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Blackburn Frame Pump



Not cheap, but excellent performance and build quality to match

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

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Given the fashion for mini-pumps it can be difficult to find decent full-size frame fit models. Blackburn comes to the rescue with a well-designed and nicely executed model capable raising a flat 700x23 from zero to 120psi in a matter of five minutes. However, racers should stick to CO2 cartridges and unless you’ve arms like Popeye and are using the largest size, 160psi seems a touch optimistic.

Available in three sizes, sturdy aluminium/nylon and elastomer construction keeps weight low (our medium test model tips the scales at a very respectable 255g) A spring loaded locking, barrel, folding T handle and secure thumb lock provide superb purchase and rigidity for efficient inflation-I managed 120psi inside a 700x23 in 165 strokes while a 1.5 inch mtb slick demanded 205 to achieve the optimum 85psi.

However, a very particular (160psi) tubular got the better of man and machine at 140psi whereupon it locked out. Shapely handle and elastomer base offers excellent purchase mounted beneath the top-tube or along the seat-tube on frames without bottle bosses/cages. Gentle on thinner, flamboyant frame enamels, it passed my bridle-path test with flying colours but I’d err in favour of a couple of cable ties for regular, spirited rough-stuff.

The simple reversible head might be less convenient than the smart-head type-especially with gloved hands but swapping between valve types isn’t difficult and a real boon should you be unlucky enough to puncture on a solo and trailer/tag-along. This also allows the pump to be shared between riding companions while a simple press-fit cap prevents contamination from dirt and water thrown up by the front wheel.

Thirty-quid is a lot to shell out on a hand pump and despite excellent design it won’t enjoy universal appeal but good performance and build quality backed by Blackburn’s lifetime warrantee gives peace of mind.


Pricey but with excellent performance and build quality to match test report

Make and model: Blackburn Frame Pump

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The frame fit pump does exactly what it says on the tin. Aimed primarily at a road riders, it inflates high pressure tyres very efficiently to pressures around 125psi but my experience suggests a maximum prowess of 160psi is a little optimistic

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Aluminium/Nylon/elastomer construction offered in sizes small (41-47cm)medium (47-51) and large (51-55)it features reversable presta/schrader head, sturdy folding T handle, shapely aluminium thumb-lock and sprung loaded barrel makes for a very reliable inflator. Lifetime warrantee is nice too.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

255g seems pretty reasonable

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Generally nice to use.

Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Generally it performed with Blackburn's trademark quality and inspires confidence in the event of puncturing in the wilds. However, try as I might, I couldn't exceed 140psi from the medium. Elastomer bottoms and sculped handle keep the pump held securely in the main triangle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Solid build quality, nice detailing and low weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing of note.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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neilwheel | 15 years ago

That's a great pump.
I've been using one (the Mk. 1 vesion) for at least 15 years. I had one of the soft plastic bits fall off the head once and called Madison. They sent a new one in the post - no questions asked.

Admittedly, it doesn't get used much - a track pump will always be my first choice if/when available - but when pushed into action following impromptu roadside tube replacement, it works every time. Great insurance against a long walk home.

I wouldn't buy any other brand of pump.

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