Noob Pump Question- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Noob Pump Question

    Just bought my first FS bike and need to get a shock pump. I'm wondering if there is a multi-use mini pump I could use on rides for both shocks and tires? I have a basic floor pump at home, but I'm wondering the cheapest way to get a shock and tire mini-pump, or if the only option is buying both separately.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Gotta buy them separately, unfortunately.

    A tire pump (especially a mtb tire pump) moves a lot of air per pump, but doesn't give you much mechanical advantage. A shock pump moves hardly any air, but it can pump up a shock.

    You'll find you don't want to touch your air springs on a ride. It takes a whole ride to evaluate, once you're in the ballpark.

    A floor pump is a very sloppy way to pump up suspension. The gauges don't tend to be accurate at the needed pressure, and it's very easy to lose an important amount of air when you take it off.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Gotta buy them separately, unfortunately.

    A tire pump (especially a mtb tire pump) moves a lot of air per pump, but doesn't give you much mechanical advantage. A shock pump moves hardly any air, but it can pump up a shock.

    You'll find you don't want to touch your air springs on a ride. It takes a whole ride to evaluate, once you're in the ballpark.

    A floor pump is a very sloppy way to pump up suspension. The gauges don't tend to be accurate at the needed pressure, and it's very easy to lose an important amount of air when you take it off.
    Thanks for the info! Makes sense for the pressure differences to need both

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentwhipple View Post
    Thanks for the info! Makes sense for the pressure differences to need both
    A proper shock pump will disengage the valve button before the chuck seal releases to prevent air loss during removal. As Scott said as well... Would take three cans of spinach to air up a shock with a tire pump...
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  5. #5
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    mini pump means that it puts a mini amount of air in that shock, if you like making twice as many oumps to fill your shock, then fine. otherwise a nice long shock pump is the ticket.

    match its max pressure to the shocks max pressure and your good to go.

  6. #6
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    The area of the pump piston x the pressure tells you how hard you need to push on the handle. That's why 300 psi shock pumps are so skinny, and 60 psi mtb tire pumps are fat.
    What, me worry?

  7. #7
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    Here's a tip: Air shocks are not like tires. When out riding, don't try to soften an air shock by letting out "just a little air" by manually depressing the the center pin on the valve. With the high pressure and low volume of air, too much will escape and you'll suddenly have a non-functioning shock. Don't ask me how I know.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  8. #8
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    ^^^ totally. You might get away with it on a fork if you're really quick, but not on a shock. To let air out, attach the shock pump and use the bleed button on it while monitoring the gauge for the pressure you want. Remember that when you attach a pump to a shock, it will always read lower than what was in the shock due to air from the shock having to fill the hose and gauge.
    What, me worry?

  9. #9
    Rippin da fAt
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    The difference between a fork and shock is major. A shock can have pressures approaching 300 psi and the volume is miniscule. A fork 50-125 psi is a common range also a very small volume.

    It is no wonder as to why a shock pump is a 15mm barrel and a tire pump has a 30mm barrel.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  10. #10
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    Technically you could air up a tire with a shock pump....it'll just take a week.

    I also think a company once made a double pump combo (i.e. it was two pumps but basically one unit, though bulky) if you are that hell bent on having both on the trail. I could be making that up but I swear it's true.

    As others have said though...I keep my shock pump in my truck with my bike tool box and on my person I carry an air chuck and two CO2 cylinders for tires.

  11. #11
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    I'd recommend purchasing the shock pump from the same manufacturer of the shock/fork you'll use it on. I've had issues getting the right settings on my shocks. When I speak with the manufacturer, one of their first questions is "what brand shock pump are you using?". If I say anything other than their brand, their comment is always something like "well, there's your problem".

    Side note: they haven't been wrong. As soon as I used their "correct" pump, my issues were gone. It could be the pump I had was on its way out or the pump was incompatible. Not really sure.

  12. #12
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    ^^^ I've used lots of different shock pumps on lots of different forks and shocks without a problem. It's more likely the particular pump you had was wack.
    What, me worry?

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