In this, the first of my occasional product reviews, I’ve decided to focus on the humble little pump strap I purchased online for around $2.50.
Now, before proceeding, a bit of explanation is in order. There is a wealth of bicycling blogs offering fantastic product reviews on the latest in bicycles and gear. They are written by well qualified reviewers, people far more knowledgeable than I. On top of that, customer reviews are plastered all over the web. I, on the other hand, am both a novice and a spendthrift. Therefore, I’ve decided to review (more often than not, at least) the types of things you find on the cheap, items that make the pages of “last chance” sales flyers, closeout racks, craigslist, and so on.
Now, back to that pump strap. I had an old frame pump. It’s nothing fancy, but suitable to the task and still in perfect working condition. Unfortunately, I had nothing with which to fasten it to the frame. The mounting brackets that accompany frame pumps are usually specific to the pumps they accompany. Besides, they aren’t the sort of thing sold separately from the pump. So, not yet having a rack to which I could simply bungie the pump, I needed another option. That’s when I stumbled upon the pump strap.
Note: the one pictured here is not, to my knowledge, manufactured by Blackburn, even though that’s the pump being used in the display.
The strap is about one-and-a-half inches wide, has a quarter-inch-thick piece of foam padding intended to protect the finish on the frame, and a plastic buckle through which you double back the strap and fasten it with Velcro. The obvious advantages of this item are that it is (1) inexpensive; (2) versatile, allowing you to attach the pump virtually anywhere on the bike; and (3) accommodating of any size of frame pump. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. I could not, for the life of me, find a good place to attach it where it did not twist out. The pump never fell off the bike, but it would never stay perfectly in place or parallel with the frame tube. But here’s where two of the item’s strong points come back into play: (1) it’s inexpensive enough that I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything; (2) it’s versatile enough that I’m betting I can find some other use for it. And if I were intent on securing my pump using the strap, I think all it would take would be the addition of a second strap.
Update: Problem solved? The new Park Tool Adjustable Frame Pump (PMP5), for which the strap could provide added security.