Regular readers might be aware that I’ve visited this subject before, but as time moves on, so does technology, and I now have a vastly better version, the Airman AirGun, from Amazon (£59.99 on Prime):-
What it is is an extremely efficient battery-powered pump. It comes with a lithium-ion battery, on the left, a charger (not shown), and a 12-volt car adapter on the right (remove the plug, attach crocodile clips, and you can run it from any 12-volt battery if, like me, you don’t have a car.
My previous pump, by Polco, struggles to reach 40lb psi and stalls shortly thereafter. The AirGun – I checked with the manufacturer before ordering – has a maximum output of 120lb psi and, in use, it gets to that very quickly with power to spare. In fact I’m sure that were it not for the electronic regulator it would be capable of much higher pressures.
My manual chair runs skinny 24” x 1” Schwalbe RightRun tyres, and while 120lb isn’t quite rock hard, it’s way more than I can achieve using a track pump (the harder the tyre the lower the rolling resistance – i.e. more of your effort goes into forward motion).
The whole thing comes in a well-made case, with a moulded insert, which might well end up as part of my hospital kit as it’s big enough to take all my meds. In fact, the pump might sldo go into hospital with me – I haven’t made up my mind about that yet.
NB: Be aware – air compressed to 120lb per square inch is hot, and so are the metal parts of the connector hose – handle with care and keep kids away from it.
Note, too, that it fits only Schrader valves, but if your wheelchair or bike has Presta valves your local bike shop will sell you a Presta to Schrader adapter, as will Amazon.
One curmudgeonly reviewer on Amazon gripes about the price (in which case why buy it?). Compared to the Polco pump – which is £20 to £25 less – the AirGun is worth every penny to a wheelie like me, simply because it reaches a very useful pressure. Talking of which there is, inevitably, some small pressure loss when unscrewing the connector. This can be minimised by keeping the pump running while unscrewing.
Finally, I’ve seen it suggested that the AirGun is small enough to carry in a handbag. I know my ex’s handbag amazed me, it was like an alternate universe in there – but a tyre pump? Give me a break! Anyway, it’s too big.