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Wheels on the bike go round and round 10: Frame Pump Wheels on the bike go round and round 10: Frame Pump
by Mike Jennett
2009-05-30 09:33:43
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I’m in Palm Springs. The ride begins in a few days and I still need a frame pump.

I really only want the small rubber insert that fits in the end of my existing Blackburn pump but seven bike shops in a row haven't sold them, so the only option is to replace the pump. If there’s one indication that society is going down the toilet, this is it; for want of a fifty-cent part, I have to discard a thirty-dollar item.

The Palm Springs Cyclery is a good bike shop. I’ve been to it many times in the past and my last frame pump came from here. What could be easier than returning to the scene of the crime, as they say?

I enter the shop and a bright individual – let’s call him Eric – calls out, “What’s up dude?”

I’m in the right place. This isn’t the Trek shop in South Tampa, after all. Here follows a summary of the conversation...

“I need the valve insert for a frame pump for a road bike. Any chance?"

He shakes his head, grinning. "New pump is the way to go man."

No surprise. I follow Eric to an accessory stand, loaded with what I’ve come to despise; CO2 injector systems.

“No, no – a frame pump.”
“This is it. Fits right on the frame. Pumps your tires.”
“These are CO2 injectors.”
“Right.” He smiles brightly. “Gets you 100 -110 PSI. Just what you need for a road bike.”
“But each use needs a new cartridge.”
“One per flat, is all. You need to carry a few, just in case.”
“I’m riding 6,000 miles.”
“Dude…” It’s the wow factor.
“Any suggestions?”
“Try getting less flats.”

I want to correct him and say, “Fewer flats,” but now is not the time to be pedantic. I also want to point out that my control over flat-getting is minimal at best.

There’s a pause whilst I pretend to look at the injectors, wondering whether to actually buy one, but that would be like hedging my bets on the whole atheism thing and going to church.

"What about when I run out?”
“You can get ‘em anywhere. Any gas station.”
“And when I’m in the desert, 10 miles from a gas station and it’s 120 degrees?”
“Most of these are manual too.” He sounds defensive.
“They're tiny. What kind of pressure could I get from something this size?”
“About 60 PSI.”
“But didn’t we just agree that I need 100.”
“Well, 60 would get you home.”
“All 6,000 miles?”
“Right, right…” Eric nods, holding his chin, thoughtfully. “I guess you need a frame pump.”
“That’s why I’m here...”
“We don’t carry ‘em.”
“Why not?”
“No demand.”

Read more at: www.mikeonwheels.com OR www.wheelsonthebikegoroundandround.blogspot.com   


  
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