Jim’s Tech Talk
By Jim Langley
Before I get to this week’s OTB quick tip, I’d like to thank everyone who joined the chain chatter the past two weeks. As I sit down to write this, great comments are still being dropped on last week’s Tech Talk, Part 2 about cleaning and lubing chains. There were already a bunch with cool tips and tricks on Part 1, too.
All together, it comprises a graduate level course on chain care for anyone looking to improve their technique, hunting for solutions or for those just getting into cycling.
To go back and catch up, read any new comments or add yours:
Outside the Box Tip
Switching topics, the OTB tip is about tire inflation. It’s courtesy of Tom Petrie, who owns and runs Cantitoe Road. There you’ll find Wipperman chains, Donnelly and Clement tires, Effetto Mariposa torque wrenches and tubeless solutions, a fine selection of cycling accessories, tools, and more.
Tom, who has been in the bike biz as long as I have – possibly longer – was one of the first people to reach out to me when I opened the west coast office of Bicycling Magazine in 1989.
One of my first assignments was writing a huge buyer’s guide to the newfangled-at-the-time rechargeable bicycle lighting systems. I had called every company I could find that made lights in this category to request product samples for testing and review. Tom was the first to return my call and send in a light.
I can’t remember what the brand and model of light was he sent, but I do recall how helpful Tom was. He didn’t only care about promoting his light, he was just as interested in making sure my buyer’s guide would be as informative and helpful as possible. We’ve been friends ever since and over the years he’s introduced me to many clever products.
His Outside the Box tip is another one. Here’s what he wrote, with a note by me to explain.
YouTube served up your How to Build Bicycle Wheels the Easy Way video today. Very well done. Beyond the Campagnolo Tipo hub in one of your bikes, I couldn’t help but notice the floor pumps.”
To explain; and you don’t have to watch the video: I thought it would be funny to put 5 pumps in one of the shots in the video. Tom picked up on that. It’s at this timestamp:
“I haven’t used my floor pumps since the day I bought a Ryobi Power Inflator (photo). I adapted it with a presta chuck (Silca’s Hiro) and extended the hose. I use it all the time. If you don’t have it, or something similar, I encourage you to try it.
My collection of Silca Super Pista, Specialized, and Topeak floor pumps now collect dust. The Ryobi is the go-to inflator.”
Sounds great to me, Tom. I hadn’t realized that these portable tools run off rechargeable batteries had got to the level that they could handle high pressure inflation. It’s about a $150 tool as a complete kit with battery and charger: https://amzn.to/3pvGWKN. Silca’s Hiro chuck is an additional $65 https://amzn.to/2P66e0c So it’s not cheap.
However, if you already have the charger and battery, it’s much less at about $40. And, though I haven’t tried one, I can see how convenient and effortless it would be to use. It will also take up less space in a car, gear bag or toolbox. It even has a built-in gauge. Plus with the Hiro chuck, you’d have an airtight easy on/off connection to Presta valves every time. Here’s a link to my Hiro review: https://www.roadbikerider.com/silca-hiro-side-lever-locking-presta-chuck-review/.
Since I have the charger and batteries, I searched and saw that Makita makes one that’s a little different but that works similarly: https://amzn.to/3pdHmoN. So, since Ryobi and Makita make them, if you already have another brand’s portable tools that take a certain battery and charger that you own, it’s possible the company that made those makes an inflator, too that you could pick up at a reasonable price.
Great tip, Tom. Thank you!
Ride total: 9,892
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s cycling streak ended in February 2022 with a total of 10,269 consecutive daily rides (28 years, 1 month and 11 days of never missing a ride). Click to read Jim’s full bio.