With a company history based on sealant technology, Velowurks was only one step away from providing that all-important piece to the inﬂation puzzle—a ﬂoor pump. And while there’s really not that much that makes up a pump—shaft, handle, gauge, base, hose and valve ﬁtting—Velowurks saw a space for bringing some bicycle-speciﬁc design elements to their Prime pump. Velowurks uses a quick-release chuck lever, threaded headset cup and 31.8mm quill-stem clamp connected to a narrow handlebar for a playful touch. Velowurks does this with good taste, and it works pretty well too.
To make a quality pump, a few things must be considered. First, is your pump efficiently pumping pressure into your tires? The 56.5cmtall air chamber measures 2.8cm in diameter and allows you to pump a 23mm-wide tire up to 100 psi with 17 pumps. Next is reliability—will the pump break down on you after a year of use? The Prime pump uses an industrial-grade plunger gasket instead of rubber O-rings, which have a habit of slicing due to contaminants in the shaft chamber. Can you read the pressure while pumping? The Prime pump sports a visible 7cm diameter gauge with black psi lettering on a well-contrasted display so you don’t have to bend over guessing what pressure you’re at. Easily interchangeable parts are a must. All of the important pieces thread together without tools, making replacing worn-out parts simple after years of use. The over-sized base provides a large and stable platform during use. A braided red sheath covers and stiffens the rubber hose within.
All in all, a pump’s singular job is to inflate tires; if it can’t do that one job, it is not worth a dime. Fortunately for us, the Velowurks does its job and does it well. Similar to when we tested the redesigned Silca pump (RBA, January 2015), the Prime pump proved quite efficient due to the tall air chamber; it took 17 full pumps to fill a 23mm tire to 100 psi (versus 20 pumps with a
Lezyne and 16 for a Bontrager). The pump gauge rates up to a very high 250 psi (higher than most), which also allows for a lighter action of pressing down on the handle. The die-cast air chuck is durable on the outside, but the internal rubber grommets lacked a secure hold. When you place the wheel in the right spot and get the chuck straight on the valve, there is no issue; when it is at an angle on the chuck, getting the grommet to seal can be problematic.
Yes, a pump is just a tool—a tool that simply puts air in your tires. It doesn’t need to be fancy; it just needs to work—and last. If we have learned one thing in our years of pumping tires, it’s that the world is full of janky, plastic floor pumps that seldom last an entire season. At $130, the Velowurks Prime floor pump is on the high-end spectrum of floor pumps, but it works. It’s built well, and, oh yeah, it’s pretty cool to look at. When was the last time you said that about a floor pump?
• Highly efficient
• Chuck doesn’t grasp the valve well
• Aesthetically pleasing design
Weight: 5.25 pounds
Dimensions: 29 inches high; 8- by 11.5-inch footprint; 49.5inch hose length (including chuck)
Efficiency: 17 pumps to 100 psi (Mavic Yksion Pro GripLink size23c tire with Mavic tube)