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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Bicycle Pumps Are The Worst

FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.


My 2 yr old son wanted to go for a bike ride this weekend. The tires were flat so I had to get the pump out. I attached the pump and pulled the lever down and started to fill it up. Once it felt full enough, I tried to unlatch the thing and pull it off without letting a shitload of air out. I tried and failed several times to take the goddamn thing off without letting too much air out but it’s fucking impossible. It's like once you unlatch it, it grips the nozzle for a minimum of 3 seconds and undoes all the work you just did. Am I the only one who doesn't have the ninja-like reflexes necessary to pull this off?

You are not alone. It’s a proven fact that all children’s bikes have tires that lose 500 psi of air pressure every six seconds. Pumping up those tires is a deathly task. You gotta buy the cheapass pump. You gotta get down on your knees and find the nozzle. Then you gotta unscrew the nozzle, which has been calcified into place after three months of inactivity. Then you gotta get pump attached and find a comfortable pumping position, and THERE IS NOT A COMFORTABLE PUMPING POSITION. Either you hunch over the bike frame, or you lay down on the sidewalk and allow the bike to slowly crush you.

And I say all this as someone who, in general, is a big fan of the pumping motion. You can’t operate a bike pump without pretending you’re Wile E. Coyote about to blow a stack of dynamite. It’s terrific fun. But kiddie bike maintenance is excruciating shit. The nuts rust into place. The wheels get caked with mud. And because I’m a cheap bastard, every kiddie bike I buy is shockingly heavy. Fifty times heavier than a standard adult mountain bike. No way I’m springing $5,000 on some souped-up 47-speed Trek for a kid that will grow a foot within the next eight months. I’d much rather the kid drag around a six-ton Huffy with a banana seat and faulty coaster brakes. I want a robot that does all the tedious handiwork on it for me.


OK, let's get into the Funbag below. And if you’re Chicago this evening, O WE GON READ. 7 p.m. at the Book Cellar. Drinks at the Brauhaus after.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also buy Drew's new book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

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