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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump is a strong pump half the time

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Social media’s algorithms know that I trip a motorcycle virtually daily. My quiver features a metropolis bike, mountain bike, and gravel bike, along with one or two e-bikes I’m at all times within the means of reviewing. I’m additionally the household mechanic, which makes me accountable for at least 16 to 18 tires that I have to hold inflated. So, you’d higher consider I took discover when Instagram served me a number of adverts for the Flextail Tiny Bike Bump.

The mini rechargeable pump works with Presta (the skinny one) or Schrader (the {old} fatty) valves and guarantees ultra-fast inflation that maxes out at 100psi (about 7 bars) — sufficient for any bike that doesn’t require a stretchy wardrobe coordinated along with your footwear and helmet.

The origins of the pump are suspect, as I see what appears to be like to be the very same product offered with branding like CyclamiToptoperRrskit, and Epoom at a wide range of worth factors, some as little as $25. Flextail sells its model for $85 and lists the producer as Huzhou Jingwei Outside Merchandise on the field and system itself. The primary pump Flextail despatched me couldn’t pump a tire past 19psi earlier than dying. Flextail despatched me one other that (largely) lives as much as the claims.

The factor that’s not talked about within the adverts I’ve seen is how loud the tiny pump is: 76dB at arm’s size, in my testing, which is akin to bending over to examine a working vacuum cleaner or rubbish disposal. Utilizing it whereas stopped alongside forest trails generates extra scowls than seeing a mountain biker in Lycra.

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump does work, although. It’s a lot sooner and smaller than the mini hand pumps riders often carry in case of bother. At 3.9 ounces (111 grams), it’s additionally only a bit heavier than the trusty 3.4-ounce (96 grams) Unich pump I commonly carry. However the Flextail pump additionally doesn’t pressure your air valve mounts as a lot as a result of it doesn’t require lengthy intervals of vigorously erratic pumping.

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The Flextail pump’s largest drawback is that it’s solely good for a couple of zero-to-full inflations earlier than needing a recharge, however that can differ by tire measurement and desired strain. It’ll final for much longer in the event you’re simply topping up tires. Its tiny 2.59Wh battery recharges in as little as 25 minutes.


The Flextail in comparison with two mini pumps, my trusty Unich pump (high) and a mini standing pump from Professional Bike Device (backside).

In my testing, on a metropolis bike fitted with vast 700 x 40c tires and Schrader valve, I used to be in a position to pump one tire as much as 45psi in 45 seconds. Then, shifting to a gravel bike fitted with wider 700 x 42c tires and Presta valves, I used to be in a position to hit 50psi in 90 seconds earlier than the pump stop in want of a recharge. That’s two real-world inflations per cost, for these protecting rating.

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump is so small and light-weight that I initially thought it might be superb for bikepacking journeys and even lengthy day rides. However with solely two inflations within the tank, I’d nonetheless need to carry a hand pump as backup alongside my patch package and spare internal tube(s). However there’s no approach my gram-obsessed mind would permit me to hold two pumps.

In case your rig is an e-bike with a built-in USB charging port, then you definately’re already touring with a large energy financial institution on wheels. That makes it simple to recharge the Flextail pump after depleting it as a result of your side-of-the-road flat tire restore didn’t go as deliberate (it occurs!). Simply don’t neglect your USB-C cable… and perhaps a carbohydrate bar to snack on when you wait.

When you’re nonetheless , all I can say is that one of many two Flextail Tiny Bike Pumps I examined labored as marketed, and I wager you’ll have related success from different manufacturers that promote what appears to be like to be the identical Huzhou Jingwei Outside Merchandise battery-powered pump for a lot much less.

For everybody else, simply purchase a mini hand pump for a lot much less cash. They by no means want charging, are too massive to lose, and can possible final a human lifetime — or two.

All pictures by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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