The Bike List

Revolution Air Mini Track Pump £20

Tested by Neil Watterson, tester for The Bike List

I hate getting punctures. It's not the actual puncture that's the problem, it's the hassle involved in getting back on the road. And there's nothing worse than smugly riding up the cycle lane beside queuing traffic only to have to let them pass you as you fiddle and faff around swapping tubes.

Like most regular cyclists I'm well versed in the art of roadside puncture fixing, carrying both a spare tube and puncture repair kit. And I can get up and running fairly quickly. But I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to re-inflating tyres.

I've got a track pump at home making reaching road pressure a doddle, but out on the roads and trails I struggled with hand pumps for years - and consequently would always limp home from puncture-punctuated rides with tyre pressures significantly lower than they were when I left home.

Then I found the adaptable hand/track pumps and realised that I could finally continue my rides at proper speeds, without the prospect of tyre squirm on corners.

The Revolution Air Mini Track Pump is one such pump. You can use it as a hand pump, but why expend the extra effort when it's designed to convert into a track pump with the flick of a lever?

Retailing at £19.99 it's very competitively priced compared to other convertible pumps - and with it boasting a pressure gauge - typically an extra fiver on other pumps - it's a positive bargain.

Mind you, the gauge's position is a little strange; it's on the side of the pump head that points towards the valve. So, to read it properly, you'd want the valve to be at 12 o'clock to be able to read the gauge easily. Unfortunately, the hose isn't long enough for that - you can't really use it above axle height. So, you either have to stoop down to read the gauge or keep lifting it off the ground to check the pressure.

Mind you, it does get to pressure fairly quickly - it takes 125 pumps to get a 700x32C tyre from flat to an indicated 85psi (80psi on my track pump). I don't know how accurate that is as neither gauge is calibrated, but at least I know that it is getting the air into the tyre. By 85psi it is starting to get hard work on a relatively large volume tyre; reaching an indicated 100psi was a bit easier on a 700x23c road tyre…

The valve head is a fairly standard convertible Presta/Schrader unit - dig the internals out and spin them round to convert from one to the other. The rearmost section has a small spring in the centre to push the valve in on Presta tubes, while the common plastic dome pushes the valve core in Schrader valves.

Swapping the inners round is no more tricky than similarly-equipped pumps - at the very most you'll have to use an Allen key from your multitool to carefully hook the parts out if you find yourself helping another rider out.

The foot converting the pump into a track pump flicks out easily, and being metal is more robust than the plastic ones around this price point - a convertible pump with a broken foot is nothing more than a hand-pump. The foot is nothing fancy - just a loop of metal - so there shouldn't be any issue with this foot breaking.

Likewise, the tapered handle has a functional metal pivot. Of course, the use of metal has weight implications, but a 248g pump is a lot lighter than having to carry a bike home…

The handle pivots to 90 degrees, so it's easier on your palm when you're pushing the plunger down and a soft rubber insert at the base of the barrel stops the pump from moving - the fold-out foot is really to stop the barrel of the pump lifting on the up stroke.

It's supplied with a frame bracket which can be cable-tied to the frame or attached to bottle cage fixings. If you're the sort of person who eschews bottles for a Camelback, you'll have no problem fitting it on the down tube of a frame. But if you prefer to carry a bottle in that position, you may struggle to fit it on the seatpost; you need at least 130mm clearance below the lower bolt to get it in. If it doesn't fit, you can either throw it in a bag or your back pocket - though at 345mm long it's a bit large for the latter.

It won't stop you from getting punctures, but the Revolution Air Mini Track Pump will certainly make re-inflating the tyre after getting one a lot easier. And that's got to be worth £20 of anyone's money!

At a glance

Verdict A great value hand/track pump with built in gauge, with performance punching well above its price.

Revolution says:

Foldaway foot stirrup; stowaway hose; 90-degree foldable T-handle; in-line 0-140psi gauge; Presta/Schrader-reversible thumblock head: this ingenious inflator combines mini pump portability with track pump ease of use.

When you want to use the pump, unclip the hose and attach it to the valve with the thumblock head. Then turn the handle 90 degrees and flip down the foot stirrup. Now you can inflate your tyre without the bother of holding the pump head in place on the valve.

Then for transit, flip the foot stirrup and handle in line with the pump and clip down the hose, and you're away.

  • Smooth-action alloy barrel.
  • Steel foot stirrup.
  • Sure-grip rubber-faced handle.
  • You can convert the head from Schrader to Presta by reversing the pump head's innards.
  • 248g.