Strengths: Provides plenty of pre-ride frustration
Helps user develop problem-solving skills
Weaknesses: Pump head
I'm on my third, warrantied Air Tower 4. The first one was never able to pump up new presta tubes from full deflation, so I'd have to start them with a hand pump. Eventually, the seals stopped working in this one, so I got a new on on warranty.
My second pump worked well for about a week until one of the pieces in the head broke, so it could not seal, and if clamped on a tube, would allow all the air in the tube to rush out.
My third pump can't derpess all schrader valves, so on some of them, I have to partially engaged the clamp lever and then push the head down on the valve for it to depress the valve. It's also pretty finicky about some presta valves.
The other day I realized that I could warranty this pump again, but why would I want to get another one that would probably, based on my ownership history, just cause more pre-ride frustration?
I've started checking chainlove for a different manufacturer in hopes of less frustration.
On a side note, why did the designer angle the gauge face so that a user has to be standing well behind the pump in order to have a perpendicular line of sight to the gauge face? If the user stands directly above the pump, which is the normal position for pushing down on the handle, the line of sight is not perpendicular, so gauge readings are slightly inaccurate.
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012
Strengths: works well when it works
Weaknesses: doesn't work at all when not working well
had this pump for a couple of years. maybe used it 25 - 30 times and then complete failure in the pump chamber itself. all connections tight but air blows out before the hose somewhere.... appears to blow back past the plunger ball. would have been cheaper to feed quarters to the pump at the gas station. Would not recommend.
a All Mountain Rider
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2012
Strengths: Dual head, large volume, easy to see guage, sturdy design, GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE from BELL-Easton!!
Weaknesses: Inside the valve head, there is a ball that sometimes sticks to the side opposite where you need it. A gentle tap releases it and you're back to pumping up a tire.
Been using this pump for years and been very pleased. I had a leak appear recently and contacted Bell about replacement gaskets. They immediately sent me a new gauge and o-ring kit. Unfortunately, the o-ring kit didn't arrive (out of stock) and when I checked into it, the service rep decided to send me a whole new pump! I never asked for anything but information about how to PURCHASE repair parts. Instead, they were all offered free of charge immediately. Bottom line: I think the pump fits me needs perfectly and now see I also get awesome customer service with it! 5 chilli's for value because of cost, customer service, and performance. 4 chilli's for overall because the little issue with the valve has been there for a little while and was frustrating at first.
a Cross Country Rider
from Pasadena, Ca. USA
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2011
Strengths: This pump was a warranty replacement for my 12 year old TP4 that went bad. One phone call,immediate live knowledgeable English speaker, no hassle replacement shipped out asap.I called them back today with a technical question and again great fast service.This pump works great and after a few trys you will get used to how things work unless you are a moron.The bit of air that escapes from the valve head after you release comes from reserve within the pump not from your tube otherwise your tube would empty out.So pump it up to the regular lbs and pull it.Maybe 1 or 2 of the previous reviewers got a lemon but the rest of the whiners wouldn't understand how to operate a paper clip!
Weaknesses: Release handle after inflation can bust a knuckle if done wrong but you can learn.
Great pump and extraordinarily excellant warranty and customer service.
Similar Products Used: Specialized, Topeak Joe Blow
Bike Setup: Various
a Cross Country Rider
from Pocatello, Idaho USA
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2010
Strengths: Easy to read, accurate gauge. Valve head connects easily.
Weaknesses: Does not produce enough volume to easily seat tubeless tires. Valve head hard to figure out how to connect to shrader versus presta valves (the lever has three positions).
I haven't had any problems with my pump. I would buy it again. I bought it five years ago and the head never connected to the valve very well. Blackburn has a lifetime warranty so last year I sent it back. They sent me this new one that works great so I am very happy with Blackburn.
from Hudsonville, MI
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2010
Strengths: gauge is raised so you don't need to bend over.
Weaknesses: Garbage valve. Seriously, pure garbage. Also, the cord doesn't wrap over the handle during storage so that constantly goes up when you transport it. No biggie if you keep it in the garage, but I travel for races and trails so much, it gets annoying. Also, you have to measure PSI after you pump it up because so much air leaves the pump when you unhook it. Don't buy this product.
Weaknesses: This was a replacement for two Air Tower 5 CFs that failed. The internals on this failed within 2 weeks. Horrible product, and the third Blackburn pump that failed trying to do what pumps are supposed to do -- pump. If you rearrange the letters in "Blackburn Pump," you get "DON'T BUY THIS PRODUCT EVER OR BUY ANY BLACKBURN PUMPS BECAUSE THEY ARE HORRIBLE, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE." Okay, maybe you can't rearrange the letters in "Blackburn Pump" to spell that, but you get the idea.
Similar Products Used: C02 innovations cheapy that's still going strong
a Weekend Warrior
from Longmeadow, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2009
Strengths: Shrader connection works o.k.
Weaknesses: Presta connection useless
garbage; received as warranty replacement for TP-4 (handle broke, Blackburn had no replacement part); once I saw this I asked Blackburn to return TP-4, said they couldn't.
Presta connection useless: in order to seal, requires pressing down to the point that Presta stem is depressed, releasing air in the tire. As mentioned in other reviews, air is also released when the head is released, so you have no idea how much air is left in the tire after you've pumped! Why have a gauge at all! TP-4 was a great pump; can't believe they'd replace it with this junk.