Portable 12v electric air pump for tires... Any gems out there under $50?

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jon_slider
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I just received a second Avid Cube pump.
The inflation pressure gauge reads 34.5

My first Avid Cube pump is almost identical, it reads 35psi

my handheld tire pressure gauge reads 41psi

It did take many hours to fully charge the first Avid pump.. Im returning the second one.

At some point I will go test the Avid pump im keeping, and will find out if it is capable of airing up 4 tires by 10 psi each, without overheating.

thanks to all who contributed, to help spend money.. lol
and for sharing your experiences

xevious
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jon_slider wrote:
I just received a second Avid Cube pump.
The inflation pressure gauge reads 34.5

My first Avid Cube pump is almost identical, it reads 35psi

my handheld tire pressure gauge reads 41psi

It did take many hours to fully charge the first Avid pump.. Im returning the second one.

At some point I will go test the Avid pump im keeping, and will find out if it is capable of airing up 4 tires by 10 psi each, without overheating.

thanks to all who contributed, to help spend money.. lol
and for sharing your experiences

Sorry to hear of the disappointment. Interesting how the askew reading is consistent among 1st & 2nd purchases. I guess with these things, there’s a lot of “luck of the draw.” At least Amazon has unencumbered return processes. I’ll try putting mine through more challenging paces and see how it handles the load, then report back.

Frankly, for the price paid it’s not bad. But I would’ve paid double for the same air pump (design/size/performance) with more robust build quality, weight, and warranty.

jon_slider
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its all good
I dont expect perfection from a cheap plastic pump

I think the only warranty is if it fails in the first 30 days.. I can return it

so it is important to me, to do a thorough test promptly.. just to know if it can handle pumping 40 psi total, in one sitting, without melting.. LOL

jon_slider
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update
I went softroading, dropped tire pressure by 13psi, and had a great time.

I used the Avid Cube inflator, on battery power to air up 3 of the tires. They took about 4 minutes each. The battery was showing 1 bar remaining. I decided to use the cig lighter cord for the last tire (with car motor running). It also worked great.

It was 60F outside, and the pump did not feel like it was overheated. Im quite impressed and happy to own the unit.

There were a couple of glitches.
1. The unit kept shutting off after a couple of seconds. I learned that was caused by my failure to push the pump conne ction far enought onto the tire valve stem.

3. On the 3rd tire, the hose blew off the valve stem clamp on the pump. This started blowing the air out of the tire really fast. But, I was there watching.

Managed to push the air hose back onto the fitting, and completed inflating the 3rd and 4th tires without drama.

When I got home, I plugged the airpump into its charging cord and it took about 6 hours for the charge indicator to turn green.

Im keeping the little Avid Cube pump..
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xevious
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^ Thanks for the update, Jonathan. I haven’t had any mounting issues with mine. Clamping onto the value works well, doesn’t pop off. I still find the clamp is a little cheap feeling, but hopefully it’ll hold up for the long haul.

.

I deflated each of the 4 tires I have by around 12 PSI. After the inflating the 2nd tire, the pump started to feel a bit warm, the air hose a little hot near the entry point into the pump. By that point, it was showing 3 bars. Inflating the 3rd tire showed 2 bars and the pump got warmer. A few moments after it was done, the power level went back up to 3 bars. I went right to the 4th tire, no waiting, and about 50% of inflation, the pump did an auto shut-off. The air hose near the exit of the pump was really hot, almost too much to continue touching for a few seconds. I waited 5 mins, then continued pumping. It finished no problem. 2 bars.

I did notice that as the pump got warmer, it became less accurate in showing PSI. Whereas when cool it showed more PSI than actual, gradually as it got warmer it became parity, and then started showing fewer PSI than actual… by about 3 PSI.

So overall, I felt good about the experiment. Given the duty I just put it through, It was comforting to see that it still had 2 bars of power left.

Stupid me, I forgot to bring with me the power cord for recharging it. Annoying that it doesn’t have a USB-C connector. Well, at least the 12V cigarette lighter socket cord can be used in a pinch for inflation. Pity that it doesn’t have a mode whereby you can utilize the 12V for recharging.

jon_slider
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xevious wrote:
Pity that it doesn’t have a mode whereby you can utilize the 12V for recharging.

yes, car charging would be good

I have not tried but my guess is the USB charger cord would work in a car USB also..

but it takes a really long time..

fwiw, it was not the air hose clamp that blew off the tire valve, that stayed on.. it was the actual hose that blew off the clamp.. which meant the tire was blowing out all the air I had just pumped in.. really fast

but I still really like the pump
this morning I used it to just match up a couple tires by a couple of psi.. really easy and convenient Thumbs Up

xevious
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jon_slider wrote:
fwiw, it was not the air hose clamp that blew off the tire valve, that stayed on.. it was the actual hose that blew off the clamp.. which meant the tire was blowing out all the air I had just pumped in.. really fast
Whoa… so where the hose mates to the valve clamp—it came right off? How hard was it to reattach it?
Hank33
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This post when it came out got me interested in one. So I’ve been reading Amazon reviews a day here and there for the last week or so. What I get so far is…. “Got so hot, burned my finger”, “Can’t even blow up a soccer ball”, “Took forever to go from 28-32psi, “Shrader valve fell off” etc. So I guess I’ll keep reading till I find a good decent one. Big Smile

jon_slider
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xevious wrote:
Whoa… so where the hose mates to the valve clamp—it came right off? How hard was it to reattach it?

correct
the rubber hose slid back onto a hollow tube about 1/2” long that sticks out of the shiny metal part of the clamp.

it was easy, and did not come off again.. even though there is no glue and no clamp, just a metal tube pushed inside the rubber hose..

btw, I live at 7000 feet, I wonder if that might be the reason the gauges in the pump read 5-7 psi low.. I dont mind.. I just ask for 32 psi when I want 37

Hank33 wrote:
I’ve been reading Amazon reviews

I have not posted a review on Amazon, I dont usually think about doing that. (maybe I should?)

imo this thread is more honest, more thorough, and more useful than Amazon reviews…

also bear in mind these pumps have a 10 minute duty cycle,
it is normal for a pump to get hot,
especially when exceeding the duty cycle like xevious and I have been doing..

ambient temperature also affects how hot the piston and hose connection get

pumping at 90F is more challenging, heatwise, than pumping at 60F

realistically, these pumps are intended to pump up One low tire, in order to get to a repair shop.. they work great for that.. it only takes about 4 minutes to add 15 psi..

the unit is small, light, good tactile buttons, clear PSI display, shuts off automatically when it reaches set pressure, works on its own internal battery, plus cig lighter socket.. and $10 off

whats not to like? Wink

xevious
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jon_slider wrote:
xevious wrote:
Whoa… so where the hose mates to the valve clamp—it came right off? How hard was it to reattach it?
correct, the rubber hose slid back onto a hollow tube about 1/2” long that sticks out of the shiny metal part of the clamp. it was easy, and did not come off again.. even though there is no glue and no clamp, just a metal tube pushed inside the rubber hose..
Actually, this intrigues me. Looks like it should be possible to replace the clamp part then. Install a superior one or even one with a screw threaded end.
jon_slider
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xevious wrote:
or even one with a screw threaded end.

maybe, but I actually like the clamp, because it protects my aluminium valve stem threads

my Viair pump uses screw on hose,
and I have to be careful not to damage my valve stem threads..

jon_slider
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Update
I have been using the Avid Cube to top off my tires (adding 4psi per tire)…

Ive done this about 3 times without recharging and today the battery is low and the pump is running but unable to indicate over 30.5 psi… but it turns out the gauge was reading 3.5 psi lower than usual, due to the weak battery.

When I checked with my handheld pressure gauge the inflation was actually correct, despite the inaccurate display on the pump (it normally reads 4 psi lower than my gauge, but atm it reads 7.5 psi low)

The hose blew off the tire valve end twice this morning..

conclusion.. need to glue the hose on
and
when battery is low, the pressure gauge is even less accurate..

good to verify inflation with a separate gauge.

Im still really happy with the Avid Cube.. it works very well for adding a few psi to the tires, without running the car, thanks to the internal battery.. Thumbs Up

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