Fat Bike Pump Comparison- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    djrez4
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    Fat Bike Pump Comparison

    Howdy fatsos. I mean that in an endearing way...

    Engearment.com is doing what we believe to be the first fat bike pump comparison ever. We reached out to eight companies and, so far, we have four pumps that we think are the best option from their respective manufacturers (though we're still pushing for the rest):
    • Lezyne - Micro Floor Drive HV
    • Blackburn - Wayside Hybrid
    • Bontrager - Mini Charger
    • Topeak - Mountain Morph

    We plan to rate them on the following criteria:
    • Volume per stroke
    • Durability
    • Portability
    • Head design
    • Comfort/ease of use

    You guys are our target audience, so we'd like to know if we can add anything to the comparison that would make it more valuable for you.

    When we're done, we'll add a link to this post. In the meantime, please drop any suggestions in the replies.

  2. #2
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    If you could find yourself access to a walk-in freezer, testing them below freezing might be nice. Does their volume stay the same (seals work well) in the cold? Can you operate them with gloved hands? Bare metal bits that are difficult to hold on to in the cold? Toss the wheel/tire/tube and the pumps in there and carry out the testing the next day.

  3. #3
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    Elaboration on above:
    A fit in backpack, fit in frame bag (big and small), and mount to frame comparison.
    ease of connection and operation with big and small gloves. maybe some troubleshooting of the connector.
    number of strokes to get to 10 psi
    temperature failure of operation comparison. how low can you go?
    operation when covered with snow, water, and mud, because we never drop anything
    schraeder vs. presta vs. combo heads (list any internal changes needed to swap between)

  4. #4
    djrez4
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    Great thoughts, guys.

    Cold testing is an awesome idea. If I can't find a freezer (I'll ask a restaurant friend tomorrow), we'll come back and update in the winter.

    Glove testing is also great. We'll include that as well.

    Dirt/mud/grime testing will fall under durability, I think, and pumps to 10psi under volume testing.

    Our categories above are general, but head design will include everything you've mentioned.

  5. #5
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    For the pumps with PSI gauges on them, how about double checking them with a known accurate psi gauge???

  6. #6
    djrez4
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    I have a Meiser 15psi gauge, so I can do that. I have a feeling that the answer is going to be that they all suck at <10psi.

  7. #7
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    I use the Lezyne and it works well in terms of volume delivered, but beware the threaded chuck. If you have a removable valve core, you can unscrew it when removing the chuck. Then you get to inflate the tire all over again (I speak with experience!). Strongly recommend you carry a valve core tool and tighten it up before using this pump!

  8. #8
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    Not sure if Lezyne would offer you any of the Alloy Drive models as well?

  9. #9
    djrez4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgraffite View Post
    Not sure if Lezyne would offer you any of the Alloy Drive models as well?
    We specifically avoided pumps that lacked a foot peg.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrez4 View Post
    I have a Meiser 15psi gauge, so I can do that. I have a feeling that the answer is going to be that they all suck at <10psi.
    Yup. The Meiser is the only analog gauge I've seen so far that I trust for fattie psi's.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  11. #11
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    Include dimensions (length, etc.) and weight.
    Out to ride

  12. #12
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrez4 View Post
    We specifically avoided pumps that lacked a foot peg.
    Why is that? I don't want a foot peg. How do you use a foot peg while standing in a narrow single track above 6 feet of snow trying to adjust your tire pressure?

    I'm not sure how many others do this, but I know how many pumps are required to adjust my tires one full psi with my pump. It's handy when riding in the snow.

  13. #13
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    good idea waiting for a good review and recommendation,

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgraffite View Post
    Not sure if Lezyne would offer you any of the Alloy Drive models as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by djrez4 View Post
    We specifically avoided pumps that lacked a foot peg.
    Not everyone carries a backpack or buys a pump specifically for a fatbike, I rarely get a puncture and when I do its 50/50 ride ending. The evolution of tubeless fat and tyre technology has lessened the occurrence of regular punctures and I'm more than happy with the 216mm HV alloy drive for raising the pressure on my fatty if needed, about 20 pumps takes it up ~1psi on a 4.8" (though its several hundred to inflate a flat), I have the 170 alloy drive which I take with my MTB and the 170mm pressure drive that goes with my CX.

    Decent pumps that just work, I collected the 3 of them over the past 5-6 years, still work flawlessly when needed and fit nicely in a jersey pocket. The Micro Floor Drive looks to be an awesome pump but at 300mm in length, its a bit on the long side for travelling light.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Why is that? I don't want a foot peg. How do you use a foot peg while standing in a narrow single track above 6 feet of snow trying to adjust your tire pressure?

    I'm not sure how many others do this, but I know how many pumps are required to adjust my tires one full psi with my pump. It's handy when riding in the snow.
    I know those pumps with pegs exist, but I can't recall ever seeing one in a bike shop or anyone actually carrying one. Seems smaller is what everyone around me is buying.

    I have a couple Crankbrothers I've had for years and they still work. I currently carry the smaller Lezyne in one of those water bottle- like containers. Never had to use it on the trail yet except for helping other fat bikers who flatted. No complaints

    In comparisons of bikes, fat bike's large volume to me is far easier than trying to squeeze over 40 psi into a CX tire. Agree, don't worry about having to carry a large pump for a fat bike. While it may take more strokes, it's not as nasty as trying to squeeze high pressure out of a small pump.

  16. #16
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    Same here Steve, all my spares are in a water bottle spares container, tubes, puncture repair, presta/schrader adaptor, tyre boot and multitool , ect. The only thing I have in my pockets are the chosen pump, house keys and mobile phone.... and nutrition when needed.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Why is that? I don't want a foot peg. How do you use a foot peg while standing in a narrow single track above 6 feet of snow trying to adjust your tire pressure?

    I'm not sure how many others do this, but I know how many pumps are required to adjust my tires one full psi with my pump. It's handy when riding in the snow.
    If you can't use the peg, it's too soft for a fat bike anyway.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by campykid View Post
    I use the Lezyne and it works well in terms of volume delivered, but beware the threaded chuck. If you have a removable valve core, you can unscrew it when removing the chuck. Then you get to inflate the tire all over again (I speak with experience!). Strongly recommend you carry a valve core tool and tighten it up before using this pump!
    Yes, maddening. What tool do you use for Presta valve cores?

  19. #19
    Fat & Single
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    Fell fowl to that one a few times, mid race unscrew the presta valve to pump up... sssssssssssssssss, full tyre inflation needed (never fat, only MTB) tighten that mofo before hand, the prep before a race or ride can be priceless,
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  20. #20
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    CrankBros 19 has a valve tool, got 3 of them bad boys, another collection after many years of use.
    Santa Cruz Hightower LT Evil Following Trek 9.9 Superfly SL IndyFab Deluxe 29 Pivot Vault CX Cervelo R3 Disc

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    CrankBros 19 has a valve tool, got 3 of them bad boys, another collection after many years of use.
    Huh. Is it the thingy at the end of the chain tool? I have the Crank Bros M17, and I just discovered that thanks to you, buddy!

  22. #22
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    Come on smovvveeee... spoke tools and all included with the rust.
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  23. #23
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you can't use the peg, it's too soft for a fat bike anyway.
    I don't agree. I do carry a pump. Some times I wonder why although I do adjust pressure quite often while snow riding. Heck, now my tubeless wheels don't even require any tape, just mount the tire. (It's hard to believe that the Tubeless Tuesday thread is still getting so much attention.)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    (It's hard to believe that the Tubeless Tuesday thread is still getting so much attention.)
    And the Chunt that started it, I still get notifications.
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  25. #25
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    And the Chunt that started it, I still get notifications.
    Yeah Ozzy, he seems like a real piece of work. I have a friend that just today asked me about setting up his wheels again. At some point I'll just have to tell him to buy a new bike so I don't have to go back and read through that whole thread.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Yeah Ozzy, he seems like a real piece of work. Erwin, he's a clown.... .
    It works but can't recommend doing tubeless conversions on alloy rims, its time consuming and there are cheap Chi rims for similar price that are 100% tubeless, Tubeless Tuesday was good 3 years ago.
    Last edited by ozzybmx; 08-01-2015 at 06:02 PM.
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  27. #27
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    "You must spread some Reputation around" will get around soon, Alphazz, Minitrail, Johnkul...
    Last edited by ozzybmx; 08-01-2015 at 06:07 PM.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrez4 View Post
    Howdy fatsos. I mean that in an endearing way...

    Engearment.com is doing what we believe to be the first fat bike pump comparison ever. We reached out to eight companies and, so far, we have four pumps that we think are the best option from their respective manufacturers (though we're still pushing for the rest):



    • Lezyne - Micro Floor Drive HV
    • Blackburn - Wayside Hybrid
    • Bontrager - Mini Charger
    • Topeak - Mountain Morph

    We plan to rate them on the following criteria:
    • Volume per stroke
    • Durability
    • Portability
    • Head design
    • Comfort/ease of use

    You guys are our target audience, so we'd like to know if we can add anything to the comparison that would make it more valuable for you.

    When we're done, we'll add a link to this post. In the meantime, please drop any suggestions in the replies.
    First of all, sorry for your loss. My best bike buddies are Labrador's, a mom and daughter. The mom is now trailer bound (we stop at swimming holes. She can't run anymore, but she will swim after tennis balls until your eyes cross).

    You have lost a family member. I will soon loose the mom, and, hell, I just feel for you. Best from us.

    Thanks for this honest attempt to actually compare products. Right now I just carry the biggest barrel Blackburn short pump that I could find, and it works, after about 100 pump strokes per PSI, but it isn't great, and the first one failed at the pump head the first time I tried it. Haven't used it much, as I have a compressor for normal use, but have some wilderness trips coming up, and a bomber pump is in the back of my mind.

    I will watch to see what you guys come up with.

    Absolute, utter and total RELIABILITY is what interests me (I live in Alaska).

    Cheers
    Kevin

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    I don't agree. I do carry a pump. Some times I wonder why although I do adjust pressure quite often while snow riding. Heck, now my tubeless wheels don't even require any tape, just mount the tire. (It's hard to believe that the Tubeless Tuesday thread is still getting so much attention.)
    Not sure what you are saying here, it's just my experience that the foot peg is usually useful and trails are usually packed enough that it can be used. SOP for me is start off with too much air, lower to what works on the trail. Since I usually ride to the trails, the lower rolling resistance early on is welcome. Very rarely do I have to add air, but every once in a blue moon I do, so I like to have a pump. Especially right after mounting a tire (tubeless). I've used a high volume (mountain morph) for years. These things last almost forever. I'm on my second one only because I crashed hard enough while DHing a few years ago to bend one, which screwed my back up (bruised vertebrae) for months.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  30. #30
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    What I was saying is that I never carry a pump on the fatty for flats. I do carry it to adjust pressure while riding. I often ride on single track snow trails which are quite soft and I feel using a pump which is designed to rest on a solid base would be unneeded and difficult to use in snow.
    Last edited by alphazz; 08-02-2015 at 07:44 PM.

  31. #31
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    Topeak mini masterblaster dx. Dual action, 20 bux, fits nicely in my jersey pocket. Been using it for years for many bikes. Makes quick work for the fatty out in the field. From dead flat to 8.5 psi pretty quick.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I'm on my second one only because I crashed hard enough while DHing a few years ago to bend one, which screwed my back up (bruised vertebrae) for months.
    Knobbly handles on pumps - Pack Wisely to Save Your Spine | Bicycling
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  33. #33
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    The cold test should be done with numb fingers.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Any bike, anywhere, anytime.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    The cold test should be done with numb fingers.
    Hot test should be done with the 12kph sweep approaching.
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  35. #35
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    Typical Ozzy!

    I said numb fingers, not numb head.

    Thinks it's cold when the temperature plummets to 30C
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Any bike, anywhere, anytime.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Excellent article. Have had no serious crashes on the bike (well 1 busted rib but that doesn't really count as serious), but a couple on Alpine snowboards. Never carry anything hard in your shorts (like tools/keys etc, absolute shock to land on your thigh, and don't carry shovels without padding/water bladder between you and the shovels, which would go for pumps/tool kits while biking.

    Did have a very hard hit on the snowboard which completely blew out the water bladder and it acted as a cushion, or I would have spent some hospital time.

    Like my Lezyne HV pump, that attaches to the frame. I never use the foot peg, as the hose is long enough to be able to get comfortable to hand hold the pump. Schraeder all the way.
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Hot test should be done with the 12kph sweep approaching.
    I see the Grim Reaper will be nastier this year:
    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/...9/p02x29sd.jpg

    As with the pump, I've learned to be more careful with GoPro's as well, caught my chest last year when slipping on a hill climb. Luckily didn't injure myself.

    I get the best of both worlds where I live. I've trashed pumps in hot, humid wet weather, as well as cold. Seems best to cover them. I've used old pouches from small umbrellas to keep them clean, or as I said earlier, the water bottle container.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Thinks it's cold when the temperature plummets to 30C
    Brrrrrrrrr....


    The grim sweeper will only be doing 10kph on some stages Steve, expecting brutal sand this year.
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  39. #39
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    I would definitely throw in a couple of hand pumps to the test in order to see if the greater bulk is worth it.... me, I carry an alloy drive, the floor drive is just too big!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Brrrrrrrrr....


    The grim sweeper will only be doing 10kph on some stages Steve, expecting brutal sand this year.
    Actually that suggests the other test.

    Sweat dripping into your eyes, fingers getting scorched from touching bare metal, hands slippery with sweat, dirt sticking to everything, and flies in your mouth when you curse the puncture demons - oh, I remember the joys of living next to the desert.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Any bike, anywhere, anytime.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  41. #41
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    Hoping I wont need the pump, got a bad thorny section on day one, will put a scoop of brush latex in with the stans just before the race. It doesn't last very long but it goes off like rocket if the tyre gets spiked.

    I only need it to last 1 week, the heat last year killed the Stans in everyone's tyres, it turned to a brown water.
    Santa Cruz Hightower LT Evil Following Trek 9.9 Superfly SL IndyFab Deluxe 29 Pivot Vault CX Cervelo R3 Disc

  42. #42
    djrez4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Scotsman View Post
    I would definitely throw in a couple of hand pumps to the test in order to see if the greater bulk is worth it.... me, I carry an alloy drive, the floor drive is just too big!
    I have a Topeak hand pump laying around that we could use for a baseline.

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