Tuesday, 8 June 2010
On our recent Normandy cyclepacking trip we had a morning of disasters.... this was the day when I had a major blowout in my rear wheel ripping a one foot long hole in the inner tube. Whilst I was repairing this Peter decided to 'inflate' his tyres and in doing so managed to tear out his valve from the inner tube. John then makes the announcement that he had a broken spoke- as I said at the time- not a good way to start the day's ride.
One thing that came out of this was that not one of the six of us could come up with a pump that managed to pump the tyre's to the required psi and didn't require a body builder to do it for you.
Yes-we all had pumps- and we had all been taken in by the sales blurb of 'easily inflates a tyre to 160psi' etc...etc.
The reality fell far short of the promise- the pump that Mike had was probably the best but there was no way that it was going to inflate my tyre beyond 75psi and after achieving that you were totally exhausted by the effort and didn't feel much like riding your bike afterwards. I vowed there and then that when I got back home I would do some research and come up with a pump that was able to do the job and not break your arms in the process.
There were certain criteria that it would need to meet:- It needed to screw on to the valve and have a flexible hose so that it didn't place to much strain on the valve. It also needed to have a pressure gauge- it is no use pumping up a tyre and not knowing what the pressure is. My track pump meets all these criteria but is obviously too large to take on a touring trip.
After spending hours trawling the internet reading reviews etc let me present you with the LEZYNE MICRO FLOOR DRIVE HPG PUMP.
This little baby actually works..! I have tested it on my Race tyres (145psi) as well as my Touring tyres (95psi) and it gets to these pressures without me feeling totally exhausted.
It is light for a floor pump even a mini floor pump at 187g-it is made from aluminium cnc machined. It is rated to 160psi (11.0bar) and I believe it will get there. It screws on to the valve-has a flexible hose and an inline pen style pressure gauge. It is 12'' in height.
Now for the negatives: It has a RRP of £37.99. The handle is small and could be uncomfortable. The pressure gauge does not appear to be too accurate and 'only'reads to 120psi.
Let me deal with these negatives in reverse order. Once you have established how far adrift the gauge is it isn't a problem-(when mine was reading 120psi it was really only 100psi- so you are not going to cause a blowout). Over this pressure it is easy to mark the gauge yourself after checking it against your own track pump.
Due to the small size of the pump the handle in turn is also small-again not a problem if you wear your padded cycling gloves whilst doing the pumping. Now for the cost- yes £37.99 is a lot of money to spend on a pump-but then so is £20.00 if your pump doesn't deliver. The good news is that currently Bike Plus are selling this pump at £29.99 check it out at http://www.bikeplus.co.uk/ and they offer FREE DELIVERY.
This pump will slip down the side of your panniers and you will not notice it is there-however it is supplied with a clip for fitting it to you bike frame if you prefer.
This is a Purpletraveller recommendation........!!!