View Full Version : Can't even buy a decent footpump anymore

Private jet
14th Jan 2015, 23:47
The footpump I've used to top up my tyre pressures finally quit after 15 years.
I sourced and purchased a replacement from that very big well known internet retailer. First thing I noticed was how flimsy it was compared to its predecessor, a lot less metal and a bit more plastic but I did not get the chance to try it in action because as soon as I connected it I discovered the crimped metal band attaching the flexible hose to the connector on the Schrader valve was leaking and not repairable. So back it went and i ordered a different one. "RAC approved" this time. Well, if they put their name on that piece of [email protected] i dread to think what their breakdown service is like. The stroke of the cylinder is only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the old unit, so you have to pump many more times to get the pressure rise you need. The gauge is ok(ish) it gives you a ballpark figure, not as accurate as the one on the old unit. You can't use it on gravel or any sort of uneven surface because it is too flimsy (i put it on a short section of old shelving) and I've only used it 4 times now and the piston in the cylinder is starting to seize up!
If you look at all the options for sale they are ALL the same, cheap but [email protected] This is what the UK and many other countries have become, a dumping ground for cheap made in China junk, and there is no quality alternative! The electric ones are cheap too and can't be any better. I don't want an electric one, that seems the height of laziness to me, a bit like electric can openers. No wonder people get fat.

15th Jan 2015, 00:21
Best car foot pump - 2014 group test | Auto Express (http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/accessories-tyres/86069/best-car-foot-pump-2014-group-test)

Michelin Digital Double Barrel Footpump gets their vote.

15th Jan 2015, 00:21
Buying a foot pump made by, or for, a tyre manufacturer is a good place to start. The vintage Dunlop pumps are the dog's wotsits, otherwise the Michelin and Goodyear ones look a bit more sturdy than the usual rubbish. Clearly you get what you pay for.

Other vintage names to look at are Kismet and Hattersley & Davidson.

15th Jan 2015, 07:19
..........a dose of free compressed air,You are right, it must be a long time since you last used a forecourt air line. These days my local air line (belonging to a well known supermarket chain currently suffering financial problems) charges 1 - and isn't on long enough to do all the tyres.

I bought a stirrup pump from Lidl last year. Not as robust as the ancient brass one in my shed, but highly efficient and still working. The other thing worth buying is a decent,preferably digital, tyre gauge (and if possible test it against a calibrated one in a tyre shop) -the ones attached to the pump are invariably inaccurate. I bought a reasonably expensive analogue one last year and it under-read by about 20%.

15th Jan 2015, 08:46
I bought a reasonably expensive analogue one last year and it under-read by about 20%. If you know this all is fine, as you have 'calibrated it' and can allow for the built in error.

I too have a cheap gauge with a known error, this is far better to have than to trust the forecourt 'unknown error' ones.

Edit to answer HC as our posts crossed.

This is what I have, of the 4 sides 2 are in Lbs/Sq Inch 2 in Napoleons. I've had it years, dunno if they are still available.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
15th Jan 2015, 11:47
I struggled for years with inadequate footpumps and silly little electric pumps. Then for working on the motorbikes I bought a workshop compressor, mains powered and with wheels so it's portable. Some time later I bought a 'professional' tyre inflator attachment for it just like the forecourt ones (the compressor came with a free cheapo one, but the proper job is so much better).

Shaggy fleet's tyres are now topped up in a trice!

15th Jan 2015, 13:21
That's a good way to spend Sunday morning. Mr Crun, Sir, I'm sure you are right, but, just for interest, which Sunday in the year do you normally chose for this activity?

I can see an argument for a Spring clean, but on the other hand a pre-Winter one might be better, what with new wax going on and all.

I would welcome your advice; I found that by only doing it when I think about it the cleaning interval can be anything up to 3 years, often just before selling the vehicle, and I'm trying to become more disciplined, although rather late in the day.

15th Jan 2015, 15:02
If you look at all the options for sale they are ALL the same, cheap but [email protected] This is what the UK and many other countries have become, a dumping ground for cheap made in China junk, and there is no quality alternative!

Applies to just about anything these days, often even when buying from big name companies. The Chinese are capable of manufacturing quality kit, I know because I've had a fair bit made there, and though I was a bit hesitant for a start, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. So it depends on how the product is sourced. If a UK company contracts to have something made to a spec, they will get it, but if they just buy the Chinese offerring and badge it, then it ain't likely to be much good.

For personal use I always try to recondition good-quality old kit, especially something as simple as a footpump, rather than take a risk on the quality of a new one.

15th Jan 2015, 17:06
20+ yrs ago I worked in Halfords cycles.
My mechanic used a double-barrelled model which was off our own shelf (accessories)
We used to get through 5+ each year, despite bolstering the lower cross-member with an old inner-tube, the side-bars used to always shear where the cross-member was bolted through.
Once one failed catastrophically, we claimed on its Halfords lifetime guarantee and took another off the shelf.

I currently have an electric handbag (compressor, torch & jump-start), but also have an old Lada Stirrup pump. Lada wins every time over speed to pump tyres.

(Bet you never thought your read that when you woke up this morning!!)

16th Jan 2015, 08:47
My first footpump was a single barrel that lasted 10 years, then the hose failed, repaired it but the rubber hose then disintegrated itself, then the seal in the barrel failed so I threw it out. The gauge was inaccurate but I had another gauge that was simpler in design and made in England so I used that to calibrate the foot pump by moving its rotating marker to show where 35psi was on the dial.

Have never brought another since, the quality of these are really pathetic. Luckily my local service station has a digital/audio one available for free.