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Frame pumps(13 posts)

Frame pumpsmduell
Jan 17, 2002 9:10 PM
Since I never really got flats on the road on my MTB, I had never considered bringing along much more than a single glueless patch and hoping to bum a pump off someone else. But now that I'm riding a lot more, roadies seem to get more flats, and less people carry presta pumps, I figured I'd go for my own pump. Now, I'm absolutely awful at approximating tire pressure, so I'm looking for a pump with a gauge on it. So far I've only found the Topeak Morph at Nashbar. Any other suggestions?


Mark Duell
re: Frame pumpsJohn-d
Jan 18, 2002 2:55 AM
This is what I do. I have a pump similar to the Morph which I keep at home and use it to maintain high pressure in my tyres. However when it comes to riding on the road I carry a mini pump that attaches to a special bracket bolted to the bottle cage fixings. The pump sits neatly alongside the bottle, is very light and suitable for road side repairs. The mini pump is meant only for get you home inflations, I do not rely on it as my main means of inflation.

Frame pumps are ok if they happen to fit in your frame but they do wear away the paint at the contact points.

Mini pump - yesNessism
Jan 18, 2002 5:54 AM
I'm with John-d on this one. I have a Silca track pump for home use and a Blackburn mini on the road. The mini takes about 100-120 strokes to fill a 23C tire. A little tiresome but think about this as an upper body workout. I laugh when people complain about how hard it is to pump up a tire with a mini pump. Lets see, 20/50/100 miles pedaling with the legs but 100 strokes with the arms is too much? Just my $0.02.
re: Frame pumpsxxl
Jan 18, 2002 3:03 AM
IMHO, there is no finer pump for most road situations than the Zefal HpX. It's durable as all get out, and solid enough to whack all but the largest wheel-biting dogs, if you're so inclined. Of course, there are others, but none so, so ... sleek, so "noir," so French. It works for me.

I wouldn't get too concerned about the gauge thing, either. Even the best road pumps can't generate much over 120 psi, and believe me, your sore (pumping) arm will let you know when you're getting close. It's just not really an issue of whether you'll accidentally blow out the tube, since virtually all road tires recommended inflation point is right about where your pump will start to really have difficulty compressing further. My advice is to carry a pump, and when you flat, just fix, and pump it up until the repaired tire feels about like the other tire, and/or the pump starts to become really hard to work. It won't be exact, but it'll be close enough to let you finish the ride and limp home.

Having said that, you may also consider using the CO2 cartridges instead of a frame pump. Many seem to like them, and a couple of cartridges are certainly lighter and more compact than a pump. I don't care for them myself, because I'm paranoid about flatting out one more than the number of cartridges I'm carrying, and it seems that using these one could overdo it easily, but I don't know. One other problem is that some of your more bohemian friends may mistake the things for nitrous oxide ones, and try to "huff" all your air.

BTW, Nashbar was offering the Zefal on sale recently, like $22.

ZefalAndy M-S
Jan 18, 2002 6:33 AM
Hands-down, the best pump investment you can make is the Zefal hPX. It works well and it works fast. I've seen racers hobbled by the fact that they brought one (1) CO2 cartridge but had two (2) flats.

A Zefal pump is generally a lifetime investment--I had one that was under the TT of a frame that got severly bent by the car in front of me. The TT and the pump took a beating, but the pump still works...I have it on my beater bike these days.
re: Frame pumpspa rider
Jan 18, 2002 3:21 AM
Hi Mark. I'm a MTB from Pennsylvania. I start road riding in 1992 to help my MTB racing training. I used a Zefal HPX frame pump. It pumps quickly and you'll know when you have enough air. I pump the tire up until it's hard to pump or you can hardly feel the tire being soft.

You know how when you feel your MTB tires you can tell if you have enough air without getting a pinch flat (you learn this from racing on rocky trails). It also applies when you get a flat on your road bike. You put 110 psi in your tires and you just pinch the tire to see how it feels. You should be able to pump your tire up to that much air. My one friend use his frame pump to put air in his tires and he use to know how hard he has to pump to get enough air.

Zefal says they can go 135 psi, but it usually hard to pump to get that pressure; with any road pump. I have a gauge on my MTB blackburn pump, but after banging it in my bag it doesn't read right.

The frame pump should be messured to lenght of your top tube. I don't have pegs on my American bike, so I use velcro straps to hold it. My frame pump is one inch smaller than my top tube.

You can use CO2 cartridges. I see races use them, but I don't trust them. They blow up my tire too quickly. I can get away with using one or two on my MTB to fix flats (I still carry a pump and it saved my ass a few times). I seen guys blow the spare tube with the CO2 and then ask somebody if they have a spare tube and frame pump.

I usually always pump my tires up before every ride (120 psi). I only had one flat this year in the spring. I found using Contintental tires help me from getting alot of flats. They have harder rubber casing. Touring riders use them (35c) and don't get flats. Some of our club riders get over 5000 miles on the tires with no flats doing the coast to coast tour from Washington to Pennsylvania.

Hope this helps you out.
re: Frame pumpspmf1
Jan 18, 2002 4:58 AM
You don't need a pump with a guage on it. Its probably not possible to over-inflate your tire with a hand pump. By the time you get 110 psi in there, it'll be quite hard to pump it anymore. The question is, do you want a full size frame pump, or a mini? The best full size pump I've ever used is a Zefal. Unfortunately, none of the bikes I currently own are equipped with pump pegs, and I'm not willing to velcro them on out of fear of damaging the paint. For a while, I used a mini, but these things take 250-300 strokes to fill the tire. Yeah, they work, but they sure make you work. Recently, I switched to CO2. Its fast and easy. Great until you run out of cartridges (I carry 3 of them).
Jan 18, 2002 5:34 AM
CO2 is the way to go. Just my $.02
Topeak Road Morph.Sintesi
Jan 18, 2002 8:26 AM
It is a nice pump in the sense that it functions well. The guage is superfluous because of reasons mentioned above and the fact that it isn't terribly accurate. What I don't like is the unnecessary bulk and the hose which can easily detached. The mounting bracket rattles and isn't terribly secure. I've had to baffle it with a cut up tube and black tape. You know what? I'm going to come right out and say it: I'm starting to really dislike this pump. GRRR. ;{
zefal HPxsalmonwheel
Jan 18, 2002 8:34 AM
I have a zefal HPx and it works great , mounts nicely (I have a peg on my frame), and is durable. When the weather is nicer, I like long rides, and I prefer to ride solo. If I get a flat I don't want to limp home, I want to keep riding, so I patch or replace the tube pump it up to pressure and keep riding. Repairing a tire is so fast and simple, I don't want to let it cause me too much trouble. I use a floor pump at home, ut will usually just use the zefal hpx to bringmy tires up to pressure before each ride. I don't like mini pumps myself, I find mounting them awkward and they're harder to pump up (not that I'm too weak or complaining, I just like to use the best tool I can all things being equal) I don't use an mtb for road rides, even though it would work , right. I carry a minipump on my commuter, since I don't have a frame peg on that bike.

as far as pressure, I carry a pencil type gauge in my seatbag, It's probably not too accurate, but helps keep me from under inflating. I tend to layoff since I'm famous for my lack of a gentle touch (not strong just over zealous)
What I do...DINOSAUR
Jan 18, 2002 9:33 AM
I was using a Blackburn FP-1 full length frame pump. I had to rig a pump peg using a plastic zip lock tie (per instructions). The Blackburn worked O.K. but I could only get up to around 90psi, after that it was difficult without snapping the long valve stems needed for my Rolf wheels.

I'm currently carrying a Avenir mini pump and co2. I practiced in my garage and if I stoke 20 times with the mini I get 20 lbs of air into my tire, then a 12g cannister will bring the tire up to 120psi. The strange thing is since I started packing co2 last summer (July) I have only had one flat. By the time I had to use the co2, I forgot how to use it and went through 2 cannisters before I inflated the tire.

Be aware if you have a frame with no pump pegs it's impossible not to get the zip lock off without scratching the frame. I cinched down the pump using electrical velcro straps I found at a hardware store, otherwise it would rattle like crazy. The mini is secured to the water bottle bracket, I just have to check it once and a awhile because yanking a water bottle in and out of the holder has a tendency to crack the holder after a matter of time, unless you are careful, which I now am.

Co2 is easy to use, I just don't trust packing only two cannisters, perhaps when I have more experience I will just pack them. However you will need a 16g cannister to inflat to 120psi (700x23).

The Zefal hpx is an excellent pump. My LBS doesn't stock them.

I was really hesitant about the co2, but it's an easy way to go...
Zefal HPX is a good pumpBarnyard
Jan 18, 2002 7:23 PM
I had one for over ten years that I lost about six months ago. It was a big loss. But I found an other mountain biking. That was a big gain. Although I did buy one which was defective too. Although I'm still a zefal hpx man.
What kind of bike do you have?nee Spoke Wrench
Jan 19, 2002 6:42 AM
I think that all of the above ideas have merit, but they won't all work on every bike. I've tried them all and occasionally still use all of them.

Whenever I've had more than one flat on a ride, the second was because of something stupid I did while fixing the first flat - usually not inflating it enough.

I'm not a big fan of mini pumps. My attention deficit disorder kicks in before I can properly inflate a tire with one. I think that double action and telescoping features do a better job of helping to sell the pump than helping to inflate your tire.

I think the Topek Road Morph is a good pump, but it's UGLY. It's way too clunky looking for a cool guy like me to carry on my bike.

I've used Zefal HPX's for years, but many newer frames, like my Klein, don't have a pump peg to make it stay on the bike. Don't worry about air pressure on a road bike, just pump until your arm gets tired.

I like CO2, but it's expensive and you really need to practice using it at least once before you rely on it. 15g fills a road bike tire nicely in just a couple of seconds. The CO2 will leak out and you will have to reinflate the tire the next day.

What I personally carry with me depends on the bike:
Go fast bike - CO2
Retro Grouch Bike - HPX
Beater Bike - mini pump
Tandem - CO2 and HPX
Mountain Bike - CO2 and mini pump
Most of the time I don't have to use any of them!