Q: I have recently purchased a Trek 6500 DE and now need those extra little accessories that didn’t come with the bike. For starters, I need a tyre pump compatible with Presta valves. An employee of Halfords told me that I should only ever go for one that pumps dry air into the tubes, so the sidewalls of the tyres don’t get damaged. Do you know what he's talking about?
Also, which brand of lube should I go for, and is it better to buy a ‘winter lube’ for now and a ‘summer lube’ for when the weather improves? Or can you recommend one that does it all?
Finally, are all the bits on multi tools practical to use, and are features such as tyre levers useful? Is it better to purchase each tool you need separately instead?
A: Not sure what Mr Halfords meant by dry air at all. The more you pay for pumps, the more features you might get. To be honest though, all you really need is something that isn’t bulky to carry and works when you need it to. We rarely run into bad pumps these days and the ones we do tend to be at random throughout the price range rather than cheaper ones. Our advice would be to buy a simple pump with less bits to go wrong and spend the money you save on more expensive lubes and multi tools, where quality matters more.
Winter lubes are definitely a good idea, as their sticky nature makes them last a lot longer when you’re plugging through winter filth. Just clean it off and re-apply when it all gets too grotty and gunky.
As for multi tools, the more expensive brand-named ones (Crank Brothers, Topeak, Park, Minoura, Specialized, Trek, Pedros) are good enough to use on a regular basis. If you get the ones that just have the basics – 2- 10mm Allen keys, flat and crosshead screwdrivers, chain tool – then they work out good value, too. We generally use separate tyre levers or just our fingers anyway, as some metal levers on multi tools can damage rims and inner tubes.
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