answers. The thing that gets me is this. In the 1980s I did a considerable amount of bicycle touring including transcontinental. I have this little pump about 18 in Long and 1 inch in diameter maybe a little larger. It had a handle that slid in and out and a plunger. There was a tube that screwed on to the end and another at the other end of this tube it's screwed onto the valve. I could easily get 90 PSI in 30 pumps. The thing cost $8 or $9. Why are these things no longer on the market? Why is it that so many of these pumps cannot get to 90 PSI? I was just wondering about it. Thank you for all these answers. I am on a long ride now. I was never able to get the ideal pump. I make do with what is available.

Offline froze

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2022, 11:29:46 pm »
Who would have thought a question about bicycle pumps would produce so many detailed expert answers. The thing that gets me is this. In the 1980s I did a considerable amount of bicycle touring including transcontinental. I have this little pump about 18 in Long and 1 inch in diameter maybe a little larger. It had a handle that slid in and out and a plunger. There was a tube that screwed on to the end and another at the other end of this tube it's screwed onto the valve. I could easily get 90 PSI in 30 pumps. The thing cost $8 or $9. Why are these things no longer on the market? Why is it that so many of these pumps cannot get to 90 PSI? I was just wondering about it. Thank you for all these answers. I am on a long ride now. I was never able to get the ideal pump. I make do with what is available.

First of all your memory has failed you, no pump ever made that fastens to a bicycle, would put 90 psi into a tire in 30 strokes.   I was racing bikes in the 80s and there was no frame pump around that did what you claim yours did, the best at the time was the Zefal HP and it has remained unchanged for the most part all these years, and the new one takes 113 strokes to get to 100 psi, so roughly one stroke per pound of air pressure (on average) is about what any frame pump will do.  Perhaps a floor pump is what you're thinking of, a floor pump could do 80 to 100 psi in about 13 to 20 strokes into a 23c tire, maybe a little less strokes if the tire was a 19c.

Offline j1of1

Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2022, 08:11:50 am »
For touring I use a Crankbrothers Sterling Pump - and it does everything advertised.  What I like about this vs my previous pumps:  1.  It has a gauge.  I found that indenting the tire with my thumb was not a good indicator or pressure - I was often by 20-30 psi; 2.  It, like many others, has a smart head to inflate either presta or schrader valves; 3.  On the bottom of the pump is a high volume/low pressure air switch; 4.  Attaches to bottle bracket on seat tube very securely.