I had a puncture recently. I never usually get punctures, I’m particular about which tyres I buy, I always check for flints and make sure they’re well inflated before every ride. I was riding my newly acquired MTB in the snow when I picked up a thorn. Mine’s a 29-er which is the new breed of larger wheel bike. They’re better at rolling over rough ground and on the road, but are a complete sod to inflate. Compared to a road bike tyre, it feels like you’re inflating an airship. The only pump among our group was a small, biro-sized road pump. By the end of the ride (having had to re-inflate the tyre twice) my arms were aching more than my legs.
A pump is something almost every cyclist owns and probably doesn’t think about much. After the MTB incident, I decided that I needed a better pump and with a spare 10 minutes popped into one of the local shops to buy one. I should’ve set aside a whole weekend. This wasn’t a huge supermarket of a store but they had at least 50 different “inflation devices”; frame pumps, track pumps, road pumps, air canisters – the lot.
After much deliberation and discussion, I seem to have come full circle and I’ve bought a miniature version of a pump I owned when I was about 10. It’s in polished aluminium with blue anodized ends (which should match my jersey if I carry it in a back pocket).
It’s funny. You want something simple and eventually you get something simple but the process is so complicated. Who said that choice was good?