The Great Debate: Pump or Chuck
I’ve said it once before, but it bears repeating now: adherence to Rule #29 carries with it the ultimate mission of the aspiring Velominatus, which is to geek out endlessly over the minimum amount of gear which yields maximum security in the event of a mechanical incident while riding.
The goal here is twofold. First, with no European Posterior Man Satchel dangling off the back of your bike like an elephant’s nutsack, pocket real estate is at a premium; filling them up with unneeded tools seems wasteful. Second, sagging pockets are as distressing as an EPMS, so care must be taken to ensure the pockets stay as light as possible.
Minimalist multi tool, lightweight inner tube or tubbie goo, and tire levers are all obvious choices; one is left only to endeavor to find the lightest model of each which still functions reliably (a lifetime can be devoted to this task). But that leaves us with the delicate matter of how we choose to resupply the air which provides a simple yet critical element to repairing the most common mechanical of all, the flat tire. The question in this case is, of course, whether to choose a chuck and cartouche c-oh-duex or minipump. Ignoring the obvious utility of being able to challenge someone to a mini-pump duel in the event of irreconcilable difference of opinion on critical matters of La Vie Velominatus, both means of air resupply have their merits.
Dictum 1 above has historically put me in the camp of using a chuck and two C02 cartridges. (One cartouche is not enough, I am much too clumsy to depend on my ability not to bugger the first one up.) First of all, the Lezyne Trigger Drive appeals to my sense of aesthetics; it’s small, nicely crafted, feels great in the hand and can provide hours of fidgeting should it find its way into my pants pocket. I can’t get excited about any particular C02 cartridge, but they are small and simple and I have an inherent appreciation for anything with a thread on it.
Dictum 2, however, does give me some pause; the ensamble is anything but a featherweight. Enter my Lezyne Carbon Roadlite, which was given to me when Lezyne came onboard as Air and Tool Supplier for Keepers Tour 2012. Initially, the pump only accompanied me on wet rides (C02 has a tendency to cause some freezing when discharged in cold, wet weather – very unpleasant). But before long, it began to creep into my thick noggin that the little devil hardly weighs a thing and is more than small enough to fit in my pocket without protruding out of the top, which is most unsightly and considered entirely unacceptable. Today, I find myself reaching for the pump more often than I do the chuck as it lightens my kit a bit, allowing me to consume an additional ale or two without contributing to any overall rider-kit-bike weight gains.
I find myself wondering where others fall in the Great Debate; which path do you walk, Pump or Chuck?