23/01/2013 | 19 comments
We’ll start with Birzman’s MTB specific track pump, the bizarrely named Zacoo Maha. What makes a pump MTB specific? Well it’s all about pressures and volumes. Road bike tyres are small volume and are high pressure, whereas our tyres are exactly the opposite. For a road bike you’ll want a thin bore pump that can dole out the required pressures, and that would work for a mountain bike, but you’d be pumping away for much longer than is necessary. Increase the diameter of the pump though and you suddenly get something that will inflate a fat mountain bike tyre in no time…although you’ll struggle to reach road bike pressures. Aside from saving time and effort, pumps like this that can dole out air by the bucket full are also far better if you’re trying to inflate a set of tubeless tyres.
This particular pump has some nice little features, with the main one being the ‘Snap-It’ valve chuck that you can see above. The gold bit is the Snap-It piece and it works with Presta valves. Rather than relying on a rubber o-ring to grip onto the valve this system clamps into place using two threaded sections that lock onto the valve when you pull the gold bit towards the rim. It’s a very secure system so you won’t get any of that annoying hose blowing off problem, and you won’t have issues with your valve core unscrewing, plus it’s quick and simple to use. If you’re running Schrader valves then you unscrew the gold bit and then simply screw the other part of the chuck onto your valve. It should prove to be a very reliable system, although it would have been nice to see some kind of chain or something between the gold bit and the rest of the chuck because we can see it being easily lost if you’re often taking it off to pump up Schrader tubes. Oh, and that little black button that you can see is a pressure release button for those times when you get a bit carried away pumping.
Because this is a mountain bike pump Birzman have included a pressure gauge that doesn’t go up to ridiculous pressures, and it’s therefore easier to read around the kind of pressure that we’re usually dealing with. It does still go up to 120psi though (the pressure rating of the pump itself), so if you do also ride a road bike you should still just about be able to reach the kind of pressures that you need there. Personally, I’d love it if someone would make a track pump with a really detailed gauge that just goes up to something like 50psi tops. That’s what I’d call mountain bike specific.
Finally, the substantial base makes this pump stable in use, and the wooden handle is suitably comfy, but the jury is still out on whether or not Birzman’s decision to tilt the pump towards you really does provide better ergonomics. Some people got on with it ok, but others thought it was a step backwards. Overall though this pump is clearly built to last (you’d hope that for the price) and if you tend to use predominately use Presta valves then we reckon you might well love it.
This ‘Infinite’ mini pump follows the same ethos as its bigger brother in that it is designed to get high volume, low pressure mountain bike tyres pumped up fast. It also uses the same Snap-It valve chuck (so once again Presta valve users in particular will love it). This particular version comes complete with two CO2 canisters which can be used along with the hose to get you up and running again in next to no time. Apart from a non-braided hose the standard version is identical.
We prefer mini pumps like this which use a hose to connect to the valve rather than attaching directly as we find that there’s less chance of damaging your valve with this type of system. The flexible hose allows you to really give the pump some welly without having to worry about ripping your valve off. It’s fairly comfy to use too, and crucially even without the use of the CO2 canisters it doesn’t take too long to get a tyre up to pressure with this pump. It’s also good to see that there are plenty of rubber seals to keep the muck out. They’re particularly important if you choose to use the bottle cage mount rather than keep it in a backpack. Oh, and if you’re worried about how much weight you’re lugging around, the pump itself weighs just 177g, and then the pump, canisters and holder together come in at 312g.
Price: £34.99 (Standard Non-CO2 £26.99)