Blackburn has been making innovative cycling accessories since 1975. With high volume, camo and orange colors and steel construction, their Chamber HV floor pump is aimed at mountain bikers through and through.
Blackburn Chamber HV features
- Oversize pump shaft for extra durability
- Pump head features rugged alloy cap and lever
- Super long 47" hose to reach valves in stands or car racks
- Convenient integrated hose keeper on handle
- PSI and Bar increments on gauge, with vibrant color matched background
- 50 PSI, 3.4 Bar maximum
Blackburn Chamber HV inflation time
Squeezing air from one chamber to another can be done in two ways: with big volumes at low pressures, or small volumes at high pressures.
Floor pumps are typically high pressure affairs, often delivering inflation numbers up to 120psi and well beyond, even up to 220 psi. While that covers the gamut from ultra-low pressure fat bike tires to high-zoot track racing tubulars, it doesn't do much in terms of precision. And when half a psi makes a noticeable difference, as with fat bikes or even plus size rubber, that precision is paramount.
Blackburn's Chamber HV floor pump is designed to make every pump count. No really, the steel barrel is oversize to move a larger amount of air into your tire, hence the high volume (HV) part of the name.
It's noticeable, a 29x2.3in wide tire can get between two to three psi with every stroke. Each stroke is harder than a regular floor pump to compress, but it's somewhat reassuring to actually feel in your triceps how much air is being moved, and know much sooner you'll be riding.
The hose is super long at 47in. It's a detail that I hadn't thought of before with other floor pumps, but one I've grown to appreciate especially when topping off tires while the bike was in the workstand, or when a wheel was off the bike and leaning on something not near the pump. It's the little things, isn't it?
The gauge is massive, the biggest I've ever seen on a floor pump, at 4in across. It's mounted on the bottom of the pump, but with its bright orange face and increments of five up to 50psi, it's still easy to read.
The steel base is wide and the downstroke feels controlled and durable. The strong steel construction and tight manufacturing are welcome reprieve from wiggly or flimsy feeling plastic pumps.
Now the question you've come for: can it seat tubeless tires? Not really any better than a regular high pressure floor pump. I struggled with moving enough air to snap the beads in place. It's not going to replace a compressor or a pump like Bontrager's Flash Charger, but to be fair Blackburn makes no claims for it doing so.
Blackburn Chamber HV in use
The pump's Anyvalve head is a bit finicky. It's named correctly in that it works with any valve — Presta, Schrader, or Dunlop — but I noticed it needed to be seated very firmly onto the valve. While less of an issue with tubeless valves that utilize a lock ring to hold the valve in place, this can be a bit challenging when using tubes without a lock ring as the valve squishes down into the rim.
The pressure release button on the head is a nice touch though, but there's a serious delay between air rushing out and the gauge registering. Unscientifically, the gauge only seemed to jump once every three to four psi escaped.
Another thing I noticed was the hard handle. It's supposed to be like a 31.8mm stem holding a handlebar. A very thick handlebar with no grips, contours or padding. The handle surface is knurled, and I suppose I could've wrapped some bar tape on it or even replaced it with a different handlebar, but as it is, it's a rock hard pipe of a handle.
There's a bottle opener built in at the top of the camo-wrapped barrel. Maybe I'm grumpy, or long past the saturation point, but how cliche and unnecessary is this? Any mountain biker, nay, make that anyone who drinks beer will likely have six different ways to crack open a bottle. It just reeks of trying too hard.