On Rule #30: In Defence Of The Frame Pump

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.

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106 Replies to “On Rule #30: In Defence Of The Frame Pump”

  1. Other than that – it’s period correct, mounted onto OEM pump bosses. No one can argue it shouldn’t be there.

  2. Rule #30 is the only rule I regularly break. I only have one steed which I use for group rides and commutes to and from work. I leave it on there so I don’t forget it. Otherwise, I will forget the day I have a puncture. I do mount it non drive side so it stays out of shot for any bike pics I take.

  3. @Puffy

    That’s a bloody Zefal!

    This. A Silca would be one thing; I don’t even have to read the article to know that spending time in Tazmania made @Brett grow a second fucking head.

    An excommunication or exorcism is in order, I think.

    FFS.

  4. @Phillip Mercer

    Rule #30 is the only rule I regularly break. I only have one steed which I use for group rides and commutes to and from work. I leave it on there so I don’t forget it. Otherwise, I will forget the day I have a puncture. I do mount it non drive side so it stays out of shot for any bike pics I take.

    Moi aussi; at the same time, I’m proud of running my FP old-school NDS and don’t mind it showing up in pics.  (Yes, it looks like an oversized Rule #29 violation, when in fact it holds two spare tubs for long, remote solo rides in places where there is no cell coverage, and I my jersey pocket have altitude-specific clothing and food…. And yes again, I know it’s like suspenders and a belt but where there are few cars and you can’t call your spouse and beg to use your get-out-of-jail-free-when-can-my-support-vehicle-be-here card, well….).

    V1 Hampsten ti GP which has been replaced by v2 with tweaked geometry and tubing .

  5. @Puffy

    Other than that – it’s period correct, mounted onto OEM pump bosses. No one can argue it shouldn’t be there.

    Yep! If the frame has pump pegs or bosses brazed on, long said Silca can fill the gap.

  6. @Puffy

    That’s a bloody Zefal!

    Those frame fit long Zefal’s would bend the inner shaft when getting high up in the PSI’s.

  7. I have to say I welcome the CO2 inflator in my jersey pocket. I find my bike looks better with the least amount of extra bits attached.

  8. That bike is a thing of beauty Brett with a proper fluoro paint job as opposed to the crappy modern, single colour versions – you have to repatriate it away from Australia where it will be wasted. I reckon it looks as good with the frame pump as without it

  9. …… 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.

  10. maybe if this was the pump, but as it is, without looks way better

  11. The pump is perfect ,the MBK is perfect ,going against the grain perfect . I too am fed up with the norm and am regularly riding new steel as well as old steel frames 90% of the time,(ride quality of Columbus XCR is intoxicating) . My carbon has been very lonely since my preference for steel has rightfully found its place .                                           No top tube pump yet ,but that could change fast.

  12. @EBruner

    Superb Colnago ,tastefully decorated ,am looking for some the same wheelset for a Cherubim frame/fork I have recently put a deposit on ,for those unaware all Cherubim,s are steel ,they are also made with love in Japan .

  13. I have no complaint with the frame pump beyond the colour. Did someone spray it with Rustoleum?

    Are you running the rear shifter synchro? From the photos it looks like the upper pulley could be closer to the freewheel. The “B tension” on those Athena derailleurs is a toothed washer behind the mounting bolt, only accessible when it’s removed:

  14. @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.

  15. @Brett

    Nonononononono. I try to adhere to the rules and even ditched my original framepump on my 1982 steel -straight frame tubes- Koga Miyata and exchanged it for a minipump in my jersey pocket. So you’re suggesting that was all a waste of effort? Nonononononono.

    @Teleguy57 “I leave it on there so I don’t forget it.”

    I keep all my Rule #83 stuff in a small bag together: toolkit, inner tubes, patches, minipump, quick link etc. I only need to think about this bag, nothing more.

  16. @pistard

    The frame pump came about mainly because I’m in Aussie, didn’t bring any spares, and this is what’s here… and yeah, it looks like it got painted somewhere along the line. I’m searching for a Silca as we speak… maybe run one on the Jaegher! (Ducks for cover.)

    I think the B screw could do with an adjust, but it probably won’t get it this trip. When the bike is in Welly in the future, it’ll get a 39t ring (42 now) and a 12-27 cassette (11-21 now). Thank god it’s flat as fuck around here.

    @KogaLover

    I’m not suggesting anything. Just doing what I’m doing, working with what I’ve got, and I’m kinda liking it… back to the old school is a pretty sweet trip.

    @Uncle V

    Took her out today for a easy 40 or 50km, seatpost is too short for proper extension, the brakes need an invite before they turn up, the saddle was a bit heinous, but boy does that frame ride nice. And downtube shifters are rad, they made me feel like the Prophet, Kelly, LeMond rolled into one.

    @piwakawaka

    yep.

    @EBruner

    I’ll just repost this because it’s SO FUCKING SWEET!

    (Needs a frame pump though)

  17. @Brett But my sincere compliments for the pictures, I cannot even detect the strings or the air-hooks that you used to keep your bike so straight. Honestly, how do you do that?

    Maybe put the saddle a bit more aft and tilt the bars a bit more level?

  18. @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.

  19. First there was @frank‘s sock cuff/booty overlap and now there’s @brett sporting a frame pump. Mark my words, we’ll be nailing posters to the lbs door and having to go on a diet of worms if this carries on.

  20. 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.

    THIS!

    Also you do not look like a monkey masterbating when you use those abismal mini pumps, just saying.

    God I miss Silicas…

  21. @frank

    @Puffy

    That’s a bloody Zefal!

    This. A Silca would be one thing; I don’t even have to read the article to know that spending time in Tazmania made @Brett grow a second fucking head.

    An excommunication or exorcism is in order, I think.

    FFS.

    I must have mild dyslexia, I misread this as “…spending time in Tazmania made @Brett grow a second fucking beard.”

    Which would be about the right level of abuse for writing an article about such an ugly desecration of a rather nice looking bike.

  22. I think this is the ticket right here: Silca Mini Pump. Purchased in 1991, to replace Silca frame pump, and still going strong. It is a crucial one inch shorter than the Lezyne minis, enabling a stealthy visual as it does not stick out of the jersey pocket. Over the last 24 years, this baby has probably saved me $2k in CO2 cartridges alone.

  23. @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.”

  24. @KogaLover

    @Teleguy57 “I leave it on there so I don’t forget it.”

    I keep all my Rule #83 stuff in a small bag together: toolkit, inner tubes, patches, minipump, quick link etc. I only need to think about this bag, nothing more.

    @KogaLover, I’m not seeing where I said that (although the fact that I may have and don’t recall lend credibility to the language).  For me it’s the right place to have a real and reliable inflation device that actually works when I need it — or when others need it (I’ve played Good Samaritan a number of times when our riding solo and coming across a hapless person unequipped to deal with their flats.)  I’ve had mixed experience at best with CO2.

    .  And I do have a wonderful Waterfield Cycling Ride Pouch with all sans pump/C02, including phone, which slips perfectly and unobstrusively in my back center pocket on every ride.  Gotta love a company that quotes Rule #31 in their product description!

    @Rob

    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.

    THIS!

    Also you do not look like a monkey masterbating when you use those abismal mini pumps, just saying.

    God I miss Silicas…

    Amen brothers.  Anyone actually ever pump up a tire using aforementioned abismal pump???

  25. I wear a cycling cap sometimes even when I’m not riding . . .

    ok, there, i said it . . .

  26. @teleguy57

    Also you do not look like a monkey masterbating when you use those abismal mini pumps, just saying.

    God I miss Silicas…

    Amen brothers.  Anyone actually ever pump up a tire using aforementioned abismal pump???

    I once effected a very rapid mid-race tube swap and inflation using one of these.

  27. @Krames

    I incidentally wore my cap this morning with my office suit on. I had washed it and did not want to forget to put it back where it belongs, close to the bikes, in the garage. Although my VMW has no idea about The Rules, she told me not to wear it. Now I know she was right.

  28. @teleguy57

    Apologies for misquoting you. It was @Phillip Mercer who said so, but you replied to his post. Nice pouch!

  29. @RobSandy

    @teleguy57

    Also you do not look like a monkey masterbating when you use those abismal mini pumps, just saying.

    God I miss Silicas…

    Amen brothers.  Anyone actually ever pump up a tire using aforementioned abismal pump???

    I once effected a very rapid mid-race tube swap and inflation using one of these.

    Glad to hear it!  There are probably a few quality mini pumps out there, but I haven’t found one yet for me.  I’m a tubular guy 98% of the time, so for me it’s a tire swap — although I’ve also had success with sealant post-puncture and have been considering pre-emptive sealant in non-latex tubed tires.

  30. @KogaLover

    @teleguy57

    Apologies for misquoting you. It was @Phillip Mercer who said so, but you replied to his post. Nice pouch!

    No worries, we’re all mates here.  Although pricey, for me it’s worth in.  Tried the Rapha one, but it was a bit small.  This is fairly hefty in weight (durable leather) but is still snuggles nicely against my back and I’m not aware that I have it in the pocket until I reach back and feel it.

  31. @the Engine

    First there was @frank‘s sock cuff/booty overlap and now there’s @brett sporting a frame pump. Mark my words, we’ll be nailing posters to the lbs door and having to go on a diet of worms if this carries on.

    Don’t forget that Frank told us he’s pretty sure he’s good at dressing himself and now Brett is telling us he knows he’s going against the grain properly. Worms it is! Fuckin’ worms.

    I have nothing against frame pumps, but I hate mounting them under the TT. Invariably I need to pick the bike up at some point and it’s in the way. Bugger.

  32. @brett

    @pistard

    The frame pump came about mainly because I’m in Aussie, didn’t bring any spares, and this is what’s here… and yeah, it looks like it got painted somewhere along the line. I’m searching for a Silca as we speak… maybe run one on the Jaegher! (Ducks for cover.)

    I think the B screw could do with an adjust, but it probably won’t get it this trip. When the bike is in Welly in the future, it’ll get a 39t ring (42 now) and a 12-27 cassette (11-21 now). Thank god it’s flat as fuck around here.

    @KogaLover

    I’m not suggesting anything. Just doing what I’m doing, working with what I’ve got, and I’m kinda liking it… back to the old school is a pretty sweet trip.

    @Uncle V

    Took her out today for a easy 40 or 50km, seatpost is too short for proper extension, the brakes need an invite before they turn up, the saddle was a bit heinous, but boy does that frame ride nice. And downtube shifters are rad, they made me feel like the Prophet, Kelly, LeMond rolled into one.

    @piwakawaka

    yep.

    @EBruner

    I’ll just repost this because it’s SO FUCKING SWEET!

    (Needs a frame pump though)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Indeed it is

  33. @Ron

    @the Engine

    First there was @frank‘s sock cuff/booty overlap and now there’s @brett sporting a frame pump. Mark my words, we’ll be nailing posters to the lbs door and having to go on a diet of worms if this carries on.

    Don’t forget that Frank told us he’s pretty sure he’s good at dressing himself and now Brett is telling us he knows he’s going against the grain properly. Worms it is! Fuckin’ worms.

    I have nothing against frame pumps, but I hate mounting them under the TT. Invariably I need to pick the bike up at some point and it’s in the way. Bugger.

    This is some sort of bizzaro loyalty test. It’s too coincidental to have two articles this close together about straying from the rules.

    If the next one suggests we can all be pansies on the bike, we may be venturing into Animal Farm territory.

  34. @Ccos

    @Ron

    @the Engine

    First there was @frank‘s sock cuff/booty overlap and now there’s @brett sporting a frame pump. Mark my words, we’ll be nailing posters to the lbs door and having to go on a diet of worms if this carries on.

    Don’t forget that Frank told us he’s pretty sure he’s good at dressing himself and now Brett is telling us he knows he’s going against the grain properly. Worms it is! Fuckin’ worms.

    I have nothing against frame pumps, but I hate mounting them under the TT. Invariably I need to pick the bike up at some point and it’s in the way. Bugger.

    This is some sort of bizzaro loyalty test. It’s too coincidental to have two articles this close together about straying from the rules.

    If the next one suggests we can all be pansies on the bike, we may be venturing into Animal Farm territory.

    In defence of the @Frank, I could understand if he’s going a little crazy through the drop in vitamin D levels that comes at the onset of winter…in @brett‘s case it might be his brain starting to melt after being exposed to some actual warm temperatures since crossing back over the ditch .

  35. @KogaLover

    @Brett But my sincere compliments for the pictures, I cannot even detect the strings or the air-hooks that you used to keep your bike so straight. Honestly, how do you do that?

    Maybe put the saddle a bit more aft and tilt the bars a bit more level?

    Ah, a trick of the trade… have someone (my dad in this case) hold the wheel, body out of frame, count to 3 and let go/shoot/grab bike before it falls.

    The bars can’t be levelled without a severe case of the De Vlaemincks to the wrists, they are an odd shape…

    I ended up with the saddle nose pointing nearly vertical to get it comfortable. My Flite will fix this eventually.

  36. @Mikael Liddy

    In defence of the @Frank, I could understand if he’s going a little crazy through the drop in vitamin D levels that comes at the onset of winter…in @brett‘s case it might be his brain starting to melt after being exposed to some actual warm temperatures since crossing back over the ditch .

    I don’t know how anyone lives in this fucking climate!

  37. You’ve seem it before but what the heck.  Original Bluemel pump on original pins.

  38. Note correct position for a frame pump. Also it’s a Zefal.

    I realise there are a number of rule violations but notice the lack of an EPMS and also I was only 15 at the time.

  39. >>> how could I not have a wife/kids/mortgage and get to ride my bike whenever I want, and get paid to do it <<<

    Hmmmm… I wonder if that were case for me if I’d enjoy riding the bike as much as I do ?!?

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