Beto bicycle floor pump V1, early version, bought at MEC in Toronto. The pin in the valve head broke. Photo By Don Tai
Bought from MEC a decade ago for $25CAD, this pump has served me well pumping up kids schrader low pressure tires, as well as the odd presta style. A litle bit of inattention from the Big Weed and she broke the valve head. Specifically the plastic pin that holds down the valve head to the valve. A repair was in order.
Later while on the MEC site I found you can buy a new head for $3CAD. Supposedly there is a new version of the Beto bicycle floor pump, V2, which is not as well made and also available at MEC. They also have an alternative head for $9 that is supposedly even better.
I have taken care of and definitely not abused my floor pump, so it is in great physical shape. As we have a lot of bicycles in the family, and lots of kids come to have their bikes repaired, the pump gets lots of use. Overall this pump has been very reliable, pumping mostly low pressure <60 psi tires, but also the occasional 110psi high pressure road tire. Contrary to the reviews on MEC I have had no problems, which always attaches to the tire valve. I certainly would buy this pump again. The air gauge seems accurate enough when I compare it to a tire gauge, and it has a rotating bezel that can point to the tire pressure you want. I have two friends who also have this Beto pump and are happy with it.
Pin Removal and Measuring: Over the years the straight plastic pin, shown in red, seemed to have weakened, until yesterday my Big Weed broke it. The shard end of the red pin was found nearby. I used a metal pin punch on a piece of wood to carefully tap out the broken plastic pin. The original red ABS plastic pin is about 2 cm long and 0.155″/4mm in diameter. Plastic is not a great choice for a critical piece such as a pin, but in this case it would be better for the pin to break rather than the head. The pin measures 0.155″/4 mm in diameter, and made of ABS. The pin is slightly wider on the left than the right, I suppose so that when you tap the pin into place there is slight compression on the right, ensuring it stays in place. The pin was slightly misshapen due to the stresses from the valve head handle. The pin fit is tight.
Replacement materials for the plastic pin included plastic or metal. I have no plastic ABS rod, and any type of plastic that was softer would quickly bend and break. For metal I have screws and nails. All the rod or pin material I have was too large. I did not want to use a threaded rod/screw because this would eventually cut into the head mechanism, possibly binding it up and eventually breaking it. Smooth metal was better.
Replacement Metal Pin: I found a nail that was just slightly larger in diameter than the plastic pin, so I started sanding it down, measuring with my vernier caliper as I went. Eventually I got to the right diameter but the point of the nail, in its manufacturing process, was flattened in the cutting process, making the point slightly larger. I cut off the point with a hacksaw and filed the now blunt tip round. Entering the left hole of the head was good, but the right side of the head was slightly smaller. I continued to sand down the nail until the fit was better. A tight but not force tight fit was what I was looking for, to ensure I did not crack the head mechanism. Eventually I was happy with the fit, so I cut the nail to length and filed the end round.
Pin Insertion: Inserting the pin was simple to do with hand pressure. The final insertion into the right side of the head assembly required a slight tap with a hammer, but nothing too hard. As both ends were filed rounded there is no issues with cutting my kids with the pump head. Now the pump works as it should.
The job did not take too long, maybe an hour at most, and I hope to get many more years from my Beto pump, barring abuse from the kids. My concern with using a metal pin is that with temperature fluctuations the plastic of the head might crack, as it is softer than the metal pin. I keep the pump in my house, so this might not be a problem. I can always buy a replacement head at MEC, but I am far away from their downtown store and rarely venture downtown. When I am there I will further investigate. I have tested the pump and it works as good as new. The pump, made in China, is reliable and good value for the money.
Beto bicycle floor pump V1, pump head pin, made of ABS plastic, broke. I used a nail of similar diameter as replacement. Note the ABS plastic pin is misshapen due to stresses of the valve head lever. Photo by Don Tai
Beto bicycle floor pump V1, early version, bought at MEC in Toronto. The installed new metal pin in the valve head, alongside the donor nail and broken ABS plastic pin. Photo By Don Tai