observations on gear, adventure, and the world

Pump Review: Specialized Air Tool Pro

What I need from a pump is simple.

I need it to seal on a presta valve stem. I need it to let go of a presta valve stem. I need accurate pressure readings from 10 to 120 psi.

I air up a lot of tires. We race a lot on the dirt so a good seal and gauge are important to dial the perfect psi for the conditions. I set up a lot of tires tubeless so I need the seal to be perfect so that I can set the bead up and hear leaks without having to take the pump off. Also, I’ve had pumps rip out valve stems. Unacceptable.

And I need it to last.

In my experience for a pump to be a reliable workhorse (ie one you use every day for more than one bike) it needs to be metal and will probably run about $60 retail minimum. You need replaceable parts, usually the head and the hose. Hoses don’t wear seem to wear out often, but are the  most exposed to damage. The seal in the head does wear out. Using the pump on non presta valves just wears out the seal faster.

The Specialized Air Tool Pro

I just replaced the hose and head on my three-year-old Air Tool Pro, and it works like a charm. The replacement parts cost $10. Now I’m $70 into a pump after three years. I’d have gone through a $30 pump every 6 months other wise (in fact that is the rate I go through $30 pumps).

There are alot of floor pumps out there in the $30 range, in fact we keep one in the trunk of our car for trailhead and race day pressure checks, but trailhead pumps see a fraction of the use that my shop pump does. Generally I’d just say, go buy a $60+ pump, but there are good number of pumps that are charging you for features you don’t need. Either get a $30 pump or a pump made  of metal with available replacement parts and no features. The Air Tool Pro has what you need, so if you’re going through pumps go get one.

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2 responses

  1. Jeremy

    got an air tool from 2001 or so that’s still rockin… except the hose busted on me. got a source for that replacement hose you put on it?

    June 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    • I just stopped by my LBS (Canyon Bicycles, if you’re in the Salt Lake area) and they had it in stock. I’d say just swing by any specialized dealer and order it through them if they don’t have it – as long as their special order process isn’t onerous… it’s only $10.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

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