We initially purchased an electrical unit, on sale at around $160. This unit could jump start the car, convert to 12v and charge any number of devices, all from the built-in battery. We only really purchased the unit however, for the air compressor with digital psi read out.
It was brilliant for the first two years, even if it did seem to take a while to fill the car tyres. But then one day is just decided it wasn't going to fill air anymore. The unit turns over, just as usual, but no air comes out to fill the tyres. So we were left with what to do next!
Who would think a manual bike pump became the answer? Oh, we've tried bike pumps before, but who can pump for long with those hand-held units? We even had a foot pump, but it eventually broke too! The problem with those two pump designs were, you could easily put pressure on the connections, or metal, through the motion of pumping. Eventually something breaks and you're back to square one.
The beauty with this new bike pump however, is it holds everything neatly, as you simply use gravity to push down. Up and down. That's it.
The foot holder doesn't have springs and won't warp, so long as you're sensible with how you use it while pumping. We cannot really trust the manual pressure gauge, but it does give an indication that you're near the mark. We'll have to remedy this with a digital pressure reader, which is good to have for checking your car tyres anyway.
With our pond project recently, we desperately needed our wheelbarrow back in action. It was out of commission, due to having low tyre pressure. Have you ever tried using a barrow with low air, and have the metal valve disappear back into the tyre? Then you have to rip off the whole tyre, to get access to the valve again!
Out and proud!
Well I have a few tricks to avoid all that. First, ALWAYS check your tyre is inflated before putting weight in your wheelbarrow. If you find you've gotten to it a little late, but the valve is still visible, use a pair of pliers to hold the metal valve (don't pull it). Then slowly let the rest of the air out of the tyre. While still holding the valve with the pliers, gently pull it out more to attach the pump fitting.
If you don't let the air out of the tyre first, you'll end up damaging the rubber ring inside trying to get the value out enough to attach the pump. Then you'll have to replace the inner tube. Ask me how I know *wink*.
But here is the best news, we purchased this particular unit on sale - normally around $70 retail, and we paid only $20 + postage (around $30 in total). If you are interested in having a reliable source of air at your place, you can find the same offer we used HERE. The offer only lasts until 13 April for Australians only.
I'm not paid to advertise this product, I just thought others may find it handy having a back-up for when the electrical solutions don't always work!
Inflatable pool ring
This pump can do up to 160psi, which ain't bad for a bike pump. You can use it for wheelbarrow tyres, bike tyres, air-beds, inflatable pools, even car tyres!
My advice, if you need to be independent with inflating tyres, is don't buy a six-in-one unit like we initially did. Buy an air compressor separately. They come in all shapes and sizes, but just make sure you buy one with enough grunt to do what you need it to. Check out this link for a little more info on making an air compressor decision.
But its also good to have a manual air solution, like a suitably designed bicycle pump. We're glad to FINALLY have the barrow back again!