Worst Purchase of 2010: Blackburn Airstik SL

Seizure disorder

Just in time for the Pagan Winter Festival of Gifts, my Worst Purchase. I bought two of these….

It all started in Santa Fe, where my renting of a way too racy cross bike led to frequent tube changes (once the worthless tubeless system was finally dispensed with), however I was quite impressed by the new generation Serfas pump. It was a real eye opener. I haven’t used a packable pump in nearly 10 years, and this thing was better than my 1999 Zefal which was three times its size. I was able to get back on the road with minimal effort with this pump. Not long after I returned from Santa Fe, I was doing a Double Whammy of the Big Muddy Levee an Pine Hills with Dave. He blew out his inflater head on an initial flat, then he had a bad tube….and we were down to two CO2’s (but four tubes) with another 15 miles of gravel and 20 miles of road to go. We were fine, but I really was missing having a pump, and I ordered up these Blackburns. They seemed to work fine. I practices on both units, and with some pumping, you could hit full road pressure—-with a unit that is 7 inches long and weighs nothing! Unfortunately, after a few months, BOTH of these pumps have seized up. They are useless. I should note that they have been kept indoors, and have probably never been rained on (It has hardly rained since I purchased these in early summer). Total bummer. I really think the mini pump is back, but this ain’t the one.


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