Urban Velo

Crank Brothers Sterling S and Gem S Pumps

Crank Brothers Gem and Sterling PumpsI don’t like to look a gift horse in the mouth, but frankly it’s my job. When these new Crank Brothers pumps unexpectedly showed up, I was a little less than excited. In my experience, short pumps are fine for pumping up mountain bike tires, but they’re all but useless for 700 c commuter tires, let alone bona fide road bike tires.

So imagine my surprise when I managed to adequately inflate a pair of 700 x 28 tires without breaking a terrible sweat. I can’t say it was a quick affair, but both the Sterling S and Gem S managed to get the job done. Sure, it takes a lot of pumping to achieve 90 psi, but it’s a matter of patience, not upper body strength.

DSC_8354Both pumps feature a knob that switches them from high volume to high pressure. In high pressure mode the pump is remarkably easy to operate, even as the tire reaches the appropriate pressure.

Of the two pumps, of course the Sterling S is the nicer one. It’s a hair shorter (171 mm), a bit lighter (116 g) and at $35, more expensive. It also feels a bit more powerful and boasts a sleeker design with a CNC machined body. Its universal head works with both presta and Schrader valves with no need to adjust the pump head. The Sterling line also includes a long version, as well as a pressure gauge option, both of which sound like appealing upgrades to an already desirable pump.

The Gem S pump is an exercise in value. At $22 it’s a good looking, affordable pump that will get you home after a puncture without taking up a ton of space in your bag. The Gem S measures 176 mm and weighs 128 g. The head is reversible to accommodate presta or Schrader valves. For a few dollars more you can upgrade to the Gem L, which is 205 mm long.

Both pumps carry a five year warranty. For complete details, visit www.crankbrothers.com

About Urban Jeff

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, my head really hurts. Contact me.

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One Comment

  1. joshJune 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Can it be used as a ball pump?

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