Of flats, pumps, sag wagons and smart arses

Well on the weekend just past I suffered an annoying little episode. Being one of the most capable riders from our BUG / cycling group the Western Sydney Cycling Network (WSCN) I generally always end up with the role of the 'tailgun charlie' or the sweep rider. Works on the principle if I have to stop etc its quite easy for me to catch up.

This created my lovely little problem on sunday morning. I managed to pick up a bit of glass in my front tyre and got myself a puncture. I'd already fallen back at this point as we were having one rider leave our group half way through and I was just saying goodbye. So I have a puncture, big deal, I've come prepared, I have two spare tubes, my levers, my pump, you'd think all I needed.

Well I did manage to get the tube changed over without a problem. Whipped out my pump, a cheap generic mini pump and find out the reasoning behind the saying you get what you pay for. I got two pained squeals of pumps out of it before it failed completely. I was vey upset as even though the pump was probably going on two or three years old it was barely ever used. Plus I was upset that I was now alone with no way to pump up my tyre.

So I tried calling the clubhouse to get the sag wagon out for me and no one was answering. So now I was facing a long walk back at this point. So I valiantly throw my bike up on my shoulder and start walking. Cue the smart arses. "I think you're doing that wrong"..... "I'm sure it's supposed to be carrying you mate" and so on and so on. Cue two very well intentioned passer bys on their bikes, carrying pumps for schrader valves only. Sigh, and keep on walking.

Eventually I heard the blissful tones of TISM blurting out "all homeboys are d*ckheads" I am getting a call back finally, the sag wagon is on its way.

Now the purpose of the story. I don't think there was one, its all part rant, part warning about cheap pumps and cheap comments and maybe even an inkling of the joy of having a backup for when all goes horribly wrong.

One last thing though is the joy of lubricant. After buying a new pump as I refused to touch the old one I calmed down and replaced its seal, still the horrible squealing, add a bit of lubricant to the barrel, all of a sudden its working better than the damn thing ever did.

Views: 115

Comment by Peter H on July 10, 2009 at 8:13am
I had a similar problem to yourself many moons ago. I found myself at a petrol station with a flat tire and a broken pump. Luckily I had a presta to schrader adaptor like this one: which came in a little "pump accessory pack" I picked up for around 4 dollars from Rebel Sports. When I first got it, I didn't know what it was. Now I don't pump my tires without using it as it also doubles as a valve protector (as I have broken the tops of presta valves previously).
Comment by Josh on July 10, 2009 at 2:13pm
Hmm, this may be of no assistance, and may even be of annyance, but most of your frame size zefal type pumps can be converted between Presta and car valve. Just unscrew the end bit, turn the rubber and plastic innards around and Robert is your mum's brother.
Comment by Dabba on July 10, 2009 at 2:57pm
I got rid of the stem breakers years ago after one of my touring mates put me onto the small pumps that have a hose that fits into the pump casing. They become quasi floor pumps and are easy and fast to use. They are like this one. Now I wouldn't use anything else and carry mine attached to my bumbag by velcro tabs, so I can swap between bikes without worrying about where it is, and it does presta or schrader valves.
Comment by Brian McMartin on July 10, 2009 at 3:20pm
Aye I do know about the Zefal type valve conversion process. It just happens that the two helpful passer bys were unfortunately for me older gentlemen with well very old style pumps. The lovely old barrel ones with the little screw in hose section.
Totally useless to me unfortunately. Though all good advice given and some of it I may even actually consider :P
Comment by Josh on July 10, 2009 at 4:04pm
Ahh, the old footy pumps! They're... useless for presta valves.
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on July 10, 2009 at 5:11pm
Brian, I think you may have better luck in the future if you change that disgusting ring tone! ;-)
Comment by Neil Alexander on July 10, 2009 at 5:29pm
I'll second Darrell's recommendation of the Road Morph. A world first -- a mini pump that actually works. 120 psi with no problem. Except when your spare tube explodes because it can't take that much pressure...
Comment by Doddsy on July 10, 2009 at 6:57pm
Besides Track pumps for the house i've never had a pump worth more than $20.

There are some good cheap ones around...

Choose wisely.
Comment by Brian McMartin on July 11, 2009 at 12:36am
Well i'll admit my choice of TISM for my ringtone isn't exaclty PC but thats what I love about it, plus its proven to be quite 'unique' so far.

Well perhaps if my new mini pump and my newly repaired mini pump both give up the ghost I'll probably look at the road morph. It does look to be a good product. Hopefully. Fingers crossed here. I won't have to come to that though for quite a long time.
Comment by Al on July 11, 2009 at 5:50pm
Hey how bout some slime and co2 gas ideally to get you out of a tight bind. Ideally in that ride situation.


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