The Topeak Race Rocket mini pump can pump tyres unto 120psi, but still fits in to your back pocket.
I bought this in Ramsbottom Cycle Shop. I went to buy a track pump (because I’d forgotten to bring). They didn’t have a track pump but I left buying this on the basis that it blows tyres up to 120psi.
A good feature of this rocket pump is the way that you attach the pump with a flexible tube. This means that once in place and screwed in tight, you can pump with great vigour and not worry about damaging the inner tube valve. With other mini pumps, I have bent inner tube valves because it’s hard to put pressure on pumping without bending the valve. This is important because if you want to get close to 120psi, you need a pretty good work out.
The pump extension screws onto the inner tube valve. It takes a bit of time to put on and screw up tight. But, once screwed on, it feels as if it gives a 100% connection. This means all your pumping goes into the tyre rather than seeping out.
When the pump is securely fastened, you still have to work pretty hard to blow the tyres up to over 100psi. But, at least you feel your efforts are being rewarded.
I was able to blow my road tyres up to a high enough tyre pressure – something usually difficult to do with a mini pump.
It folds up pretty neatly after. There is also an attachment to fit to bike frame.
It is also easy to switch between Presta and Schrader mode
The only limitation of the pump is that:
- You don’t know the psi (tyre pressure) when pumping – like you do with a track pump.
- It’s harder work than a track pump
- It’s not sufficient for tubulars racing to over 120psi
However, if you need these 3 benefits, the obvious answer is to use a track pump. For a portable mini pump, it’s hard to beat this Rocket mini pump. It would be particularly good for touring, when you don’t have space for a track pump, but you want a small pump so that can blow tyres up to a sufficiently high pressure.
At £22 (it cost £25 in Ramsbottom) it’s not an essential piece of kit. Most road riders are happy with a pump that will get them home after a puncture. Cycling on 60psi is not the end of the world. However, if it’s a really critical road ride, it’s definitely a big bonus being able to blow up to 100 psi +. It’s hard work as you would expect from a mini pump, but the screw valve fitting mean that at least your work is rewarded. If you do get one, expect your friends to want to borrow it.
I particularly like the valve extension, it is a much safer way of blowing up tyres.