Which of these six stowable pumps will get you back on the road quickest? We tested them for pumping efficiency as well as back pocket comfort to find out the best to buy.
1) Airace Torch £24.99 fisheroutdoor.co.uk
The Airace measures a miniscule 127mm in length and is easily swallowed by a standard cycling jersey pocket. It inflated our flat tyre to a rideable 80psi in 121 pumps, so there’s definitely a trade-off between ease of carrying and ease of inflation. Adaptable for either Schrader or Presta valves, with a lock out system to ensure a solid connection, it’s very ease to use, although the short barrel made it easy to catch a finger when pumping at full tilt.
2) Truflo CNC HP £24.99 madison.co.uk
Although just 180mm in length, and therefore easy to stash in a back pocket for a long ride, the Truflo CNC extends a further 200mm when you’re pumping, using a double barrel shaft to force air in a high pressure.
It took a mere 89 pumps to get 80psi into our tyre. It is only suitable for Presta valves and employs a similar lock system to the Airace Torch. In short, this pump packs some good performance into a sturdy and readily stowed unit.
3) Blackburn Airstik SL £16.99 zyro.co.uk
The lightest pump on test belted up to 80psi in 89 pumps. The Airstik SL therefore gives nothing away in terms of firepower against the bigger pumps here although there’s no locking mechanism to keep it on the tyre valve so you need to make sure you’ve an accurate grip when inflating to avoid any damage.
That said, inflating your tyre is a simple matter of whipping it out of your pocket, unscrewing the valve, placing the pump over it and pumping away for 30 seconds.
4) Topeak Race Rocket HP £29.99 extrauk.co.uk
Short enough to fit safely away in a jersey pocket, the Race Rocket HP has a trump card to play – its extendable hose takes a lot of stress away from a valve that’s being frantically pumped at, lessening the chance of damage. The 180mm length makes it almost the longest of these six, but its 86g weight adds next to no extra bulk. With 110 pumps to achieve 80psi, it’s not the quickest, but it is one of the easiest to use.
5) SKS Airboy CO2 £34.99 sks-germany.com
With a length of 210mm, the Airboy is easily the longest pump here. It’s also fairly weighty to carry. However, the beauty of this pump is that not only does it inflate a tyre to 80psi in 80 pumps (although the final 20 are pretty hard work), it has an adaptor for CO2 cartridges. We didn’t test this feature against the other pumps, relying solely on elbow grease for this round-up, but it’s useful to have the option of almost instant inflation.
6) Zefal Air Profil Micro £19.99 chickencycles.co.uk
At 165mm long and an ergonomically pleasing diameter pump to hold in the hand, the Zefal Air Profil Micro has very similar dimensions to the Truflo CNC, although it does take significantly longer to inflate a tyre to a useable 80psi – 146 pumps to be precise.
The lock out mechanism is one of the best on test, however. It’s a good budget option but was out-performed by a few of the other pumps here for similar money.
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