Crank Brothers Sterling S and Gem S Pumps
I 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.
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