Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Topeak Morph Pumps


One of the nice things about running a bike shop is that I get to stock the place with products that I use and like. So at Bike Works we stock things like Kool-Stop brake pads, SRAM chains, WTB saddles, Schwalbe tires, Planet Bike fenders and lights and Topeak pumps.

For years, I've carried a Topeak Road Morph G with me on my adventures. This pump isn't perfect, the mounting bracket is kind of cheesy (I mostly stow the pump in some bag or supplement the mount with a velcro strap), the gauge is sometimes sticky (I've learned to tap it and I tend to trust my finger on the tire more than the gauge), the little hose can blow apart if the I don't remember to extend it to it's full length before I begin inflating a tire (I always remember to do this now and mostly remember to tell customers the same thing). Oh yeah and it's kinda heavy. Hardly a rave review, eh? So why do I carry this pump around and sell it in the shop?

Well, here's the thing. There are a ton of pumps that suck. Pumps that take forever to fill your tire. Pumps that just can't get up to a decent pressure. Pumps that will too easily tear the valve off your inner tube. A pump shouldn't suck, it should blow.

By and large, Topeak pumps blow. And I mean that in a good way. They inflate tires with a minimum of fuss. The Morph G and my new favorite, the Topeak Mini Morph, turn into tiny versions of floor pumps and do a good job of getting air into a bike tube. The Road G puts out more air with fewer strokes, so it's the pump I carry on my Speed Cruiser/Adventure Bike. The Mini Morph easily pumps up the high pressure road tires on my fixie, so it's the pump I carry on that bike. My Dahon doesn't need a Morph because it's got that clever pump built into the seatpost. But every bike I've owned but the Dahon winds up with a Morph. When customers ask about pumps, it's easy to recomend the Morphs. Because they really blow. And I mean that in a good way.

20 comments:

  1. I won a morph pump at a bike race years ago and fell in love. Everyone laughs at the mini floor pump concept but now the people I ride with always ask to use it when they get a flat. I have lighter pumps for longer rides when weight matters but I always switch back to the morph. my favorite thing about it is that being able to hold it against the ground means better leverage and only one arm has to get a workout at a time.

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  2. how timely. i noticed my buddy had a morph on this morning's mercer island loop ride and i was intrigued by the gauge. he also said it did a great job of getting up to pressure. the only downside is that you lose your second water bottle cage with this pump.

    i currently have a co2/pump combo--i use the co2 first and the pump as a last resort because it sucks. i want to get something that blows better and that doesn't take away a bottle cage.

    suggestions? frame pump?

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  3. Noted, excellent.

    I'm now curious to see a similar exposition on WTB saddles. I've been riding a Brooks, and mostly diggin' it, but Scott Cutshall mentioned that he switched over to a WTB saddle recently and it's treating him well. If'n you had time to post a couple bullet points as to why WTB saddles make the list of esteemed products, I'd sure be grateful.

    Cheers!

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  4. I had a Road Morph and loved it. Unfortunately, it was attached to a bike that went for a ride without me a few months ago. Since I had just built up a touring bike I replace the Morph with a Topeak frame pump. The frame pump isn't bad, but I miss the Morph.

    I'll second Chiggins' request. Bullet points on any/all of the stuff you choose to stock would be super-duper cool.

    Rob - FWIW, the Morph pumps come with zip ties and little rubber pads for the mounting bracket. You can attach it anywhere you like.

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  5. Been using a Morph for 2+ years... completely dig it. No problems whatsoever and when the time arises, it gets it done.

    -Me

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  6. Just saw chiggins reply about Brooks, WTB and me...

    I've completely switched over to all WTB saddles, only exception being Amy's "Copper-Penny" BBC with a brand spankin' new Brooks B.17 CS: and she's even been asking why I'm always smiling after hard 30-milers. So I'm getting a feeling we will be an All-WTB Family soon.

    No idea why they work so well, leave that one to the Brains of Kent & others, but man, they work.

    Chiggins... my 0.2 cents? Get a WTB "Pure" [if you're using a B.17 currently] and prepare for the gloriousness to begin.

    -Me

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  7. Kent, I've ripped the stem on a couple inner tubes twice in the last year when I got careless and overly aggressive with my current mini pump so I can see why I'd want one of these Topeak pumps instead. Thanks for sharing these, I wasn't aware of them until now.

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  8. Scott, I may take ya up on the tip, I'm feelin' ready to be well treated by my saddle. Thankya kindly!

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  9. I was managing the Luther/Burbank rest stop at the Seattle century. I can't tell you how many riders I handed my Morph to, after they limped on the air they managed to get in with their pumps that sucked. I'll never ride with anything else.

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  10. Dr Codfish6:40 PM

    Another great feature of the morph: Topeak! Topeak offers great cuistomer support for all their products. So if you need a part and you live out in the sticks, Topeak will help you out.

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  11. Mounting the Morph - Topeak makes other pump mounts, such as the ones I have that fit under the water bottle cage. My Morph fits in them. The original mount is definitely sub-optimal. I think my mount is from a Topeak Einstein. My LBS had a "box of parts" and it was in there. You can see the pump mount here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnefitz/530808302/

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  12. I'll third the request for bullet points on the WTB saddle.

    And SRAM chains, what's special about them? I wouldn't know because they're all I ride. But why rate them up there with koolstop pads and the road morph?

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  13. Anonymous9:36 AM

    I've got one of these in my (too rarely used) bike travel case. I still insist on carrying the smallest workable pump in my underseat bag. Foolish me.

    I wonder if you're going to have a post about the Critical Mass debacle...

    JAT

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  14. nothing like being a puny female but being able to pump up your road bike tires with your Topeak Morph Pump!
    I love them and have never had a problem with them.

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  15. I like the Morph because It Refuses To Suck.
    Reliable every time, I carry the road model on my brevet bike and the ATB model in the pouch of my Xtracycle. But yeah, the bracket leaves a little to be desired.

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  16. Another vote for the morph pumps. I have had a mt. morph pump for over 4 years now. Not only is the pump great and durable, but the customer service can't be beat. In the time I have had this pump Topeak has sent me several replacement parts on them as things have worn out, or I have lost them on rides. Topeak morph pumps are the only way to go.

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  17. Anonymous3:19 PM

    I like to morph too because it's so small, yet pumps like a full size pump. I don't know why people say it takes away a bottle, mine's mounted on the underside of my down tube. However, I must say that no matter how well their pumps blow, topeak's website sucks and there's not even a way to leave feedback on all the problems it has.

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  18. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Hi Kent:
    I live in Canada and Topeak won't address issues to customers outside the US (can't even get a password/login). Do you know how/where I can get a replacement cap (the small metal threaded cap at the end of the tube that hold the pressure valve in) for the value end of the Road G pump. This is the second time it has fallen off (arrrg)??

    Tom

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  19. A little late to the party but it's still relevant. +1 to what lynnef said. I have a Road Morph G as well as a Mini G and I use the Mini G's side mount on my carbon road bike. For the price, it really should come with two brackets - the one that already comes with it (which is really only useful for top tube mounting with zip ties *the horror* otherwise you give up a bottle cage) and a side mounted one like the Mini G has (which is what I expect most people would use).

    With its little fold out foot it is indeed much gentler on your valve stem interface than a standalone mini pump. While it may be a little heavy, it is indispensable on long rides and I often find I am not the only one that ends up using it. For shorter rides and competition I take either a mini pump or a CO2 inflator.

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  20. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Great pump. Too bad that it falls apart so easily. The head just disappears. But that's ok. Todson - the distributor - will be happy to sell you another one. And another one. And . . . Maybe it should stay in one piece. Too bad.

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