Friday, May 4, 2012

Commuting Without a Pump

Topeak Mini Morph.  Photo credit: Topeak

I removed the handlebar bag from the Miyata after the last ride with my friend and went about the usual business of reorganizing for the next ride, which is on the Trek. I'm not a morning person so, with the added duties of being a parent and getting the kids off to school, I set the bike up ahead of time. I transfer the tool bag, etc. to panniers. It was then that I realized my mini-pump was in two pieces. Actually, the shaft broke. Yikes. No fixing this thing.

I've owned the pump for many years. It's been a silent companion—insurance actually—for the times when I really need it, so it'll be replaced soon with a Topeak Morph. I gave one to the Hub a year ago after someone helped fix my flat on an organized tour, then easily inflated my tire with a Topeak. The Morph series of pumps packs a high pressure punch in a little package, with a flip up lever and foot peg to resemble a floor pump. No more sweat inducing, arm hurting maneuvers, repeated 150 times. Gotta have one of my own.

What an innovative idea: flip out handle
and foot peg for ease of use.
Photo credit: Topeak

Until then, I've been mostly commuting to work without a pump, unless I can snag my husbands. It's left me feeling a little anxious too. I've lost the ability to fix a flat tire, which I realize, rarely happens en route. I've worked 11 miles from home for over ten years and can count on one hand the times I repaired the tube on the side of the road. Knock on wood. But still, I'm left vulnerable to calling for assistance, should the inevitable happen, which necessitates a car trip for rescue. I hate that. I've lost my independence.

Funny I don't feel this way about the girly bike. I hardly ever tote the pump when I ride the Ross. I stay closer to home, always within a short walk to a bus ride.

Have to replace my mini friend soon. And then there is the helmet, which is breathing its last breath. Oy vey.


  1. I’ve got the Mini Morph, and I really like it. I know what you mean about worrying when you don’t carry a pump--in the 10 months that I’ve had an 11-mile commute, I’ve only needed to fix a flat twice, and both times I was within a block of my office (and a bike shop). But every once in a while I realize that I’ve left my repair kit at home, and I get pretty stressed out about it, no matter how statistically unlikely it is that I’ll actually need it.

    The superstitious part of me knows that by worrying, I’m only tempting the Puncture Demons even more. It’s best not to think about it. They can smell your fear. :)

  2. It's like when I was a longhaul truck driver...EVERY time I carried that dang toolbax,I'd break down (usually an power all those "cheegin lights" I had installed,LOL!) rarely need a pump until you have none.

    That Mini Morph looks sweet! I've had great service and life out of Topeak pumps,I've had my current carry-along,the (Topeak,of course) DX Master Blaster for years,narry an issue (yes..."No more sweat inducing, arm hurting maneuvers, repeated 150 times."'s one of those :p).

    I'll be looking to buy another pump,to perminently leave in another bike's bag soon,let us know how this one works for you,my friend-and have an awesome weekend!

    The DC

  3. Do you know about how many pumps it take to fill a high pressure tire?

  4. I recall it took about 25 for 90 PSI. Good enough for me!

  5. I have schwalbe marathon plus on the Surly. Only tend to carry a pump if I'm away from civilization. (Now watch me get a puncture) :-) .

  6. BB - I'm learning that with better tires I get less flats. I aim to try Schwalbes when I need to replace them. Our local shops don't tend to carry this brand. Do you order online?


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