I don't write in this damned thing often enough.  It doesn't help that my only bike now is in pieces, as the 1125CR finally went home with its new owner leaving an empty void in my garage and in my heart.  But, I did manage to pick up a new piece of kit that I wish I had had after an unfortunate ride last fall.

You see, I decided that prior to my departure for Los Angeles in 2010, I figured that having a method of repairing a flat tire road side was a good thing, so I picked up some generic plugs and tools and the local hardware store and paired them with a compact bicycle pump and called it done.

Thank the lord I didn't have to use it in the middle of the Nevada desert on that trip.  I did have to use it after a full day of riding in the Adirondacks no more than 3 miles from my house after picking up, what appeared to be, a hollow drill bit during rush hour on I-787.  As you can imagine, there was no hope for any air remaining in the tire like you might have with a nail or a screw.  So there I was, repairing my rear tire on the side of a busy highway.  All went well until it was time to air it up - that little portable bicycle pump just was not up to the task.  After 30 minutes my arm was tired to a state I haven't experienced since I was a teenager and I only had 15 lbs of air in the tire.  Enough to get to a nearby gas station, thankfully, but would have left me much worse off had it happened nearly anywhere else I enjoy riding.

I knew I needed to replace my pump, but was stumped as to what I wanted.  I like to pack light, which means I wanted something small.  I also wanted reliable, which means I wanted something simple.  My first thought was for one of those CO2-powered tire repair kits, but the cost was a bit prohibitive and it the constant need to replace CO2 cartridges as you used them seemed more hassle than it was worth.  My next thought was for a foot-operated manual unit.  I'd still like one as I think it would also be handy to have in the garage, but after not being able to find one locally (I was searching for a motorcycle-specific model), I settled on a small electric unit that came recommended by 2 different shops.

This is the model I got.  It's made by Slime, the same company that makes the quick-fix green-goop tire repair kits, but this doesn't require the use of that (which is a good thing as that stuff is nothing but a PITA).  I was hesitant to get an electric pump as the last one I had was a cheap unit that was more or less a one-time use affair.  This one seems much better built and using it to top off the tires on the 1125 before it went to its new owner proved successful.  It comes with a slew of electrical connectors including the style plug you'd use for a battery tender and a cigarette lighter, but I'll just be using the alligator clips as the battery is more or less out in the open on the S3T and central to the bike.  Based on the lbs/min rate on topping off the tires, I'd bet that you could air up the rear tire on sportbike from dead flat to 30+ lbs within in the 8-minute continuous use limit printed on the pump.  If you need more than that, they say to wait 25 minutes to let it cool down.  A bit lengthly, but better than pumping your arm off with a manual pump for at least as long or, worse yet, not having any kind of pump at all.

It all packs nicely into a semi-rigid case about 1 1/2" thick and with a footprint about the size of a CD case.  At $42 (I paid a little more than can be found online), I'm happy with it so far but plan on using it up to air up the next tire I mount to make sure it'd road-trip worthy.
Angelo
3/4/2012 07:01:30 pm

Hurry up and screw the bike together. Spring is making an appearance soon.

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