Friday, February 03, 2012

Things We Like - Episode 1: Pumps

We're going to try something new here... periodically posting a "Things We Like" post on some bike, trike, part or accessory that we've had particularly good experience with. As a rule, we stock things we like, but these will be items that really stand out, or are things we are frequently asked about.

So today we're starting with floor pumps. Everyone who rides a bike should own a floor pump, as it's really the best way to maintain proper tire pressure. You may not realize it, but ALL bicycle tires lose air over time, often a significant amount in as little as a week. And many of us have had the annoying experience of using a poor quality pump which does more to raise your blood pressure than the tire pressure.

These two pumps are the ones we've settled on as the best to carry in the store.  On the left is the Topeak Joe Blow Sport II, a solid, reliable pump with a steel body and versatile locking "Twin Head" that works with both Schaeder (like your car) and Presta valves (those skinny valves unique to bikes).  At about $45, it's a good pump at a reasonable price.

The pump on the right is one of the Lezyne Floor Drive series of pumps, which retail at around $70 or so. Depending on the specific version, these have steel or alloy bodies, a sturdy metal base, comfortable and stylish wooden handle, and a very well designed head that works on both types of valves as well. An extra feature of the Lezyne head is that it is very compact, so it fits into tight spaces, such as the small wheels of a folding bike, recumbent, or child's bike. The Floor Drive is the pump we use the most in our service area, so you know we like it.

One feature common to both pumps is that they are serviceable and spare parts are available for them in case things wear out. That being said, you should be able to get years of use out of either of them with little to no maintenance.