Gear Shots: Crank Brothers Sterling Pump

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Tim Coleman
Date Jun 13, 2013

The Sterling LG pump is the flagship pump from the folks at Crankbrothers. This pump features mostly aluminum construction, dual compression pistons, a universal head, and an easy to read pressure gauge. The LG stands for long; Crankbrothers also makes a short version. The pump weighs in at 173 grams and will run you around $50.

Crank Brothers, Sterling, pump, sterling lg, hand pump, gauge

Classic Crankbrothers minimalist industrial design, which I really like.

The selectable dual compression pistons give high flow up to 40 psi and then low flow, high pressure up to 100 psi. The dual pistons do make inflating tires to higher pressures much quicker and easier. The gauge calibration was checked and verified to be as accurate as could be reasonably read off the dial.

Crank Brothers, Sterling, pump, sterling lg, hand pump, gauge

The included gauge is excellent, as is the universal pressure head.

I do have two minor criticisms. The Sterling LG Pump is marketed as a Road / Mountain pump, yet the maximum pressure is 100 psi. Many road tires are inflatable to 125 psi. I suppose 100 psi would get you home, but an extra 20-25 psi would have been nice for the occasional top up. The second is design; the outer body of the pump slides so you’re left hanging on to the black bit with three fingers. As a result damaging the valve stem is much easier and you’ll likely get cramp hand before inflation is completed.

Crank Brothers, Sterling, pump, sterling lg, hand pump, gauge

The dual piston selection knob works flawlessly and made inflating tires quicker and easier.

All in all the Sterling LG Pump is a good quality pump that will get you back rolling again after you get a flat. On the downside it’s not perfect and it’s not cheap. However I think the price is justifiable given the excellent gauge, dual pistons, flawless universal head and the premium construction that should keep it working well / looking good for many years. It won’t replace your floor pump at home, but will certainly be welcome in any pack.

A hand pump with a gauge is fairly useful for those who are quite particular about their pressures – what are your thoughts?


Nouseforaname  - June 14, 2013, 11:35 a.m.

Another product from crank brothers that scores high in the "ooh lovely 'industrial' design" category and poorly in the "how well does it work" category.


patrolskid  - June 13, 2013, 3:56 p.m.

my first reaction when seeing the gauge . . . how easy is it to read when it is facing the rim ? wouldn't it have been better on the other side so you can read it as you are applying the air .
and of course i haven't used it , but i know from trying to put 100 psi ( let alone 125 ) into a tire with a small hand pump how tedious that job is .
after going through a few compact pumps that required several hundred strokes and were difficult to handle once the pressures got into the bigger numbers , my tool of choice is now a norco offering that incorporates a compact extendable hose attachment and a flip out foot to aid pumping . 200 easy strokes pumps a 23c up to a 100 psi reliably . only 166 grams .


finnrambo  - June 13, 2013, 11:08 p.m.

when you have the valve stem at 12 o'clock position so upwards so you don't have to crouch to pump it makes more sense as the guage is facing you then


Morgan Taylor  - June 13, 2013, 11:47 p.m.

I agree with finnrambo in the case of a non-hosed hand pump such as the Sterling; the Filzer mini foot pump that I otherwise love has the gauge in the same orientation as this CB unit and you can't see it when you're pumping.


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