January 8, 2016
Anytime you head out for a ride, whether it's a cross-country tour or cross-town commute, it's a good idea to bring along a flat tire kit. This more or less consists of a couple patches, spare tube, tire levers, and a pump. Just about any patch, tube, or tire lever will get the job done just fine, but when it comes to the pump, there's a huge difference between a quality pump, and a cheap pump.
This past fall I got my hands on a RoadAir bike pump, and I've been pumped on it ever since. The aluminum design, including the large diameter pump barrel, give it a clean look and excellent durability. A nice feature is a hose that extends out of the pump, making it easy to affix to both Presta and Schraeder valves and a small compartment inside the handle houses accessories, such as a Presta valve adapter, inflating needle, and tapered nozzle.
At 9 1/2 inches in length, it's not quite small enough to safely fit in a jersey pocket, but it does include a frame mount that attaches through the water bottle bolts. The pump action is smooth, and it can get you up to 90 to 100psi without too much trouble. At $36, it's a solid option that gets the job done well.
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.