A mini pump is an essential thing to carry on any ride. I have a sign by my front door – ‘Don’t forget pump’. So often I have started a cycle ride only to realise I forgot pump and rather than risk being stranded in the middle of Oxfordshire have returned to pick up a pump.
For this reason alone, I like a pump that is attached to bike frame. This means that if you leave it on, it is much harder to forget it. If you have several bikes, you will need to remember to take it with right bike – either that or buy two pumps – one for pocket, and one fitted to road bike used the most.
One option for those looking to save weight and space is to take CO2 cylinders. I have one of these but have never actually used it. I have to admit been worried I would use the gas to inflate the tyre, but then have to deflate and start again, but, then having no gas left to inflate. Of course, if fix a tyre correctly the first time, this shouldn’t happen. It would be good for race, when you’re trying to minimise weight. I guess you could always take spare cylinders but, it becomes an expensive way to pump up tyres. Also some mini pumps are so small and light, that the difference in weight is not that much.
Innovation Microflate Nano cylinder pump is only £12. Spare cartridges are 2 for £5. It only weighs 26 grams, with cartridge at 16g. It’s head also works for discwheels.
CO2 Cylinders at Wiggle
I find mini pumps can be somewhat unreliable and prone to breaking down. If you keep it attached to the bike in winter, check periodically it is working. Also keep the head away from dirt. A good model should have a cap to keep dirt from air hole.
This Lifeline Carbon mini pump is good value. Only £20 and weighing around 85grams. It claims it can inflate up to 120psi (though that is hard work with a mini pump.
The Topeak Rocket Mini Pump
The Topeak Rocket mini pump is probably the best mini pump available for blowing tyres up to 120psi. It comes with a flexible valve extension which you screw on to the tyre valve. Once secure, it’s very effective in converting all your effort into blowing up the tyres. With a bit of effort, you can blow tyres to over 100psi – which is more than enough for most road use.
The great thing about this mini pump is that it can replace a track pump, but still fit into your back pocket. It would be excellent for touring purposes. It’s not much heavier than small mini pumps, but does a much better job in pumping up tyres. This is a good choice, if you want a mini pump to properly inflation tryes, rather than just a 50-70psi to get home.
Diago Streamlined Pump
The Diago Streamlined pump looks good and smooth. Works very efficiently. I’ve had problems with mini pumps breaking down after several months use. This seems sturdier than other models. When pumping up tyres, there is a very smooth connection within pump action. I’ve only used for a couple of months, but it retains exactly same strength and rigidity, that not all mini-pumps have. Slightly long compared to other mini pumps, which is a bit of an issue when in back pocket or squeezing into saddle bag But, overall am quite happy.
Lightest Mini Pumps
The Topeak micro Rocket pump weighs only 55 grams. An aluminium version weighs 65 grams, but is cheaper at only £17.99. These pumps are also very small. I keep one in my saddle bag, rather than attached to the bike I’ve used for 3 years, and the pumps have always been reliable. I tend to just use post puncture, but it pumps up enough to get you home.
- Topeak Mini pump at wiggle £17.99
Which one would I choose? The Topeak mini rocket is best for fitting into saddle bag. I would advise the Rocket for any kind of touring where you need greater reliability in pumping up to over 100psi. The flexible valve extension is definitely good because you can damage valve from vigorous pumping.