Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Back-up plan

One issue living away from the conveniences of urban living is, you have to take care of certain things independently. Things such as inflating tyres. Such a simple concept, but if you don't live near a fuel station, what are you going to use on a reliable basis to put air in your tyres?

Modern solution

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!

 New-old technology

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.

Nothing fancy

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!


  1. Oh, no!! Their site is saying "sold out". Never mind you've recommended the brand. I'll keep an eye out.

  2. You're right! It is sold out. I found another link where they're selling it for 99 cents more than I paid.

    Although it looks like there is only one left, and it does have to travel from New Zealand. The postage is the same as what I paid for in Australia though. Don't rush into buying it just because its on sale. Be sure you're comfortable with the seller/purchase and go from there. I've used Ebay before and so I'm comfortable using it, but its always good to check the sellers customer feedback.

    You don't have to buy it, just thought I'd put up another option. :)

  3. Very good tips (and there's nothing like experience for a teacher). Sounds like an excellent pump. Ours is somewhat semi-useful but it never occurred to me there would be different qualities for such a tool. I need to look around because that brand seems not to be sold in the US. However, the link you gave seems to have resupplied, for the same price as on AU eBay.

  4. Thanks for letting us know the original link supplied, is back in stock. I've heard of another brand which looks the same, with a good reputation is "Lezyne" pumps. As long as you can wait for it to go on sale, its good to see if you can get it for a lower price.

    I'm assuming the reason this particular brand has gone on sale, is because they've got new models the company is releasing. Newer, fancier models with steel everything. I like the wooden handle though. :)


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