A bicycle pump is a key piece of equipment for your tour.
Buy a good one and flat tires will be a breeze to fix. A bad pump will turn what should be a five minute job into a half hour trial full of sweat and stress.
When we bought our first pump, we were so focused on buying the lightest and most compact gear that we looked for those features in a pump too. Big mistake.
Our flat tires over the next two years were frustrating experiences (thankfully there weren’t many of them). Every time we got a puncture we spent 5 minutes fixing the tube, followed by 25 minutes of gruelling work to pump the tire. We never got the pressure up to a satisfactory level and that left us hunting for a gas station or mechanic shop to finish the job.
It wasn’t until we picked up a Topeak Mountain Morph pump (£22.99 on Wiggle) in Bangkok – two years into our journey – that we realised what we were missing.
We’d ignored this pump before because we thought that at 12.7 inches long and weighing 250 grams, it was just too big. But despite its size you can still easily mount the Mountain Morph pump on your bike frame and the ease of use is amazing.
With our old pumps, we had to share the job of pumping up the tire with 50 strokes each and we’d both be worn out before the tire was reasonably firm. With the Mountain Morph pump, one of us can inflate a tube in seconds without breaking a sweat. Only the last few strokes can be a bit difficult as the pressure mounts in the tube. Otherwise, it’s incredibly easy.
We don’t even need to use the foot brace that comes with the pump to add stability. The extended hose that runs between the valve and the pump means you can vary your pumping position easily and the handle at the top of the pump also swivels out to give you plenty of options for finding a comfortable way of holding the pump.
The only word of caution we’d apply to this pump is that ours didn’t come with a cover to protect the valve attachment. If it’s mounted on your bike, the dirt and mud could easily get inside. Consider covering it with a bit of tape or plastic wrap.
All in all we couldn’t be more pleased with our Topeak Mountain Morph pump. We only wish we’d discovered it sooner!
Other Pumps in the Morph Range:
10th April 2010 at 6:06 am #
I have been using Topeak’s Morph pumps for a few years, and love them. I started out with a Road Morph with an inline guage, but recently ‘upgraded’ to a Turbo Morph with flip-down analog guage-good to 160 PSI. Great for anyone who runs higher pressure tires! A little bigger than some, but worth every bit of extra weight and size when you need it!
9th October 2010 at 11:08 pm #
Ah, our trusted Mountain Morph! How we enjoyed it! (While Schwalbe Marathon tires mean you hardly have a flat tire on your bike, pressure still saps out slowly.) And then someone picked it from our bike trailer. He took nothing else but the pump – I know now he must have known what he was after. Because we cannot get it replaced here, and another pump I since tried, even though by Topeak, totally sucks. Seems I’ll really have to buy it from Wiggle or another UK shop.
6th February 2012 at 4:06 pm #
In full agreement. Purchased a Mountain Morph recently to replace another lightweight, but extremely reliable lightweight Topeak pump, and suddenly realised how powerful it was. Can inflate to full pressure in half the time. Built really well, and although not tiny, it’s not huge either, fits unobtrusively on frame or in panniers.
24th May 2012 at 11:49 am #
I cut a piece of inner tube 1 inch long and covered my MM pump valve with it.
16th June 2012 at 4:24 pm #
I am running Schwalbe Marathon tyres at around 70 PSI, what is a better choice: the road or the mountain option? They are both rated for 160PSI, though I assume the mountain version does higher volume and will not pump higher pressures as easy?
Will it be able to handle pressures between 60-90 PSI easily?
18th August 2012 at 6:55 pm #
A pump of the same size and design as the Topeak Morph is made by Lezyne, who also make pumps with hidden extending hoses. My model is the Micro Floor Drive.
My Lezyne is completely high-grade aircraft aluminum (besides the hose), and packs a punch when fixing a flat. It takes roughly half the time to pump a tire with the Lyzyne as with my full-scale Topeak Joe Blow, but with equal ease.
An advantage of the Lezyne over the Topeak is that the valve screws into the frame when not in use, meaning that no covering of the valve is required in order to keep it free from debris.
(Some claim that the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive is difficult to mount, or jitters from the top tube. I used the provided mount, attached that under the bottle cage on the down-tube, and added a zip-tie to prevent the aluminum handle of the pump from vibrating against the frame. This is rock-solid, no problems at all.)
Glad to see that there are two such pumps of this design, which has so many virtues.
19th April 2022 at 4:47 am #
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