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Why does bicycle industry do tire pumps backward?

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Why does bicycle industry do tire pumps backward?

Old 12-06-18, 05:58 AM
  #1  
JonathanGennick 
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Why does bicycle industry do tire pumps backward?

Every non-cyclist who borrows my pump is confused at first because of expecting the normal behavior seen in these videos:

Example 1: youtu.be/MtgVwSlsHkE?t=111
Example 2: youtu.be/lLDCU221YoQ?t=150

Pushing the lever down to lock the chuck onto the valve stem is the behavior I grew up with in the '60s and '70s. Every tire pump I ever used until I got back into cycling in the 2000s operated by pushing the lever down to lock the chuck in place.

When did the bike industry decided to be backward? Why did the standard change? Why do we pull up today instead of pushing the lever down?

Last edited by JonathanGennick; 12-06-18 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 12-06-18, 06:09 AM
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I'll suggest that the pump head is more compact with the lever down. On a bicycle, when the pump is not in use this could be preferred for esthetics, packing purposes or (who knows?) aerodynamics. That's all I got. :-)
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Old 12-06-18, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I'll suggest that the pump head is more compact with the lever down. On a bicycle, when the pump is not in use this could be preferred for esthetics, packing purposes or (who knows?) aerodynamics. That's all I got. :-)
Agreed. Having the lever sticking out would also make it more likely to snag on things.
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Old 12-06-18, 06:36 AM
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Just get a Silca head like this. Problem solved.

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Old 12-06-18, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I'll suggest that the pump head is more compact with the lever down. On a bicycle, when the pump is not in use this could be preferred for esthetics, packing purposes or (who knows?) aerodynamics. That's all I got. :-)
That makes logical sense, actually. I can see where that might have begun with frame pumps and spread to floor pumps.
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Old 12-06-18, 06:51 AM
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My only guess is that with presta valves the user puts less stress on the valve-stem lifting a lever than pushing it....and pump makers did not realize it until recently?

Presta has been around for almost 100 years now IIRC.
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Old 12-06-18, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
That makes logical sense, actually. I can see where that might have begun with frame pumps and spread to floor pumps.
Yes, the first bike thumb-lock I remember was on the original Zefal HP framepump back around '75.
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Old 12-06-18, 08:08 AM
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Perhaps with newer aero rims there is less chance of pushing the tube valve into the rim when pulling the lever opposed to pushing on it? Presta valve nuts would prevent this but I don't use them.
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Old 12-06-18, 08:11 AM
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My main pump is something called 'Ironhorse' that I bought for $10 about 8 years ago. Its fast, accurate, has taken a beating for years(kids), and better than pumps I use that cost 6x more.
The only odd thing is that to lock the head on, you push down, so reverse of all other pumps.
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Old 12-06-18, 08:21 AM
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Either beats a cheap plastic thumb-wheel that used to be more prevalent on cheap frame pumps.
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Old 12-06-18, 10:31 AM
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My guess (and its just a guess) would be that you lose less air during release of the chuck by putting it down as opposed to lifting it up.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:18 AM
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pumps we had back then had valves that screwed onto the valve stem. Had to unscrew them fast so it wouldn't let air out
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Old 12-06-18, 01:38 PM
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I got some 90 degree Schrader valve extenders *,

To more easily top up the tires on my bike trailer,
which has 12.5" tires ..


On trucks with dual wheels there are even longer ones to inflate the inside tire..
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Old 12-06-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I got some 90 degree Schrader valve extenders *,

To more easily top up the tires on my bike trailer,
which has 12.5" tires ..


On trucks with dual wheels there are even longer ones to inflate the inside tire..
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Old 12-06-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I got some 90 degree Schrader valve extenders *,

To more easily top up the tires on my bike trailer,
which has 12.5" tires ..


On trucks with dual wheels there are even longer ones to inflate the inside tire..
This is great! Just ordered a pair. More for other reasons than the bike. LOL.
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Old 12-06-18, 02:56 PM
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they include their own valve core too.. so can go on presta to schrader adapters....
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