Thursday, February 9

Pumped Upwards

I went into Bike Source the other day to order some non-excite bike parts.  Wear items.  Things that just get replaced with boring things that are pretty much the same.  Not an upgrade.  Just more same same.

I mean, the most thrilling thing that I ordered was a Wheels Manufacturing 6806 bearing extractor.

There's nothing super excite about a bland $22 tool... that is unless you like to replace bearings in your $$$ bottom bracket without roaching it with improper tools.  Slight excite mebbe.
Place my order, toss down the plastic, start to walk out... something catches my eye.

"What's so special about this?"

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."

"Well, I don't need it."

But I bought it anyways.

The pump I didn't know I needed until I told myself I did, the Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump.

What's so dope about it?

That gauge is bigger than a stump-pulling 23 tooth Endless Kick Ass cog.  It's only capable of producing pressures up to 50 PSI but in measurable 1 PSI increments.  Being a rigid (most of the time) single speeder who sometimes runs a 3.0 tire at 11 PSI (or a 2.4 at 17.5 PSI), this is much buenos.

My usual method for checking the pressure before I leave the house is quite involved.  Walk over to the air compressor, spin the dial, find the pressure in the tank lower than I need, kick it on, wake up the whole house, stretch the hose across the room because I didn't think to store my compressor closer to where I work on my bike (or move my bike closer to the compressor), overfill both tires, fiddle with my SKS gauge that never seems to work properly (except when I took it back to the bike shop for warranty), air down the tires through a frustrating process of depressing the Presta valve and futzing with the gauge until I get where I need to be.

Some swearing occurs during this process normally.  "Some" meaning a lot.

So, get the pump home, try it out.  I bust out the SKS gauge and my old digital Topeak one that was replaced by the SKS because it stopped working but for some reason it started functioning again to spite me.  The gauge on the Blackburn pump reads a little lower than the SKS (accurate to .5PSI) but dead-on with the Topeak (accurate to 1PSI).

The pump is somewhat difficult to operate... as in I had to put my ass into it while depressing the plunger.  I'm sure it's due to the fact that it pushes a high volume of air through a tiny hose into a tiny valve.  That said, one or two pumps and it adds 4-5PSI to a 3.0 tire like that.  The bleed valve on the head made it very easy to let off the excess air to get me to exactly where I want to be.

Another plus?  The handle is attached with a 31.8mm handlebar compatible clamp...

So you can do this:

Of course, I had given my only spare 31.8 bar that had been collecting dust to Trips for Kids weeks ago.  Fortunately, Donald at Bike Source hooked me up with a super wide aluminum bar.  ESI Fit CR grips... because I had them.

Wished they were orange tho.

This pump will make things a little easier when I'm trying to get out the door, not to mention, it will make quick work of the morning ritual of pressure checking daily at a stage race... a step  I've been known to skip because I don't feel like going through most of the process mentioned above.  Until I end up bottoming out my front tire on a miniature boulder.

I do have one new issue now.  I've wanted to try wider bars on the By:Stickle Meatplow V.6 for over a year now.   The bars on there are just some bars I had from another bike. Wide by 2008 standards, but not in 2017.  I just didn't want to throw money at the problem, but now that these bars are just here... being used as a pump handle?

I might take the time to swap them out at some point... but that's assuming my rear brake line and drooper cable are long enough to move 1.5" outboard.  I'm only willing to go just so far with this experiment on a bike I've only ridden once since September, so yeah.

Rainy Sunday project for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blackburn pumps don't appear as flashy as some, but they have always been the most long lasting quality, easy to use pumps I've owned. In fact, every blackburn pump I've bought is still working good as new and the dual pump head, while looking a bit cheap, just flat out works.