Disregard, or deference?

On Rule #30: In Defence Of The Frame Pump

by / / 106 posts

Going against the grain is something I think I’ve been doing with some degree of success for a good portion of my existence. A lot of people look at my life with a kind of disdain, mixed with a hint of envy and a dash of bemusement; how could I not have a wife/kids/mortgage and get to ride my bike whenever I want, and get paid to do it? Why am I the one flying around the world while they have to perform a daily drill that not-so-remotely mimics that of Winston Smith?

For one who has made a life of not conforming as much as the Illuminati would decree, and who was seen as a serial non-conformist, being a conspirator of a cult-like group based on a set of tenets and with a name that mirrors that of an elite ruling class seems almost bizzare. “Rules are meant to be broken” was a mantra of my youth which now is the antithesis of what I espouse here. And being that guy, means that one or two of the very creeds I’ve coined are routinely broken. And if you think others don’t pick up on that and call me out for it, you’d be well mistaken.

My usual response to such examples is “I make the Rules, I can break them”. Sounds a little authoritarian, I know, but it also demonstrates that I, and you, can do whatever the fuck we want. Listening and learning and drawing inspiration is fine, and recommended, but blindly doing as you’re told (especially by those in extreme positions of power and through mediums we use every day) equates to nothing more than rolling over while you’re being repeatedly poked with a sharp stick and asking “please can I have some more”.

In some cases, there are caveats and post-scripts to virtually every Rule written, and circumstances are varied enough to warrant them. Which is why I’m running a frame pump on the $5 MBK that my father procured recently. A classic bike from the 80s that bears little resemblance to a modern bike (ie it looks way cooler), with components that definitely speak of the era from which they are borne. We weren’t rocking C02 or mini-pumps back then, and we didn’t piss around when it came to road-side inflation. In fact, I was rocking the frame pump until the early 2000s, when my frame tubes were still straight enough to accomodate the long pump without a bowed gap between alloy and plastic. It was the advent of carbon that killed the aesthetic, and then the application, and finally the whole concept.

On this bike though, it’s almost as if it’s mandatory. It looks right, and goddamn if using it isn’t the most liberating experience in my recent Cycling history. What a pleasure to feel significant gulps of air being moved into the tube with long, satisfying strokes, the positive resistance at the bottom of each stroke as the spring gives way to the rubber bumper, the way your whole hand can wrap around the grip and you don’t look like you’re stabbing your other hand with a toy knife. It makes fixing a flat an almost enjoyable, curse-free and, most importantly, brief experience.

It reminds you that in many cases, the past had it right and while we think that everything now has to be smaller and lighter and gives the impression of enhancing our lives, sometimes the tried and true is exactly that.

// Breaking The Rules // Il Progetto // Musings from the V-Bunker // Nostalgia // The Rules

  1. FFS, even in the gallery the photo of the pumpless bike looks 324 times better than the one with the pump.




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  2. @frank

    FFS, even in the gallery the photo of the pumpless bike looks 324 times better than the one with the pump.

    This.




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  3. why do we hate Zefal again?




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  4. I hated the way my bike looked back then with a frame pump on it. Mind you, I look back now and I really appreciate some things that were common on bikes then and seem to have all but vanished now – chain hanging studs, and my dad’s audax bike had a set of braze-ons on the driveside chainstay for carrying a couple of spare spokes…I look at bikes like Giant Defys and wonder where they’ve got to. And those campag seatposts…why did they stop making them? WHY?




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  5. @piwakawaka

    why do we hate Zefal again?

    because we can ….




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  6. @Barracuda

    My Zefal in ~1985. It did suck as easy bendy when pumping.

    It’s not an EPMS, its inner tubes without the outer casing/tread strapped on with an toestrap.




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  7. @simon

    And those campag seatposts…why did they stop making them? WHY?

    This.

    Ahh. The Campag aero seatpost … back in the day I spent a good deal of my student loan upgrading my bike instead of squandering it on rent / books / food; that seat post was my pride and joy!




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  8. @Rom

    The lack of EPMS is compensated by the bulging EAMS (A=Anterior) and the camelhumps at the back.

    Just kidding! You were 15 and already riding your bike, that’s what counts. Your bike looked pristine (bartape matches frame); the Rules hadn’t been put down on paper yet and the www was still used only at CERN or not even yet (1989).

    I did not have a camera 30 years ago to make pics of my bike, otherwise, I might occasionally have been caught with camelhumps at the back as well.




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  9. @KogaLover

    @Rom

    The lack of EPMS is compensated by the bulging EAMS (A=Anterior) and the camelhumps at the back.

    Just kidding! You were 15 and already riding your bike, that’s what counts. Your bike looked pristine (bartape matches frame); the Rules hadn’t been put down on paper yet and the www was still used only at CERN or not even yet (1989).

    I did not have a camera 30 years ago to make pics of my bike, otherwise, I might occasionally have been caught with camelhumps at the back as well.

    Older than that, circa 1982! That bartape is Benotto too. Those were the days of hardshell helmets.

    This was taken alongside the Perth-Kalgoorlie pipeline, all 530 km of it. I did this tour twice as a teenager but we went the long way, 650 km.

    I sold this bike to a mate and it lives on as part of his farm gate.




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  10. @Rom

    * Yoda voice *: Heavy panniers attached to… the bicycle mechanism… a strong rider make.

    Sweet bike; sweet set-up. Reminds me of the time (1979) when I rode my steel Peugeot, decked out with rear rack with panniers and tent, handlebar bag, etc., from the Netherlands to Rome in Italy and back again. Pedaling that 13 kg bike and the 10 kg of luggage across the Cols de Lautaret and Galibier… Never going to forget that as long as I live.




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  11. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @oligali

    @sthilzy

    …… when my frame tubes were still straight enough to accomodate the long pump without a bowed gap between alloy and plastic. It was the advent of carbon that killed the aesthetic, and then the application, and finally the whole concept.

    As demonstrated here;

    Couldn’t Joe fit a couple of CO2’s in the EPMS? And missing a Noodle Box.

    he keeps his noodles attached to the wheels, thus needs no box.

    …and the bike computer magnet on the front wheel is in the shape of a tiny man.

    You know, I think it would (or should) be perfectly legit to walk up to owner of this bike and say, quietly and firmly, “I’m sorry, you don’t deserve this bike. You don’t respect this bike. I’m rescuing it and giving it a good home.” Or at least offer to swap it for a Wal Mart “mountain bike.”

    Small ring, biggest cog without the prospect of a hill anywhere nearby… pump attached with a “Ski Chalet” velcro band. This bike is screaming for an owner which deserves it.




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  12. @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?




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  13. @Oli

    @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?

    Indeed. Joe Dombrowski




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  14. @Rom

    We must then be about the same age… I was 15 in 1982 when my steel bike was born.




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  15. @Oli

    @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?

    Just goes to show that riding a bike batshit fast does not necessarily correlate with having good taste.




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  16. Whenever possible, frame pump should match the bike … no matter how garish the paint job (although I’ve always loved the wild paint on Land Sharks). Not my bike.




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  17. This is a nice touch.




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  18. @JohnB

    @Oli

    @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?

    Indeed. Joe Dombrowski

    Local (Virginia) boy done good. We can all tell him how “wrong” his frame pump is … if we could ever catch up to him to tell him.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/wp-sports/2013/02/27/cyclings-road-forward/

    https://rouleur.cc/journal/riders/joe-dombrowski-interview




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  19. @chuckp

    @JohnB

    @Oli

    @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?

    Indeed. Joe Dombrowski

    Local (Virginia) boy done good. We can all tell him how “wrong” his frame pump is … if we could ever catch up to him to tell him.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/wp-sports/2013/02/27/cyclings-road-forward/

    https://rouleur.cc/journal/riders/joe-dombrowski-interview

    Maybe why he moved from Sky? His pump will fit better under the flat top tube of a Super Six. Would JV allow that though?




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  20. @brett

    a) was that bike really $5 ?

    b) how is it that it looks best in the pic with the pump mounted ?




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  21. It’s got me fkd @brett how this frame pump thing works, just can’t get the hang of it.

    Back to the old c02 cartridge I guess.




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  22. @Barracuda

    You need to remove the base plate.

    Of course this is all wrong. What they should have done is sealed the seat tube and put a valve in the bottom. Then you just need a piece of hose, release the seat clamp and pump……….




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  23. @RobSandy

    @Oli

    @1860

    No doubt someone will correct me, but I believe that’s a Sky pro’s machine. Does he deserve it?

    Just goes to show that riding a bike batshit fast does not necessarily correlate with having good taste.

    Fully agree, wrong is wrong and despite not being ever able to catch him to tell him that, I can think it.




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  24. @EBruner

    I love the Colnago Master, beautiful. Which quill shaft is it? I haven’t been very happy with what I have gotten so far for with respect to quill shafts for my Colnago Master Olympic.

    I wonder if it might be worthwhile to find a way to extend the fork with a nice weld on piece rather than those crazy heavy quill shafts.

    Also need to finally get around to take some good pictures…




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  25. @1860

    @EBruner

    I love the Colnago Master, beautiful. Which quill shaft is it? I haven’t been very happy with what I have gotten so far for with respect to quill shafts for my Colnago Master Olympic.

    I wonder if it might be worthwhile to find a way to extend the fork with a nice weld on piece rather than those crazy heavy quill shafts.

    Also need to finally get around to take some good pictures…

    Quill heavy? What are you fitting? How would you propose extending the fork and what material? If you extend with steel with a A-Head type stem it would likely end up heavier than a alu quill.




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  26. Ian Boswell is riding around on Gran Canaria with the same kind of setup




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  27. @ErikdR

    @Rom

    * Yoda voice *: Heavy panniers attached to… the bicycle mechanism… a strong rider make.

    Sweet bike; sweet set-up. Reminds me of the time (1979) when I rode my steel Peugeot, decked out with rear rack with panniers and tent, handlebar bag, etc., from the Netherlands to Rome in Italy and back again. Pedaling that 13 kg bike and the 10 kg of luggage across the Cols de Lautaret and Galibier… Never going to forget that as long as I live.

    You are much more stubborn than I am. Same steel peugeot (1978) with tent, stove, gas, sleeping bag, food. So fucking heavy I could barely right it when it fell over. I had to get off and walk it up over the coast range in California, made one day south to Santa Cruz, said fuck this, I hate this, and canceled the rest of the trip. Never toured again.




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  28. @Teocalli

    I think he’s asking about quill adaptors, like this thing, to put a threadless stem on. Between the adaptor and the stem they end up heavier than a decent alloy quill stem. Not to mention bulkier and uglier.

    @1860

    A framebuilder could replace the whole steerer tube with an unthreaded one, which would also require changing the headset.

    Personally, I think a threadless setup on a classic steel bike is an abomination. A stem fatter than the top tube just throws off the aesthetic proportions.




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  29. @1860

    @EBruner

    I love the Colnago Master, beautiful. Which quill shaft is it? I haven’t been very happy with what I have gotten so far for with respect to quill shafts for my Colnago Master Olympic.

    I wonder if it might be worthwhile to find a way to extend the fork with a nice weld on piece rather than those crazy heavy quill shafts.

    Also need to finally get around to take some good pictures…

    I am using a 1″ threadless chrome Colnago straight fork. Around $280.00 from a Colnago dealer. I use a modern Stem with a 1″ shim you can pick up at any LBS.




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  30. @Chipomarc

    Ian Boswell is riding around on Gran Canaria with the same kind of setup

    What an abomination!! That awful looking pump, PLUS an EPMS.




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  31. Gaimon on twitter earlier today.

    Maybe this is why Boswell is taking a frame pump with him




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  32. @EBruner

    @Chipomarc

    Ian Boswell is riding around on Gran Canaria with the same kind of setup

    What an abomination!! That awful looking pump, PLUS an EPMS.

    agreed, at least this Pinarello isn’t as retina scaring like the last one, (please consider others when posting, some things can’t be unseen), the same way money can’t buy you class, being a pro don’t make it so.




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  33. @pistard

    Yup. Just that as a percentage on a steel frame that’s not going to make a great difference vs a longer steel steerer.

    I agree re style on a classic bike. I fitted one on my Bianchi when A-Head was just coming in and subsequently wished I had not (but not as much as I wish I had not sold that bike!).




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  34. @Gianni

    @ErikdR

    @Rom

    * Yoda voice *: Heavy panniers attached to… the bicycle mechanism… a strong rider make.

    Sweet bike; sweet set-up. Reminds me of the time (1979) when I rode my steel Peugeot, decked out with rear rack with panniers and tent, handlebar bag, etc., from the Netherlands to Rome in Italy and back again. Pedaling that 13 kg bike and the 10 kg of luggage across the Cols de Lautaret and Galibier… Never going to forget that as long as I live.

    You are much more stubborn than I am. Same steel peugeot (1978) with tent, stove, gas, sleeping bag, food. So fucking heavy I could barely right it when it fell over. I had to get off and walk it up over the coast range in California, made one day south to Santa Cruz, said fuck this, I hate this, and canceled the rest of the trip. Never toured again.

    Stubborn, perhaps – but it was actually tons of fun, too, as I recall. But I guess we were lucky that we were able to start the journey in the pancake-flat Netherlands. We had done hundreds of km. of training prior to ‘the big ride’ (some with luggage, as a test – and all in flat terrain), but it also really helped that we could build things up slowly, as it were, during the actual trip itself. By the time we hit some real mountains, we’d been riding anywhere between 100 and 150 km every single day for nearly two weeks – the first week almost-flat, and the second in the rollers of central and southern France. We were ready when the roads started pointing up for real

    And yes, if the bike fell over – as it sometimes did – it was really hard work getting that thing back on its wheels.




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  35. @ErikdR

    Great minds think (act) alike? I rode a steel Peugeot in the late 1980’s: handlebar bag, panniers, tent, stove and all the works. Trips through Netherlands, Ardennes and South of England. Very visible in my Lemond Z-shirt….

    The holidays with my then VMH, who is now my wife (and still a VMH). Worst was going downhill in the Ardennes reaching 70+ km/hr when the whole bike started to shake, with the cables rattling against the frame…. Oh well, we’re still in good shape!




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  36. @Hans

    Re downhills: spot on, mate. I didn’t mention it in my reply to Gianni earlier on – but perhaps I should have: Riding a heavy, tall, long-wheelbase, luggage-packed steel Peugeot in the mountains could get… interesting, to say the least. Going uphill was a slog – but the descents could be absolutely terrifying! There was so much ‘twist’ in the frame that the two wheels were reluctant to follow the same line through fast corners. (Not wearing helmets, either, of course… This was still the swinging seventies, after all – if only just)

    Ah, those reckless days of youth (I was 19 at the time). What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, I suppose – or I hope so, anyway..




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  37. @Barracuda

    It’s got me fkd @brett how this frame pump thing works, just can’t get the hang of it.

    Back to the old c02 cartridge I guess.

    nicely played!




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  38. @Barracuda

    It’s got me fkd @brett how this frame pump thing works, just can’t get the hang of it.

    Back to the old c02 cartridge I guess.

    Now you’re talking! I hope Col doesn’t see this…




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  39. One of these, custom painted to match the Jaegher?




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  40. @brett

    One of these, custom painted to match the Jaegher?

    Ummmm, NO. Leave the Jaegher well alone. Cant mess with perfection.

    If it aint broke, dont fix it.

    And who’s Col by the way ?




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  41. @Barracuda

    @brett

    And who’s Col by the way ?

    Oh, you really should know about Col…




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  42. Colassic.




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  43. @brett

    @Barracuda

    @brett

    And who’s Col by the way ?

    Oh, you really should know about Col…

    Of course, how quickly we forget. Shame on me !

    I reckon Col would fkn love my take on the remodeled floor pump posing hastily as a stealthy frame pump.




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  44. ^that was a total failure. so much for sharing the very appropriate photo from instagram.




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  45. @Barracuda

    Plus one badge to you, matey. Fucking brilliant.




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  46. @RedRanger that nicely folded version in the photo looks like it’d slot nicely in the middle jersey pocket.




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  47. Seems like frame pumps are a thing again now.

    http://pelotonmagazine.com/goods/the-frame-pump-is-back-silca-impero/




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  48. Proper frame pump.




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  49. @brett

    @Barracuda

    It’s got me fkd @brett how this frame pump thing works, just can’t get the hang of it.

    Back to the old c02 cartridge I guess.

    Now you’re talking! I hope Col doesn’t see this…

    Hope Col also doesnt see this !!




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