Flats are inevitable in bicycle touring and a quality pump can mean the difference between walking your bike for miles or enjoying your tour on a particular day. Even if you run high quality touring tires which greatly reduce the amount of flats all bicycle tires lose pressure with time and should be pumped up at least weekly. The main factors you want to look for in a pump for bicycle touring is quality, portability, and maximum pressure. No one wants to carry around a full-size pump on tour so the pump must be small enough to fit in a pannier or mount on the frame of the bicycle. The downside to this is it will require more strokes to pump the tires up. Therefore, the pump must be of sufficient quality to handle the excessive strains that will be placed on it. The quality must also be high enough that it will not develop leaks or break. Most touring bike tires require higher pressures that many portable pumps cannot achieve. It is important to purchase a pump rated higher in capacity than the maximum pressure rating of your tires, because many pump manufacturers exaggerate what their pump can achieve under normal circumstances. The pump must also be compatible with your valve stem or otherwise you will have to carry an adapter.
On my first tour I purchased a cheap frame pump from Walmart that resulted in much heartache. It took so many strokes to inflate a tire with it due to its lower capacity and short barrel that I was more tired from using the pump than riding the bicycle. The excessive strain to get to a reasonable pressure caused my friend to break the valve stem off our last remaining tube 20 miles from any store. Needless to say I learned my lesson and on the next tour I purchased a Topeak Road Morph G pump due to incredible reviews from many touring cyclists. I have had such a good experience with this product that it is the only pump I will ever use on tour. It features a long barrel therefore reducing the number of strokes required to pump the tires. Its maximum capacity is 160psi making it suitable for just about any touring tire. A built in gauge makes it easy to keep the tires inflated to the desirable pressure. It also has a fold out foot peg and T-handle to make inflation more efficient. I usually like to recommend multiple options, but this pump is so good it is the only one I am willing to recommend at the present time.
Valves-Presta/ Schrader/ Dunlop
Size (L x W x H)-35 x 5.7 x 2.8 cm, 13.8” x 2.2” x 1.1”
Weight-220 g / 7.74 oz
Positives-Flexible Hose that is replaceable, Mounting Bracket, Gauge, Fold-out Foot Pad and T-Handle for easier use, High capacity, Works with all major types of valves
Negatives-Some plastic parts that have the potential to break. However, I have been very rough with mine and am yet to have this happen.
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