Problems With Zefal Mini Bicycle Pump

When I was in elementary school, I never had problems with bicycle pumps, they always worked, because they were made out of metal.  When I was finishing high school and going to college, I always had problems with bicycle pumps, because they began making most of their parts out of plastic.

When I became older and had money, I no longer wasted my time on bicycle pumps, I bought different kinds of compressors and air tanks.  I wasn’t about to stand there pumping away with some wiggly plunger that deflected in about ten different directions, with tolerances that were way too loose, and having the cheaply made plastic nozzle keep popping off the valve stem.

Recently when I moved to downtown Dickinson and began riding my bicycles more, I wanted to have a small mini bicycle pump to carry in my back pack with me when I went riding.  I was carrying a small amount of  tools, my video camera, and things to drink in my backpack anyway, I should have a mini bicycle pump too.

Last week I went to Wal-Mart to buy a mini bicycle pump.  For $15, they had a package that included a tire repair kit, a set of allen wrenches, and a Zefal mini bicycle pump that was made mostly out of metal parts.  I tried using this mini bicycle pump while holding my thumb over the nozzle, and it had very good pressure because the pump tolerances were tight and good.

I bought the $15 package that included the Zefal mini bicycle pump and took it home.  The first time that I tried the mini bicycle pump on one of my bicycle tires that was low on air, the pump worked fine.

A few days later, I was working on one of my bicycles when my neighbor asked me if I wanted to bike ride to Patterson Lake.  I said O.K., just give me a minute to pump up this tire.  My neighbor said that pump is never going to work.  I said, it works, I already used it.  I attached the pump nozzle to my bicycle tire, and it quickly let all of the air out of my tire.  My neighbor continued to tell me that that pump was never going to work, and I was getting ready to tell him to go fuck off.  I tried, but I could not get any air into the tire with the Zefal mini bicycle pump.  My neighbor brought over his air tank, and then we went on the ride to Patterson Lake.

My neighbor who is 52 years old, was so sure that the Zefal mini bicycle pump was not going to work, because most small bicycle pumps are pieces of shit.  Several days later, I began trying to inflate a bicycle tire with the Zefal mini bicycle pump, just to try to figure out how the pump was failing.  I tried using the pump for about forty five minutes on a completely flat tire, and it wouldn’t work.

I went inside and I looked on the internet at the Zefal website, which was not very much help.  I began watching YouTube videos of people using mini bicycle pumps, which were not much help, because their pumps worked.  Lastly I read several long discussion forums where other people had had problems with mini bicycle pumps, especially when inflating completely flat tires, because the valve stem would not stick out through the bicycle rim.

I went back outside and tried using the Zefal mini bicycle pump on my completely flat tire again.  Eventually, how I found that I could make the pump work, was by tightening the cap on the nozzle quite a bit to make the rubber insert expand, shoving the nozzle all the way onto the tire valve stem as far as it would go, holding the nozzle there, and NOT Lifting The Clamp Lever Handle on the nozzle.  What was happening, when I had been lifting the clamp lever handle, which makes the nozzle insert pin move outward, instead of pushing the valve needle in, it was pushing the whole nozzle off of the tire valve stem.

The clamp lever handle on the nozzle, is supposed to move the nozzle insert pin outward to make contact with the valve needle, and push it in, but in some cases, all it does is push the whole nozzle off the tire valve stem.  You may have to just hold the pump nozzle with your hand, pushing it as far as possible onto the the tire valve stem in order to get it to take air.

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