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When it comes to inflation, we typically adopt the form follows function approach to design. This could be derivative of never having our cake and eating too, or just from the hassle of being stranded because of a faulty pump design. However, since its inception, Portland Design Works has been resetting the mold of inflation technology. PDW's Big Silver Pump is the happy marriage between aesthetics and efficiency. Finally, a pump worthy of frame-display that actually works.

Portland Design Works' Big Silver Pump is made from a mix of forged and machined aluminum alloy. This construction provides a few distinct advantages -- lighter weight, increased durability, and a beautiful finish. Starting with weight, the Big Silver tips the scales around a low 128g. And considering that the 29.5cm body provides phenomenal leverage, and thus greater output, this is a small weight to pay for the quality of inflation that it renders. For durability, the forging process means everything. During forging, the aluminum is shaped throughout the process (instead of being set in a cast) creating a continuous grain throughout the body. While this heightens its strength characteristics, our favorite aspect of the Big Silver's long lifespan has to be the replaceable working parts. All of the inner hardware can be removed and replaced, ensuring that this pumped will outlast you.

The pump gets its name from the polished, nearly-mirrored body finish. At the end of the main cylinder, you'll find the pump head. PDW has made it a breeze to switch between Schrader and Presta by including a three-piece, interchangeable assembly. There's no tools involved, and with the long-stroke handle, you're guaranteed to experience a smooth and efficient inflation process for either valve type.

The Portland Design Works Big Silver Pump is available in the color Silver and in a 29.5cm (11.5in) size. The pump also includes a Silver mounting bracket.

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Bad product; looks pretty; doesn't work

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is probably one of the worst product, not just biking related but the absolute worst product I've ever bought.

Pros: Very compact, nice metal design

Cons: Barely works. It will take you literal hundreds if not thousands of pumps to bring up the pressure slightly. We had changed a friend's tube after a flat and it took three of us about an hour using this pump before the pressure was acceptable to where he could start riding. Another time, I measured my tire before a ride and decide to top it off; after about 15 minutes of solid pumping, the pressure went up by a whole two pounds. I've lent it to numerous people to see if I was doing something wrong and no one was able to use it effective. I would recommend you buy something more functional.