Best track pump review 2014
A good floor pump should be present in every trier’s kit bag. Mike Anderson tests four to get you up and rolling…
… and don’t forget to check out our other 2014 round-ups: best aerobars, best run jackets, best turbo trainers, best tri bikes, best tri bike shoes, best wetsuits, best lightweight run shoes, best trail shoes, best energy bars, best bike jackets, best bike helmets, best TT helmets, best recovery drinks and best tri-suits.
Birzman Zacoo Maha III
Birzman has gone for the chrome look barrel and wooden handle, making its pump aesthetically very similar to Lifeline’s – and both look pretty smart. The barrel stands at a 5° angle, which makes it slightly easier to use than a traditional vertical pump. But the best feature of the Zacoo Maha III is the ‘Snap-it-valve’. Once you’ve pressed the head of the pump onto the valve, you slide down the small gold collar on the end and it locks into place.
It’s so simple and yet makes attaching and releasing the head supremely easy. It also holds the valve firmly in place under high pressure, which is just as well given that this pump can deliver up to 220psi. There’s also a pressure control button that allows you to get things just right by releasing small amounts of air while the pump is still attached – useful if you’re particular about tyre pressures.
Verdict: This is a very good pump indeed and the Snap-it-Valve is superb, 90%
Lezyne Steel Digital Drive
With a striking black and white colour scheme, Lezyne’s Steel Digital Drive is a classy looking addition to your home workshop. The body is machined steel, the base aluminium and the handle varnished wood, which gives it a really nice feel. The main selling point, as the name suggests, is the digital display.
There are a couple of advantages that come with this: the first one being that you can switch between psi and bar measurements; the second that the display gives a far clearer reading than your standard gauge, so if you want exactly 94psi then that’s exactly what you’ll get. It’s capable of delivering 160psi total, which is more than adequate for the vast majority of inflation needs. The aluminium head locks into place over the valve using a lever action, which was stiff to begin with but should ease up with time and use.
Verdict: Digital display is fantastic, but it does come at a price, 85%
Pro Performance Floor Pump
The duel head on PRO’s floor pump makes it easy to use with either Presta or Schrader valves, with no fiddling required. The other great thing about this pump is that the two little red bits at each end of the handle come out to reveal a vast array of different attachments for Dunlop valves, gym balls and football valves. It’s a really great little extra and makes the pump just that bit more versatile.
It can inflate up to 160psi and its extended steel barrel construction means it feels really solid. The large handle is pretty comfortable, while the magnet lock system ensures that the handle doesn’t slide about when you go to move the pump around. Another nice little touch is the addition of skateboard-style grip tape on the feet, which adds another level of anti-slip protection. Just don’t make the mistake of using it in bare feet.
Verdict: Versatile, nice looks, easy to use but just a little too expensive for what it is, 82%
LifeLine Professional Track Pump
With a wooden handle, steel barrel and all-round chromed look, Lifeline’s track pump cuts a striking figure. It’s pretty light, too, which makes it easy to move about, and the non-slip bottoms on the feet mean you can use it on most types of flooring without any issues. The head is dual purpose for Presta and Schrader tubes, locks into place easily using a lever and isn’t too stiff, which can occasionally be an issue with this kind of mechanism.
It claims it can deliver up to 240psi, and while we don’t have anything we’d feel comfortable inflating that high it certainly manages to climb well over 100 without any trouble. There are certainly no frills or extra features with this one, but if you’re looking for something cheap to get the job done – and at one penny shy of £27, this is great value – you could do a lot worse.
Verdict: Eye-catching design and finish, simple to use, but budget price means no extras, 78%
And the winner is…
Birzman for its classy Zacoo Maha III – already a very good pump indeed, before you factor in the simply superb Snap-it-Valve.
Check out our other 2014 round-ups: best aerobars, best run jackets, best turbo trainers, best tri bikes, best tri bike shoes, best wetsuits, best lightweight run shoes, best trail shoes, best energy bars, best bike jackets, best bike helmets, best TT helmets, best recovery drinks and best tri-suits.
What do you think is the best track pump of 2014? Let us know in the comments!