Saturday, December 10, 2016

Surly Big Fat Dummy


This is what a Big Dummy looks like.  Courtesy Surly Blog

The Surly Big Fat Dummy, a long tail, fat-tired cargo bike, will be available around April 2017.  Price TBD.

If you're familiar with Surly, then you know this bike was inevitable.  Surly's Big Dummy has been a dependable long-tail cargo bike for years (yet somehow we never managed to discuss it here). 

And then Surly began to roll out one fat bike model after another: Moonlander, Pugsley, Ice Cream Truck, Wednesday, along with fat do-it-all bikes like the Troll, Ogre, and ECR.  In fact, we imagined Surly making the following pitch at a QBP product meeting:

QBP Head Honcho: OK, let's talk 2016 products.  Surly, go ahead.

Surly: Fat, fat, fat, fat. As you know, we're all about the fat bikes.  And we just keep getting fatter.  Like land-on-the-moon fat.

But Surly wasn't done getting fatter, and we should've known that.  The Big Fat Dummy will take 26x5.25 tires!  Complete bikes will ship with 26x3.8 tires.

The Surly blog has a long post with everything you need to know about the Big Fat Dummy. So if you're interested, check it out.

Farm Fresh. Courtesy: Surly Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Specialized AWOL Expert

The Specialized AWOL Expert is a do-everything bike. Photo courtesy: specialized.com
The Specialized AWOL Expert retails for $2,500.

If you follow bicycle retail, you've probably noticed some interesting models labeled "adventure," "bikepacking," "gravel" or "offroad touring."  These are bikes like the Soma Wolverine, the Salsa Marrakesh or Vaya, and Surly's Troll or Ogre. They take wide tires, they tend to be made from high quality steel, and they come with disc brakes. Basically, they're designed to handle the rough stuff while carrying a load.

Specialized's offering is pricey, but it has it all: dyanamo-powered lights (add it to Edwin's list!); fenders with mudflaps; front and rear racks; disc brakes; really wide (comes with 700x45) tires; and a many gear combinations.  You could ride across the continent on this, or you could just ride to work. It will do whatever it is you want it to do.

Here is a 2014 review from Bicycle Times. 

Here are the specs:
    • FRAME

      Heat-treated custom-butted Premium Cr-Mo tubing, internal light cable routing-ready, Adventure Geometry, post disc mount, fender/rack mounts, kickstand plate
    • FORK

      Butted premium Cr-Mo, unicrown, heat-treated
    • FRONT HUB

      Shimano Dynamo hub, Center Lock disc, 32h 
    • REAR HUB

      Shimano Center Lock disc, 32h
    • SPOKES

      Stainless,14/15g w/self-locking threads
    • RIMS

      Specialized 29" disc front, 6061-T6 aluminum, 32h
    • INNER TUBES

      Standard, Presta valve
    • FRONT TIRE

      Specialized Borough Armadillo, 60TPI, 700x45mm
    • REAR TIRE

      Specialized Borough Armadillo, 60TPI, 700x45mm
    • CRANKSET

      Shimano Tiagra
    • CHAINRINGS

      50/39/30T
    • BOTTOM BRACKET

      Shimano Tiagra
    • SHIFT LEVERS

      Shimano Tiagra
    • FRONT DERAILLEUR

      Shimano Tiagra
    • REAR DERAILLEUR

      Shimano Tiagra
    • CASSETTE

      Shimano, 10-speed, 11-36t
    • CHAIN

      KMC X10EPT Anti-Rust, 10-speed, w/reusable MissingLink
    • FRONT BRAKE

      TRP HY/RD, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    • REAR BRAKE

      TRP HY/RD, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    • HANDLEBARS

      Specialized Adventure Gear AWOL, alloy, 125mm drop, 70mm short-reach, 12-degree flare-out
    • TAPE

      Specialized Adventure Gear S-Wrap Canvas Tape
    • STEM

      Specialized, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 7-degree rise
    • SADDLE

      Body Geometry Phenom Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
    • SEATPOST

      Specialized CG-R, FACT carbon, single bolt, reflective, 27.2mm
    • SEAT BINDER

      AWOL forged alloy, CNC, stainless bolt, 29.8mm




You can ride it in the country; you can ride it in the city. Photo courtesy: specialized.com

Monday, July 11, 2016

GT Traffic 1.0

Traffic 1.0 is GT's top city bike.  Photo courtesy of  GT Bicycles.



The GT Traffic 1.0 is an aluminum 8-speed with disc brakes that retails for $660.

In a recent review, Adam Newman of the Bicycle Times sums up Traffic 1.0:

The Traffic is a solid platform for getting where you need to go and fun enough to take you a little bit beyond. While I will admit to being spoiled by some of the high-end bicycles we get to demo, I was impressed with the value of the build. Included are Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, full coverage fenders and even a bell. Add some lights and a lock and you’re off.

I would add that the Traffic 1.0 is built for wide tires.  It comes with 700 x 40c Schwalbe Roadcruiser tires that feature reflective sidewalls and puncture resistance.  These are quality tires -- I think they go for about $25 apiece -- and they should offer a cushy, flat-free ride and last for a long time.

Here are the specs:

Sizes:

XS, S, M, L, XL
Frame: NEW GT Traffic Triple Triangle 6061 series alloy, smooth welded, and hydroformed (TT,DT), forged drop-outs, chainstay disc mounts, all utility braze-ons
Fork: GT Traffic fork with hydroformed alloy raked legs, Disc brake tabs, rack and fender eyelets, steel steerer.
Chain: KMC Z72
Crank: SR Suntour XCC 48/38/28t
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge sealed
Pedals: New GT high impact nylon platform
Front Derailleur: Shimano FM-191
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M310 8spd
Shifters: Shimano Acera 8spd
Cog Set: Sunrace CSM55 8-spd 11-32t
Rims: Alex R500 disc specific aero profile
Tires: 700x40c Schwalbe Roadcruiser w/ puncture protection and reflective sidewalls
Hubs: F: Formula Disc 32h; R: Formula Disc 32h Freehub
Spokes: Stainless steel 14g
Nipples: Brass CP
Brake: Shimano BR-M355, Hydraulic Disc, W/ 160mm Rotor SM-RT56
Brake Levers: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake Lever
Handlebar: All New Melt forged Alloy Ahead type
Stem: New GT 3D forged Alloy Ahead type
Grips: GT Wing design
Headset: Threadless Ahead
Saddle: New GT Traffic saddle
Seat Post: Alloy one bolt seat pillar
Seat Clamp: Bolt type
Extras: Polycarbonate full wrap front & rear fender

*All prices and specifications subject to change without notice.
 


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Raleigh Superbe

The 2016 Raleigh Superbe.  Courtesy: Raleigh USA

The 2016 Raleigh Superbe is a 7-speed that comes with fenders, a chainguard, and a rear rack and has an MSRP of $450.

Last we checked, the Raleigh brand was owned by a Dutch conglomerate after being sold and resold several times.  So it's not the same company that was founded in Nottingham, England in 1887 and once dominated the bicycle industry in terms of quality and performance.  The old Raleighs, like our friend old Binnie, have held up to the test of time.  If you're feeling nostalgic, you should check out this promotional film made at the Nottingham factory.

Nevertheless, the Raleigh brand rides on, and the names of the most famous old Raleigh models are being recycled: first, with the Clubman model and now Superbe.

According to the late, great Sheldon Brown, the Raleigh Superbe model "was always the super-deluxe version of [Raleigh's] top-of-the-line bike."  Sheldon Brown's Superbe looked like this:

Sheldon Brown's 1954 Raleigh Superbe. Courtesy: sheldonbrown.com

The 2016 Superbe is a poor imitation of the real thing.  That sounds harsh, but compare the 2016 model with Sheldon's 1954 model:

The 1954 model came with a dynohub light system.  The 2016 model does not include lights.

The 1954 model had an internal gear hub, protecting those gears from rainy English weather.  The 2016 model comes with a plastic derailer.

The 1954 model had a full chaincase, shielding the chain from moisture and the rider's pants from the drivetrain.  The 2016 model has a chainguard.

The 1954 model came standard with a leather Brooks B-66 sprung saddle. The 2016 model has a synthetic sprung saddle.

The 1954 model came with a pump and pump holder.  The 2016 model comes with neither.



The 2016 Superbe is a useful, functional bike.  It's just not superb, like the Superbe of yore.

2016 Specs:

Frame MaterialSteel
Bike Wheel Size700c
FrameRaleigh Classic Steel, Twin Tube Low Step-thru
ForkSteel 1" Threaded w/ Brake Bosses
CranksForged Alloy, 170mm w/ 42t Heron Chain Ring
Bottom BracketCartridge Steel w/ Oversize Bearings, Chromoly Spindle
Rear DerailleurShimano Tourney 7spd
ShifterShimano 7spd Revo Shifter
Brake LeversPromax Alloy
BrakesPromax Alloy V Brake, Silver
CogsetShimano Tourney 7spd 14-28
RimsWeinmann 700c Alloy 36h
TiresKenda 700x35 Skin Side Wall
PedalsVP Classic Steel Cage
HandlebarAlloy Silver 640 Width 60mm Sweep
StemSilver Anodized 1" Quill
SeatpostAlloy Micro Adjust 25.4x300mm
SeatRaleigh Comfort Saddle w/ Springs
HeadsetSilver, 1" Threaded
ChainKMC
Front Hub36h Nutted
Rear Hub36h Nutted,
Spokes14g Zinc Plated Steel
GripsVelo Black Cork
ExtrasRack w/ bungee cords, Metal Fenders, Silver Kick Stand


http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/city/classics/superbe

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/superbe54.html






Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Scott Sub EVO 20

The 2016 Scott Sub Evo 20. Photo courtesy of Scott Sports.
The Scott Sub Evo 20 is currently on sale at Big Wheel Bikes for $800 (the MSRP is $1,000).

The first thing we need to do is add this to Edwin's list of bikes that come with lights. The front headlight is a Busch and Muller Eyc, which is powered by Shimano Deore dynamo hub.  The rear light is also from B and M.

Scott calls this a 30-speed.  It comes with a cassette with a range from an 11-tooth cog up to a mountain-tackling 34-tooth large cog.  The Sub Evo has an aluminum frame and fork and is equipped with Shimano disc brakes.  Overall, my impression is that this bike can handle a mix of terrain and climates.

The Sub Evo comes with fenders and a Racktime rearcarrier.  Racktime is a complete system which works with "snap it" accessories, as depicted in this youtube video.

Overall, this looks like a well-designed and thought-out bike.  There's a review of the Sub Evo 30 bike on youtube (a similar, but not the same, model).

Specs:

Frame


SUB Evo 6061 Tig welding




Fork
Sub Evo Alu Rigid Forged




Headset
VP-A41AC Semi integrated




Rear Derailleur
Shimano RD-T610 SGS 10 Speed




Front Derailleur
Shimano Deore FD-T610




Shifters
Shimano SL-T610




Brake Levers
Shimano BL-M355




Brakes
Shimano BR-M355




Crankset
Shimano FC-T611 Black 48x36x26 T




BB-Set
Included with crankset




Handlebar
JD-MTB 25AF




H'stem
JD-ST57A




Pedals
VP-615




Seatpost
JD JD-SP68T.1.




Seat
Syncros Urban Solution 2.5




Hub (Front)
Shimano Deore DH-3D37 Dynamo 32h




Hub (Rear)
Shimano FH-M615 CL 32h




Chain
KMC X10




Cassette
Shimano HG62 11-34 T




Spokes
Pillar Steel 14G




Rims
X12 Disc, 32h




Tires
Continental City Ride II




Lights
Front B&M EYC and Rear Integrated B&M Ilu Jr




Rack & Fenders
Racktime Standit w/ spring clamp
Curana C-lite D45 with integrated Rear Light




Approx weights in KG
15




Approx weights in LBS
33.07



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Republic Bikes

Republic's Plato Dutch Step-through available through Urban Outfitters. Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Republic Bikes' Plato Dutch diamond and step-through 3-speeds are advertised for $499 at Urban Outfitters.  The singlespeeds are $399. They can also be ordered directly from Republic.

Republic Bikes jumped on the fixie/singlespeed bandwagon in the late 2000's.  Republic fixies were quickly derided by bike snobs as cheap and heavy.  They were, after all, made from tensile steel (*gasp*).  There were also grounds to mock Republic fixies based on the partnership between Republic and Urban Outfitters.  In 2009, the world's funniest bike snob commented:

You can certainly continue to enjoy something after it's received the Urban Outfitters treatment, though you can no longer tell yourself that the fact that you enjoy it makes you special.

Bike Snob was talking about fixies and hipsters, but the same sentiment can now be applied to "Dutch bikes" and the city dwellers who love them.  Yes, we know these are not *real* Dutch bikes.  But will Dutch bikes ever hold the same allure after receiving the "Urban Outfitters treatment"?

The Republic Bikes/Urban Outfitter "treatment" includes a web page where you "build your own bike," by which they mean you get to choose a color scheme.  I'm not going to make fun of this.  Urban Outfitters sells fashion, and "Dutch" bikes have long been considered a fashion accessory.

Republic has built a fleet of these "Dutch" bicycles for Google employees to cruise from building to building at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California.  These are useful bikes, even if they are tanks designed as fashion accessories.

Specifications

Total assembled weight: 40 lbs (18.14 kgs)

Frame: Custom lugged design in hi-ten steel. Adjustable alloy seat tube clamp. Front and rear pipe carrier racks included.

Forks: Crown Lugged, hi-ten steel.

Gearing (1-speed): 36T chainwheel, 18T freewheel

Gearing (3-speed): Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal hub, 36T chainwheel, 18T freewheel

Grips: Custom stitched comfort grips.

Saddle: Custom two-tone button saddle with Republic logo plate.

Chaincase: Fully covered PVC chain protector

Skirt: Clip-on PVC skirt nets attach to rear fender.

Wheels: Alloy 26 x 1.5". Nutted axles to both front and rear.
Tires: 26 x 2.25" custom hue balloon tires

Rear hub (1-speed): Coaster brake hub with 18T freewheel.

Rear hub (3-speed): Shimano Nexus 3-speed Coaster brake hub with 18T freewheel.

Front hub: Shimano Nexus roller brake.
Chainset: Steel 1/2 x 1/8 x 36T with 165mm Alloy cranks

Handlebars: Alloy, 600mm wide semi-raised.

Pedals: 9/16 PVC with reflectors.

Brakes: Rear coaster brake, front Shimano roller brake.

Seat post: Alloy 28.6mm x 400mm.

Center kickstand included.

Front, rear and wheel reflectors included.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Biria CitiClassic Series


Biria Classic i3 (top) and Sport i3 (bottom). All photos courtesy: www.biria.com


These 3-speeds from Biria's CitiClassic series go for about $615.

Biria is... different.  Biria produced the only shaft-driven bike that you will find on these pages. The flagship Biria model is the Easy Boarding, which looks like it's half bike, half scooter.  And Biria puts out a road bike with 20" wheels.

A few years ago, however, Biria noticed that American cities were actually putting in bike lanes, so they produced a really nice, functional city bike, which Joseph wrote about here. The CitiClassics are basically the same model, but look at all that sleek nickel chrome.  The CitiClassics come with fenders, chainguards, rear racks, and internal gear hubs.

Here are the specs for the Sport i3:

Frame:
Chromoly and Hi-ten Steel
Fork
Steel Crown
Rims
Double wall aluminum
Tires
700 x 35
Gear
Shimano Nexus 3, free wheel, with grip shifter
Stem
Aluminum
Handlebar
Aluminum
Brake
Aluminum Tektro Caliper
Standard
Fenders, Aluminum rear rack, chain guard, kickstand
Size and Color
46 cm (18"): Nickel Silver
55 cm (21.5"): Nickel Silver



















Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Priority Eight


The Priority Eight is a belt-driven 8-speed. Photo courtesy of http://www.prioritybicycles.com

The Priority Eight has a "pre-sale" price of $800.  Priority anticipates that the bikes will be available by April 1.

According to Priority, the purpose of their bikes is "to make cycling more simple." Their first models were belt-driven "Classic" 3-speeds offered in a  diamond or step-through aluminum frame. Priority marketed these models as "low-maintenance" bikes available in black or white.

Since launching those classic models, Priority says it has received overwhelming demand for a bike with more gears, hence the Priority Eight.  The Eight, like the Classics, has a Gates carbon belt and an internal gear hub for a clean, low-maintenance ride.  It also comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.





There has been some hype about the release of the Priority Eight.  You can read about it at Gizmodo and Bike Rumor.

The Priority Eight is available in three sizes: 17", 19" and 21.5". Here are the specs:

Component Description
Frame Ultralite 6061 T6 Aluminum
Fork Ultralite 6061 T6 Aluminum
Rims Double Wall Alloy, 36h
Front Hub Priority Alloy Sealed
Rear Hub Shimano Nexus 8 Disc
Spokes Black Stainless Steel
Shifter Shimano Nexus 8 Twist
Brakes Tektro HD-M330 Hydraulic Disc Dual Piston
Crankset Gates by FSA
Front Chainring 50t Gates CDN
Rear Cog 24t Gates CDN
Pedals Alloy
Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
Seat Post 27.2 Alloy Microadjust 350mm
Belt Gates Carbon Drive, CDN
Saddle Velo dual density
Handlebar Stem Alloy
Handlebar Alloy, 31.8, 6 degree rise, 630mm
Headset Neco Alloy
Tires Continental Puncture Resistant 700x32
Fenders Alloy Paint Matched
Color Matte Charcoal Grey
Sizes 17", 19" and 21.5"
Weight Approx. 26lbs

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fuji Nichibei Series




New for 2016, Fuji offers Sagres (top), and Cambridge (bottom)
For 2016, Fuji is offering this line of "retro-inspired steel bikes that pay tribute to Fuji's Japanese-American heritage."  Both the Sagres and Cambridge have an MSRP of $249.

Apparently, "Nichibei" translates to "Japanese-American."  Fuji actually started as the Nichibei Trading Company in 1899.  For more fun facts about Fuji's history, check out classicfuji.com.

The Sagres and Cambridge are cheap steel 7-speeds with fenders, chainguards, and wide 700 x 35C tires.  The styling is fairly elegant as well.  There is a third Nichibei model, the single-speed Sport, that's less interesting but still good basic transportation.

The Cambridge should not be confused with the Fuji Cambridge that we talked about here back in 2009.  That was a beautiful steel bike with an internal 8-speed hub. I hope Fuji will bring that one back even if they have to rename it.

Sagres specs:

SIZES17" (43cm), 19" (49cm), 21" (53cm)
COLOR(S)Forest green
FRAMEHi-ten steel city
FORKHi-ten steel
CRANKSETSingle, 44T
PEDALSAlloy
FRONT DERAILLEURN/A
REAR DERAILLEURShimano Tourney
SHIFTERSRight/ Shimano Tourney Thumb shifter
CASSETTE14-28T freewheel, 7-speed
CHAINKMC 7-speed
WHEELSETAlloy rims 36H / nutted hubs
TIRES700 X 35C city
BRAKE SETAlloy caliper
BRAKE LEVERSAlloy
HEADSETThreaded
HANDLEBARSteel slight rise city
STEMAlloy city
TAPE/GRIPStitched vinyl
SADDLEPadded city
SEAT POSTSteel
EXTRASSteel fenders, kickstand



Cambridge specs:

SIZES17''(43cm)
COLOR(S)Champagne
FRAMEHi-ten steel step-through city
FORKHi-ten steel
CRANKSETSingle, 44T
PEDALSAlloy
FRONT DERAILLEURN/A
REAR DERAILLEURShimano Tourney
SHIFTERSRight/ Shimano Tourney Thumb shifter
CASSETTE14-28T freewheel, 7-speed
CHAINKMC 7-speed
WHEELSETAlloy rims 36H / nutted hubs
TIRES700 X 35C city
BRAKE SETAlloy caliper
BRAKE LEVERSAlloy
HEADSETThreaded
HANDLEBARSteel slight rise city
STEMAlloy city
TAPE/GRIPStitched vinyl
SADDLEPadded comfort
SEAT POSTSteel
EXTRASSteel fenders, kickstand



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Soma Wolverine

The Soma Wolverine frameset includes fork and Tange IRD stainless steel sliding dropouts. Photo courtesy of Soma Blog.
The Soma Wolverine frameset is available from Soma Fabrications for $620.

We once had a commenter -- our resident curmudgeon, really -- who called himself "Al in Philadelphia." Whenever we posted about a bike like this one, Al would exclaim: "Why is this THING being reviewed on a site that calls itself 'Bikes for the Rest of Us'?"  I'm not even paraphrasing. Check out Al's comments on the All City Space Horse.

So for Al and anyone else who wonders why I consider this THING a bike for the rest of us, let me explain.  It all comes down to one word: VERSATILITY.

This Wolverine will take racks and fenders. It can be built up with an internal gear hub.  It is compatible with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive.  But best of all, it accommodates really wide tires.  According to Soma, it will fit 700 x 45 tires with fenders.

A Wolverine with racks and fenders. Courtesy: Soma Blog.


Bike tires are shock absorbers.  Skinny tires might make sense on racing bikes, but they make for an uncomfortable ride in the real world. Wide, fat tires are great for riding on unpaved surfaces as well as roads that are paved but strewn with potholes and bumps.  Wide tires are also useful when hauling cargo.  So get with the cush.

One more thing about this bike: the color.  We never talk about the color here, even though, let's face it, many bicycle (and car) purchase decisions are made on color alone.  The Wolverine is pumpkin orange, which brings to mind the bike that set the standard for versatility nearly 25 years ago: the 1993 Bridgestone XO-1.

By the way, there is a great review of the Wolverine on reddit: Soma Wolverine vs. Surly Straggler. It's recommended reading if you're interested in this bike

Here are the specs:

- Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
- Clearance for 700x45c tires w/ fenders
- Rear hub spacing:135mm
- Gates Carbon belt drive compatible
- Matching lugged flat crown fork Tange Infinity CrMo steel fork; double eyelets pannier rack and mini rack mounts (mini rack mounts not pictured)
- Braze-ons for rear rack and fenders (disc brake-compatible racks only)
- 1-1/8" size headtube
- Sizes:50, 52, 54, 56, 58. 60, 62cm
- 4.79 lbs (frame); 2.3 lbs. (fork, uncut steerer)
- Color: Pumpkin Orange
- Compatible with Paragon Machine Works "flat/flanged sliding dropout" replacement inserts (Rohloff, Single Speed, Direct Mount, Thru Axle)



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Viva Juliett


The Viva Juliett is a Danish-made 7-speed.

The Viva Juliett is currently on sale at Nashbar for $970.  Viva is a small Danish company that was started in 2006 by Lars Andersen.

First I was struck by the beauty and elegance of this bike: the intricate design on the chaincase, the spokes on the rear fender where, traditionally, the skirt guard/coat protector would be, the rear carrier which appears to be wound with bamboo.  Then I was impressed that it's available for less than $1,000.

The Juliett comes with dynamo lights and roller brakes (which should make Mr. Hembrow happy). Here are the specs:

CRANKSETViva Classic
CHAINRINGS42 t alloy
CHAIN COVERViva Signature alloy cover
BOTTOM BRACKETCartridge bearing, allen bolt
PEDALSViva classic pedal
RIMSViva 700c alloy
FRONT HUBSturmey Archer drumbrake/dynamo
REAR HUBShimano 7 speed Rollerbrake or 3 speed coaster
SPOKESStainless
TIRESchwalbe Delta Cruiser. Kevlar on Entry model
INNER TUBEPresta valve
SADDLEGyes leather saddle. Vinyl on entry models
SEATPOSTAlloy 26,2 mm
CARRIERViva design alloy


Monday, January 4, 2016

RoadAir Mini Pump

The RoadAir Mini Pump is currently available on amazon for $30.

RoadAir sent me this pump to test out and review.  Before I get to my review, I'd like to rant a little about pumps and bikes for the rest of us.

We here at Bikes For The Rest Of Us have high expectations when it comes to what should come standard on a bike.  Not long ago, Joseph started a list: fenders, chainguard (or chaincase), baskets and racks, gears, lights, brakes, lock, kickstand, bell.  I would add to that list a pump and pump peg or holder.  That used to be a standard feature on English bikes and it should be standard today. Car buyers would be dismayed if their new car did not come with a spare tire, jack, and tire iron. Why do we allow bicycle manufacturers to get away without providing the basics to deal with flat tires?

Back to reality: Most bikes sold in the USA do not come with pumps or even a pump peg to hold a frame pump.  So the essential flat tire kit for your bike bag should include a spare tube, patches, rubber cement, and a mini-pump.

I have tried out many mini-pumps over the years and eventually settled on one that was made by crankbrothers (they don't appear to make it any more).  I tested the RoadAir pump against the old crankbrothers pump.

Crank Brothers vs. Road Air. Both are less than 10 inches in length.


There are certain issues that a designer of a mini-pump has to confront.  First, there are two types of tube valves -- presta and schrader -- and the pump has to work on both of them.  My crankbrothers pump dealt with this issue with a dual head, with one side for presta and the other for schrader. You just rotate the pump head and lock it onto the corresponding valve type.  The RoadAir has a standard schrader head, but comes with a presta valve adapter.  The presta adapter is stored inside a compartment in the handle, along with a tapered nozzle and a pump needle.  This is a nice touch.

A compartment inside the pump handle holds a presta adapter, needle, and tapered nozzle.

Another issue for mini-pumps is their miniature nature (both RoadAir and crankbrothers are less than 10 inches long). Their short pistons can only pump so much air, so typically it takes a lot of work to re-inflate your tube after it's been patched.  I liked the crankbrothers pump because I could get a comfortable grip on it.  The RoadAir pump has a feature that I haven't seen before: there is actually a hose inside that you pull out and connect to the tube valve. This allows you to pump without having your hands between the spokes.  I had no trouble getting to 80 PSI (on amazon, RoadAir states that its mini-pump can inflate to a maximum PSI of 90-110).

A flexible hose pulls out from the RoadAir pump, making it easier to reach the valve.

For what it's worth, the RoadAir is lighter than my crankbrothers pump. On the other hand, the RoadAir does not come with a pressure gauge or a protective case, so that lessens the weight.  I plan to continue using the RoadAir to test out its durability and will update this review at some point.

In the comments, tell us about your pump and why you like it (or don't).