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Bike Pump Redesign(9 posts)

Bike Pump RedesignOrion9282
Jan 21, 2003 4:22 PM
I'm a student at The Ohio State University, and my project for the next few weeks is to redesign the existing bike pump. Generally, I've narrowed it down to the floor pump, rather than the mini or bike mounted type, but I would welcome any suggestions from cycling enthusiasts who deal with bike pumps on a daily basis. I was wondering if anyone had preferences towards one brand or the other, material preferences, problems with pumps, or any new ideas utilizing new technology?

I would welcome any ideas! Thank you very much!
You can e-mail me at
Thanks again!
Hard to beat a Silca Super PistaKerry Irons
Jan 21, 2003 7:40 PM
They have replaceable parts that last forever, an accurate gauge, comfortable handle, good chuck, etc. The trick would be (for any pump) to reduce the number of strokes/effort to reach pressure, but that seems to be pretty much limited by simple physics. Double stroke pumps have their own problems - it's hard to generate pressure on the upstroke. The Silca hasn't changed much in 30+ years, and it is still one of the top rated pumps. You picked a tough one if you want a significant improvement.
re: Bike Pump RedesignAkirasho
Jan 21, 2003 11:56 PM
... most of us think in terms of a piston and cylinder... what about other ways of compressing gasses... say like a Wankel rotary system or some such (movable cylinder with static piston...) which might ease the physical constraints of attaining high pressure on many modern pumps.

Try looking at gases, their compressability, the mechanics (is there a way of developing better seals... no seals... less friction?) of said and a design (are you constrained to a practical idea or can you let your imagination run wild) from outside the traditional box... especially for a floor pump... work from a KISS to a Rube Goldberg perspective (well, not quite, but could levers and cams be used to enhance mechanical efficiency... heat exchange unit... gerbil on a wheel)... there's bound to be something in between.

Lastly, look at gas exchange systems from non traditional POVs... Have you ever seen an IV pump used to administer fluids in a hospital (ain't a gas considered a fluid too)?

Be the bike.
re: Bike Pump RedesignAndy M-S
Jan 22, 2003 5:54 AM
>Lastly, look at gas exchange systems from non traditional POVs... Have you ever seen an IV pump used to administer fluids in a hospital (ain't a gas considered a fluid too)?

Ever seen a patient with an IV administered at 115 psi?

Peristaltic pumps are well-suited to handling liquids and (in particular) slurries containing easily-damaged components, but I don't think they're good at handling significant amounts of pressure...
re: Levers to reduce level of effort to push the pump handle.dzrider
Jan 22, 2003 5:01 AM
As already pointed out the Silca Pump is pretty damned good at moving the air and lasting a long time. A better handle to make it easier for little people to get to 125 psi is the only place I can think of improving.
Foldable and compact design?DINOSAUR
Jan 22, 2003 7:42 AM
It seems like the design has not really changed over all the years. The more expensive pumps take less strokes to inflat your tires I've found. How about a full sized floor pump that you can fold up making it easy for storage and transportion? Or does such a pump already exist?
re: Bike Pump Redesignkg1
Jan 22, 2003 10:12 AM
How about a pump that had a guage that could be set to different PSIs that let air escape once that pressure had been achieved?

Hard to argue that this idea isn't worth the paper it was printed on.

re: Bike Pump Redesigndave woof
Jan 22, 2003 3:24 PM
Personally, I'd like a pump with a built in digital pressure gauge..

I like the idea of a pressure relief system at a set PSI. Like a torque wrench for pressure.

re: Bike Pump Redesignthe other Tim
Jan 22, 2003 3:39 PM
The Topeak Twister has a built-in digital gauge that's accurate to 0.1psi and has an alarm setpoint (it beeps when you've reached the preset pressure). On the side of the gauge is a release valve that you can press to let air out while reading the gauge. I don't know why people use any other pump.