I pump up a lot of tires, and it’s been hard to find a pump that’s reliable. Handles would break off, air valves would fail, and sometimes the head would just no longer stay on the valve under high pressures. I tried a few different brands, but when I compared them, the parts all appeared to come from the same factory. At least when they broke, I could scavenge parts from the old pumps. I went out in search of something reliable like the Silca floor pump I had in the early 90’s, and finally decided on a Specialized Air Tool Comp.
Like many of the Specialized products, the Air Tool comes in a few different performance levels, sport, comp, and pro. The Comp is the mid level offering, and sells between $40 and $50. Construction of the pump is very sturdy, with a metal body and base. The handle is made of a highly durable plastic. It’s also comforting to know that Specialized offers a variety of replacement parts for their pumps. This is very important to me, since I hate throwing something expensive away simply because a tiny part failed. It should be no problem to keep this pump going for years to come.
Specialized’s SwitchHitter Head Technology automatically switches between Shrader and Presta valves. One head does both types of valves with no adapters, and without manually switching parts. I also like the fact that contact of the seal is not made until the lever on the head is engaged. Constant friction of sliding a rubber seal across metal valve stems wears the rubber down. I believe this is what led to failure on my old pumps. The seal became worn, and wasn’t strong enough to hold on while inflating high pressure road bike tires.
The long 42″ (110cm) hose length makes the pump convenient to use when your bike is in the work stand. I’ve owned pumps that couldn’t reach the wheel when the bike was elevated off the ground. The large pressure gauge at the base of the pump is easy to read (Having a pump with a pressure gauge is very important, and I’ll write more on this later…). The large air chamber inflates tires quickly. I’m able to inflate a 120psi road bike tire from flat to full pressure with just about 25 pumps. The stats on my pump say: Bore 31mm, Stroke 540mm, Volume 410cc^3
I use my bike pump just about every day, and have not had any issues with this pump for over a year. Our family has a lot of bikes to tend to, and the Air Tool is always ready and quick on the job. This is important to me, since I rely on my bike for daily transportation. If you’ve been frustrated with with cheap disposable pumps, and are looking for a high quality pump to add to your home toolkit, I highly recommend the Air Tool pumps from Specialized. These pumps are found at your local Specialized dealer, and in Carson City this would be the Bike Smith on North Carson Street.